Sunday, December 29, 2013

Tis the season to be STUCK!!!!

Today marks one year, one month and 8 days since Dad crossed over from this temporary life to eternal life. Time has passed, but I don't find this journey to be any easier.  As the months have gone by, I have missed him more...the further away I am from the last time I heard his voice, saw his smile, heard his laughter, felt that tight squeeze from a bear hug that only he could give I find myself feeling sad, forsaken, hurt, angry...STUCK! I'm stuck in my journey...more than a year later and I am still asking how could this have happened and why Lord, why??!!!

This holiday season has been challenging...even more so than last year which was our first without Dad. I think we were in shock...still walking around in disbelief that the Heavenly Father had really allowed this profound grief and heartbreak to enter our lives.  However, this was real.  Dad's absences was very very real and it was painful!

Many of my friends have lost a parent and they appear to move through that grief with their faith intact.  I'm finding that "keeping the faith" is not as easy as it seems.  I see/hear about friends and acquaintances who are going through difficult times and as I observe them walk through the difficult time, it seems that their faith becomes stronger, deeper more profound.  Not me! I have found it more difficult to trust, depend on and pray to my Heavenly Father.  What does that say about me? It makes me question whether my faith was ever really "mine" or did I derive my faith in God from outside myself?  Did I depend too much on Dad to be the prayer believe for me instead of with me? One thing the Lord is showing me is that I did and still do depend on others in matters of faith. I have no confidence in my faith or the power of my prayers. After all, I prayed and believed that The Great Physician would restore my Dad - heal his fleshly body and look where that got me. I know that of the 2 or 3 folks that will read this, one or two of you will think I've become a full blown heathen...I promise, I haven't...I'm just a person of faith who is struggling through a "dark night of the soul". My head tells me that this too shall pass and I will be stronger and my faith will be deeper and will belong to me on the other side of this journey.  I'm beginning to wonder though, if I'm going to make it to "other side" of this journey.

In the last year, I've had to listen to my head a lot more than my heart. My head hears all the truths Dad taught me, all the scriptures he quoted and all the things of faith he shared with me and with countless others. Yep, my head hears it and knows it's true...ahhhh, but my heart is broken and still can't fathom life without Dad here in his earthly body. As I sit here typing my mind is saying over and over..."I can't believe he's gone! How could God do this to us?! This can't be true...I don't believe it!! Why would He do this?! It's not fair...not fair at all!!! Dad was strong and preaching and teaching better than ever! He still had so much more to give for you Lord! Why did you take him from us?!!! Why? WHY?! WHY?!!" Yep, that's where I am.

A friend of mine has shared with me journals she kept during the first years after losing her Dad quite unexpectedly.  I can't tell you how much reading her deepest thoughts has started to help me sort through my own. To see my thoughts written on paper by someone else...WOW! It's as if she is in my head and's as if I wrote the words I'm reading. There is something about knowing you're not're not're not the only person who has thought and felt this way.

I think that there is still a part of my heart that can't accept that Dad is gone from this earth. I think perhaps that's why he hasn't visited me. I have had only one dream about Dad since his death and in the dream he sat in a chair and observed. He didn't say or do anything...which if you knew my dad at all you would know how uncharacteristic this behavior is for him. That's the only "visit" I've had and I don't really consider it a visit because there was no interaction between us. My children and my mom have all had visits, dreams and experiences with Dad's presence. Perhaps my unwillingness to fully accept his death keeps him from coming to me.  Perhaps my irritation/unrest...okay anger with God keeps Dad at bay.  I don't know...I can't know. What I do know is that I long for an experience...I want to feel my Dad's presence...hear his voice, his laugh, hug his neck...even if it is only a dream.

I can't tell you how my heart aches to think about the fact that my children have so many years ahead of them without my Dad's presence here on earth. I'm selfish and like spoiled brat I find myself shouting "I want my Daddy!!!" I want Darryl Ross back in his body on this earth healed and whole! My head knows that this is not to be...but I think somewhere in my heart I'm holding out hope.  How weird is that?!!!

