Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day...

Dear Daddy,
I miss you more than words can say, not just today on Veterans day but every single day! I miss you calling for your daily "Lilly Report", I miss you making such amazing things out of wood and cry as I look around my house at the things you made and cry. I miss your calmness and rationality during stressful situations. I miss you decorating Woody for every holiday. I miss watching you play with Lilly and talk to her in your special way. I miss all of your stories about when you were a boy. I miss your army stories and you calling cadences to Lilly and I in the kitchen. I miss your annual Christmas story about "Scooter" and Once or Twice Upon A Time. I miss you so much I can hardly breath.
Daddy you fought for our freedom and you are my hero. I can't believe it has been over a year since you have gone to heaven, I still forget you are gone and want to pick up the phone to talk to you. I remember your last year and how sick you got. We tried so hard to take care of you but you just kept getting sicker. We never got tired of taking care of you Daddy. Not even when you stopped walking and were confined to the hospital bed we moved into your living room where , once, a Christmas tree stood. I never minded sitting with you all day and cooking your favorite food and running all over town to get all of your 'stuff'. I still can't listen to the tapes we made together, the ones when I interviewed you about your life and you loved to tell the stories but then you got so sick you couldn't remember anymore. I didn't even mind when you forgot my name...I always loved you and I always will.
You are a good man who worked hard for his family. You never let us go hungry or want for anything. You came from nothing and joined the Army to make a better life for you and Mom and eventually us kids. You did it Daddy, we had a great life. I'm so lucky to have had you even though you died so young. I am lucky my daughter got to know and love you like I do. I can't imagine another holiday without you.
You served in Vietnam and died from exposure to something that has made us all sick. We had to watch you die every single day for a year and had to stand helplessly by while you were in such pain. The rest of us are still sick and I am left to wonder who will be next.
I'm proud of my soldier father. I'm proud of my mother who is an Army wife. I am proud of my brother and I for moving every 2 years during the hardest years in a child's life. I am proud of every soldier and their families who all serve our country and fight for our freedom. I am a proud American and so was my father. I found a picture of you kissing Lilly today and cried until I couldn't cry anymore. Tonight I watched the service at Arlington Cemetery where you Rest In Peace and I am crying while I write this. I love you Daddy and I am so proud of you. I miss you...we all do.
Happy Veterans Day!


Cas said...

Hi Stacy! I just got back in town this evening and will catch up on the blog reading...can't wait to start reading yours. I'll send an all about me email this weekend.

email is azgalcas@aol.com

P.s. great Veterans post : )

Anonymous said...

What a sweet love letter to your Daddy. I assume he was exposed to Agent Orange. My sweet uncle was too, he had 2 tours to Vietnam. We lost him 8 years ago. It was a 8 month battle and it was hard to watch. Hard to watch a brillant man forget his own son's name or have to wear a diaper.
Thank you for your post.

Stacy said...

Thank You Norah! It was the most horrible experience in my life to watch my Father decompensate before our eyes and not be able to help. We are assuming that it was, in fact exposure to Agent Orange but that is just so hard to prove and the VA doesn't admit to any sort of accoutability. Actually my whole family is ill. I have Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis, like my Dad, my Mom has a very rare liver disease (also auto- immune) and my brother is sick to. Not any other family members just us four...We know that we were exposed to something but , alas, there is nothing to do but live with our illnesses.
Watching my Daddy die, forget us and loose the ability to walk, eat, and move, and have to wear diapers is such a cruel way for such a good man to die. I'll never understand and I will forever live with those horrible memories. That is why I advocate for our soldiers and thier families...we are all affected and are all heroes fighting for this country.
Thank you for sharing with me, I'm so sorry about your sweet uncle who was also a hero!