Daughter remembers veteran dad

Published 6:01 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2007

By Staff
On Veterans Day those who serve our country were what most people thought about. Although I thought about them too, this year there was also something else on my mind when the holiday arrived.
The date marked five years since the passing of my father from this life. It was just after midnight on Veterans Day 2002 when I heard my mother's voice say the words I will never forget, “Daddy's gone.”
In the days and months and even years that followed, I tried to wrap my mind around the idea of “Daddy's gone.” It is a strange thing that happens when you lose someone close to you. Somehow the loss takes on an unreal quality, and your mind screams, “No it can't be true.”
You try to get your head around the idea that this person whom you loved and who loved you is no longer a car trip or phone call away. Part of you knows the reality of the separation of death, but another part of you, your heart, wants to refuse to believe it.
So many times I caught myself thinking that Daddy couldn't really be gone. The idea that in this lifetime I would never hear his voice or feel his hugs seemed impossible. I wasn't ready to stop being Daddy's little girl; I was not ready to let go of him.
Then one day something miraculous happened. I don't recall the exact date or time, but in the flash of a thought, I knew Daddy was still around, still with me. It was not a concrete something I could explain or prove to anyone. It was just a sense of his spirit, a feeling of his caring.
That is when I started to notice little things that helped me to realize that separation from those we love is an illusion, at least the idea that anyone we love ever really leaves us is not true. The proof for me came in many ways.
One morning as I sat down at my computer to write, a voice in my head whispered, “Morning glory, what's the story,” something I heard my Daddy say more mornings than I can count when I was growing up. Suddenly I had this “knowing” that it was my father letting me know his energy and spirit were as alive and real as they were when he was walking on this earth.
Suddenly, I noticed a set of books on the shelf under my television. They were Daddy's books, given to me by my mother. I pulled one out and let it fall open. As I read, I smiled because it was like reading Daddy's philosophy of life.
The books by Napoleon Hill contain so many positive thoughts and ideas and suggestions for how to look at life. Those books discovered at that particular moment opened a door inside of me and set me on a road of self-discovery that continues to change my life in amazingly positive ways. Now some folks would discount my belief that my father had a hand in directing me that morning, but I know better.
I smile for all the wonderful memories I have of being Daddy's little girl. I even smile about the misunderstandings and melodramas we had as I grew up because I learned from them. Mostly I smile because I know that no matter how many years go by, how many anniversaries of his passing come, the spirit and energy and being that are my father have not disappeared from existence. He is not here with me in physical form, but Daddy is not gone.
Nancy Blackmon is a columnist for The Andalusia Star-News.

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