When I blog it feels like I'm just rambling. I feel like I'm jumping from one thought to the next without any real purpose or fluidity. I've felt jumbled, befuddled and lost since Dad's death.  My mind feels scattered and restless...I feel like I'm having an out of body experience that won't end! Little things set me off...anger is always right near the surface...anger and tears, they both lay just below the surface and spring up randomly sometimes for no good reason...BAM...there they are! Sometimes simultaneously and sometimes individually. One minute I'm fine and the next I'm completely out of sorts because I can't find the tape! The emotions ebb and flow everyday and when they flow...boy, oh boy...STAND CLEAR!!! It makes me crazy and I know my family is thinking "what in the world is her problem?" My daughter asked me the other day "Why are you always mad at me?" It took me aback..."I'm not always mad at you." I responded. She replied, "It seems like you you're always mad." Oh my gosh!!!  I don't want my kids' memories of me to be "Mom was always mad after Pop died" - I want them to have the same kind of fondness for me that I have for my Dad and my time with him while he was on this earth. My Dad had a knack for making the most of each day...each moment really. I wish I was more like that! Wish I had the ability to make every moment count for eternity the way he did.

Since Dad's death, I've felt this need (for lack of a better word) to see/visit people I love and who have played important roles in my life along the way. I want to sit down with them and catch up face to face...hug their necks and tell them how much they've meant and continue to mean to me. How they've helped shape me into the person I am. More often than gets in the way - between work and the kids' schedules and the schedules of those I'm wanting to see...well you get the idea. Making the rounds becomes almost impossible but I hope that 2014 will afford some opportunities for me to do just see the important people...not just on Facebook or via email but to see them - hug a neck - laugh - cry - reminisce! I think being an only child made me treasure my friends more...made them an important part of my life than folks who had siblings. My friends became an extension of my family. I think that's why I've felt such a need to reach out to them (even in the smallest ways) during the journey.  To touch again that time in my life and those people who knew Dad and knew me when Dad was alive. I don't know...weird, huh?! I guess comfort comes in odd ways during difficult times.

I want make my Dad proud! I want to be the person God intends me to be...the person my parents raised me to be. I want to honor my earthly parents and my Heavenly Father with my life! I'm just not sure that I know how to do that now.  I'm so glad that the Lord sees and knows my heart and won't give up on me...even if, for a minute, I may give up on myself.

Psalm 130: 1-5
From the depths of despair, O Lord
              I call for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord.
               Pay attention to my prayer.
LORD, if you kept a record of our sins,
                Who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
                 that we might learn to fear you.
                  YES, I AM COUNTING ON HIM
                   I HAVE PUT MY HOPE IN HIS WORD.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Make the most of the "dash"!

This has been an incredibly emotional week!  On Sunday afternoon, I got a call that one of my colleagues and friends had fallen while at a friends house.  I was then told that this young, vivacious 36 year old mother of 2 was on life support. Monday was a "looking down day" - no one made eye contact with others for fear that the tears would break through the dam. We received the tragically devastating news that our friend and colleague had been called home to spend eternity with Jesus.  It took my breath away!!!  That feeling of "this can't be happening" hit me all over again...that same feeling I had when we were told my precious Dad would not survive.

Since losing Dad, I have been consumed with my own grief and the ensuing journey through that grief but this tragedy has jolted me.  All I can think about are those 2 precious boys (10 and 7).  I know how difficult the loss of my Dad has been for me as an adult...I cannot even begin to fathom the depth of grief that these 2 sweet toe-haired boys will walk through.  I was lucky enough to spend 46 years with my Dad and he was blessed with 73 wonderful, productive years.  And still the absence of him in the physical body is almost unbearable at times.  I think about the fact that this boys will have a much longer grief journey than I...they will grieve the loss of their mommy as children and then as they become adults the grief will take on a different dimension. My heart breaks for them because I know a little bit about the kind of grief they will experience.

As I have read and listened to people talk/write about Jennifer, I can't help but to begin to reflect on my life an how I'm living it.  Jennifer's "dash" has been full of adventure and joy.  She always flashed that dimpled smile to everyone she met.  She was perky and friendly and full of life...which makes her tragic untimely death all the more difficult to wrap my mind around.  As I listen to people speak lovingly about her, two things come to mind: 1) Why do we wait until people are gone or ill to tell them how much they've touched our lives? 2) How will my life be remembered by those whose paths have crossed mine?

