July 31, 2012

Dear Daddy,

When I talked to you on Saturday, the last thing you said to me was " I will see you soon, I love you".  Never in my mind did I think that 4 days later, I would be standing over you, wishing for one last bear hug.  Giving you one last kiss goodbye.  We gathered around you and cried, I know you wouldn't want us to cry, but the truth is that a life without you seems so empty.  We laughed a little bit.  One by one we said our goodbyes.  As in Schilling fashion we argued as to who got to leave last. I won. I hope you heard all the promises I made you.  I hope you felt our love.  One last kiss and a glance back at the door.  I still cant believe you are gone.

Your funeral was just as you would have wanted.  Leon carried your ashes and Lester carried your flag to the carriage. As we got near the pavilion, I saw ahead two Sailors salute you as you arrived.  When they carried you down the isle, I tried my best not to cry.  Jets flew overhead.  And when you were read your last rights, I wanted to fall to my knees.  I caught a glance of Leon saluting you as they played taps, and my heart hurt more.  The grand kids were all sitting so patiently, you would have been so proud of them.  Then came the prayer.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamonds glints on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft starts that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die.

It fits you just perfectly.  I know you wouldn't want us to cry over you.  You wouldn't want us to worry.   Is that why you left us before we could see you again?  Did you go so soon because you knew I was coming out to see you?  Is it selfish of me to wish could have held on for a few more days so that I could have had that one last hug?  Would it have made it any easier?  But I do promise to see the world as you did. Every time the boys cry I will think of you comforting them as babies.  I feel you in the kitchen with me.  I promise to always cook with love because you always said that is what made your cooking so damn good.  I will teach the boys to use chopsticks and how to fish.  I will remember you each and every day.  And I promise to eventually start smiling more than I cry.  I just miss you so much Dad.

I just want you to know that I loved you so much more than I ever could have shown you.  That all the pain and anger I held toward you as a child had been long forgotten.  That I forgive you for your mistakes and I understand the choices you had made for me.  And that even though I denied it at times, I was and will always be a daddys girl. I need you to know that I cherished our hour long talks about random things just as much as I did the quick calls about the weather.

The thought of our lives with out you seems like a bad dream.  I bet your welcome home party in heaven was a blast.  Grandma and Grandpa would be so proud of you.  And Uncle Bob who just got there last month.  Are my brothers there too?  My babies?  Heaven is going to be eating really good.  I know I don't have to ask, I never did, but please continue to keep an eye out over us from up there.  Help us all be happy and healthy.  And I will do my part from down here.  I will see you soon.  But for now, in my heart you will be.


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