I hope that in my 46 years and the years I have to come...that I've made (will make) an impact (however small) on someone's life (just one life).  I pray that people see me as a person of integrity, with a deep abiding love for my family and friends and a spirit of joy.  I realize we can't be "happy, happy, happy" all the time but I do hope that I don't have the reputation as a "Debbie Downer" or a "Negative Nelly".  I'm the first to admit that there are times in my life when I've been less than pleasant.  It's my desire, going forward, to be certain that I'm making the most of "the dash". Seizing the days and making them count!  Loving my family and friends and bringing hope and joy to those I encounter. My Dad and Jennifer had quite a lot in common. They both lived life to the fullest and touched more lives than they or I will ever really know.

Heavenly Father, be glorified in my life.  Make me an instrument of your love, joy and peace. Help me to carry out the legacy of my Dad with the same mercy, grace and generosity that he demonstrated.  Provide opportunities for me to minister to Jennifer's boys.  I ask you to reignite in me the fire of your Spirit...draw me near to You.
Lord, tell Jennifer that we will all watch over her sweet family and help them in any way that we can.  Tell her she is missed and held dear by all who knew her.  Heavenly Father, give my Dad a big ol squeeze and tell him I love him so very much. I thank You for Your mercies in disguise, Your grace sufficient and blessings in the midst of grief.  Hold us all close to You as we walk this earthly journey and help us all to make the most of the "dash".
In Jesus' name, Amen

Dignity Memorial - Jennifer Niday Obituary: View Obituary for Jennifer Niday by Eternal Hills Funeral Home and Cremation, Snellville, GA

The Dash Movie

Saturday, August 10, 2013

This time last year...

Made it through the first "week" of school.  It's always soooo tiring - getting used to rising at crack o'clock every day of the week. I'm grateful to have a job but boy, do I wish they'd pay me to stay home.  I have a new teaching position this year.  I am the Title 1 math teacher for K-2 so it's a school year of "firsts" to accompany my life year of firsts without Dad.  Yep, it always comes back to that...

This time last year my folks had been given the news that Dad had prostate cancer and they were waiting to tell me knowing that the start of a new school year brought its own kind of stress to my life.  I had gotten off to a late start with not being at pre-planning due to our trip to the USSSA 12U Fastpitch World Series.  That in and of itself had me all befuddled to a certain also produced a feeling of unsettled feeling.  This time last year, I was calling in to report how fall ball was going - Garrett was playing rec ball and Sara Beth was still with the GA Jinx 12U team.  I was blissfully ignorant.  This time last year, my Dad was mowing grass, planting and tending to his flowers, running errands, reading books, preparing and preaching sermons...LIVING LIFE.  There was no outwardly visible sign to tell the world that this man had cancer.  He was strong and full of life and laughter. 

Funny how life can change in the blink of an eye.  This time last year, I could NEVER have imagined that he'd be in Heaven...gone from us in the physical body.  This time last year, I didn't have this ache in my soul...this "fussy" unsettled feeling.  

On my worst days, I'm angry and giving God the cold shoulder...wondering what we ever did to deserve the pain of this journey.  On my best days, I remember my Dad's laughing eyes, his wise counsel and the love he had for all he knew and I still believe that there's a plan...that God's not finished and if I will wait on Him the plan will be fulfilled.  

When Dad was first diagnosed, a dear friend told me that God wasn't taken by surprise by any of the news that had literally brought our world to a screeching halt.  He had seen the beginning to the end and His Word was true.  He's incapable of lying. Even after Dad died, she repeated those words to me many times.  And now, on my VERY best days...I'm starting to believe again that that's true.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Letting go of the way we were...

It has been a little over 8 months since we lost my Dad.  Eight months into this journey and I find myself, on most days, still not quite willing to believe that he is gone.  I long for the way we were...the way we were before his death.  I long for "normal"...the "old normal".  I'm finding it difficult to cultivate my "new normal".  There are days when I think, "hey, I'm think I'm/we're gonna be okay" and then WHAM!! That empty feeling engulfs me, that sinking feeling in my gut returns and I feel like it's day 1 again.

This time last year, I was calling my folks to give updates on our USSSA 12U World Series experience.  We were in Orlando with our daughter's travel ball team having a great time with friends and watching softball.  I was missing pre-planning which was weird for me...I've NEVER missed pre-planning but I figured it wouldn't be too difficult to "catch up" that first week of school. However, not being at school and starting back the same day as the just felt weird...not at all normal.  From day 1 of the 2012-2013 school year, I felt off kilter - not quite right - out of sorts. Little did I know at the time that this feeling was a foreshadowing of things to come. I was getting ready to receive a curve ball that would change the course of my life. In September, my Dad shared the news with me that he'd been diagnosed with prostate cancer and had been given a Gleeson score of 8 (which in most cases indicates that the chance the cancer has spread is greater).  To say the least, I was floored!  After hanging up the phone, I got in my van and drove and yelled/screamed at God.  "WHY?! WHY?! WHY?! HOW COULD YOU LET THIS HAPPEN, LORD? MY DAD HAS LOVED AND SERVED YOU FAITHFULLY! IS THIS HOW YOU SHOW YOUR LOVE TO YOUR FAITHFUL SERVANTS? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!!"  I was angry, confused and very scared!

Typically, I talked to my parents several times a day, but after that September afternoon, without realizing it I had stopped talking to them as frequently.  I was afraid I'd say something that would "mess up" Dad's healing or speak negativity and I didn't want to do that.  After a lengthy and tearful conversation with my Dad, I went back to the normal communication routine but something was different in me.  I felt a shift from being fearful to being faithful.  I found every scripture I could related to healing, faith, trust and blessings and posted them everywhere so that I could speak healing over my Dad and speak faith words all the time. And then, the unthinkable happened and my world came crashing down. My Dad died in spite of trusting and believing and I was left in a mournful heap ashes.  Where was I supposed to go from here...what was I supposed to do or believe now?

I still struggle everyday with why and how this happened.  I also ask myself if perhaps my prayers weren't right or my faith wasn't deep enough or I didn't trust enough. I think, perhaps I'll always have those questions but as I move along this journey, I'm beginning to understand that letting go of the way we were doesn't mean forgetting...nope, it means letting go of the "old normal" to make room for the "new normal".  I'm not forgetting my Dad or his love for me or the fun we had together.  I could NEVER forget - it is embedded in my heart for all time.  No, I think letting go is just the opposite because by striving to carve out my "new normal" I'm honoring his life and legacy.  I think in letting go we are better able to hang on (sounds crazy, right?)...hang on to our past without allowing it to press us down. Letting go provides renewed strength to help us hang on to our present so that I/we can live in the moment. I know that Dad would want me to move forward in faith - "letting go of what is past and straining forward to what lies ahead" (Phil 3:12-14 paraphrased).  I think the word "straining" describes perfectly where I am right now.  I'm straining to get through this- to get where the Lord wants me so that I can be who the Lord wants me to be.  It will continue to be a "strain" for me to move through the rest of my days on earth without my Dad's physical presence.  He was a HUGE part of my life and the lives of my children and the void in my heart, I think, will remain until I see him again in Heaven.  I know that there are still many difficult days ahead and as we get closer to the anniversary of his death...well, I'm already dreading that and wondering what that day will look and feel like.

I miss my Daddy every single day.  There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of him several times throughout the day.  People tell me that gradually, that will change...but I don't want that to change.  I want to hold him close in my thoughts and in my heart...ALWAYS. I wish that I could talk to him...wrap my arms around his chest and squeeze him tight (I'm too short to put my arms around his neck) - he did give the best hugs.  I wish I could see that warm, friendly smile in the flesh or hear that boisterous infectious guffaw of his just once more in person.

My sweet friend, Lisa Johnson, shared this song with me.  If my Dad had been a songwriter...I think he'd have written this for me for such a time as this. I've only been able to listen to it a couple of times but it's a haunting melody with a beautiful message of hope.

Dad I'll see you someday " away down the river" but until then...I LOVE YA ALL THE WAY TO HEAVEN...FOR ALWAYS!!!

Baby, dry your eyesThere's no need to cry‘Cause I'll see you againIt might be a while before you understand
I'm just away down the riverA hundred miles or moreCrossing over JordanTo the other shore
I'll be standing waitingWith all who've gone beforeI'm just away down the riverA hundred miles or more
Now the pictures on the wallWill help you to recallThey're not there to make you sadBut to remember all the good times we had
I'm just away down the riverA hundred miles or moreCrossing over JordanTo the other shore
I'll be standing waitingWith all who've gone beforeI'm just away down the riverA hundred miles or more
When it's time to leaveYou're gonna feel the mountain breezeAnd the snow will fill the streamAnd carry you to me
I'm just away down the riverA hundred miles or moreCrossing over JordanTo the other shore
I'll be standing waitingWith all who've gone beforeI'm just away down the riverA hundred miles or more.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The darkness of why, trust and finishing the good work in me

My mom heard a sermon on Easter Sunday about "walking around in the darkness of why" ... and as we talked about that message, we related to walking in that darkness.  Why did Dad get cancer? Why did a surgery that was presented in such a hopeful manner somehow go terribly wrong?  Why didn't the Lord heal Dad in his physical body?  Why did He allow Dad's death to pass through His hands?  Why did the Lord see fit to set us on this journey?  See what I mean?  The darkness of why can consume us and sometimes it does just that.  It shuts out all hope and light.  When I constantly ask why, my thoughts become muddled by doubt, fear, uncertainty and faithlessness.  It becomes a matter of will versus God's will.  Is it God's will for me to walk around in the darkness of why?  No, it's not His will...He wants me to trust trust His heart even in those moments when I am unable to find His hand. He wants me to forge through my grief to my faith and not continue to rely on the faith of my father.  If my will were done, my Dad would be here...alive and well and playing with his grandchildren.  If my will were done...I wouldn't be on this journey.  It's a journey of letting go while still hanging on.  Letting go of "why" while hanging on to faith. It's a difficult place to be; a crossroads of sorts. I'm navigating through uncharted territory (uncharted for me anyway).

I find myself unable to talk with God right now...if and when I pray all I can muster is "Thank you, Lord for another day." I'm so glad that He sees beyond my grief and knows that it's a process.  There are days that I don't talk to God at all but I know that He's right there waiting for me.  He isn't rushing me through the journey.  And while I know He desires a close relationship with me and I with Him, He is willing to wait for me...for my heart to catch up.  He isn't dragging me through it kicking and screaming (although there has been, and probably will be more, kicking and screaming along the way).  He's guiding me, even when I don't see it or feel it or even think I want it.  He's placing people along my path - behind, beside and even in front to help me heal.

This I know and choose to believe, even when my flesh is not sure...I choose to believe in my soul and have confidence that The One who began a good work in me will be faithful to see it through until Christ returns. (Phil 1:6 paraphrased)

Many years ago, I sang this song and loved it; it spoke to my spirit. While Dad was in the hospital a dear long-time friend shared it with me again and one of the pastors who eulogized Dad unknowingly used paraphrased lyrics during the service.  I share it here because it speaks to my spirit in a very different way now than the first time I sang/heard it...I hope it speaks to you, too.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Faith and Loss

How do we reconcile our faith with profound loss?  How do we make sense out of something that doesn't make sense?  It seems that I'm spinning my wheels trying to find some sense in the midst of this great loss. In a sense, I guess I'm trying to figure God out...trying to catch a glimpse of His plan but it's impossible for me to see right now.  I sit here, in the middle of my grief, piling up my ashes around me thinking that somehow that will help. I'm wrestling with God...wrestling with "the plan", working my brain into a frenzy trying to figure out what's going on - what I'm supposed to do with all this emotion. Today, in this moment...I must confess that I haven't got a clue...not one inkling of an idea about the what, where and how of it all.

I know that my Dad is in Heaven.  On the one hand, I'm fully aware of his absence from his physical body but on the other hand I find it unfathomable that he is gone.  I keep thinking that somehow this has been a terrible mistake...that it was the wrong body in that ICU bed...that at any moment I'll pick up the phone and he'll be on the other end.  My mind knows he is gone from this world but my heart is having a most difficult time catching up.  I've heard it said that the heart wants what the heart heart wants my Dad, here and healthy.  I know, I know, it's selfish of me.  My profound loss is Heaven's profound tragedy is Heaven's rejoicing.  I don't mean to say that Heaven rejoices in my sorrow but that the loss which causes my great sorrow caused great rejoicing in Heaven.  I know that I know that I know that my Dad heard those wonderful words of welcome from the Heavenly Father, Well done, good and faithful servant...welcome home!"

How do I reconcile my faith with my loss... TRUST!  In the middle of the dark night of the soul...I will choose to trust Him.  Sometimes, I feel like I'm starting from scratch and more often than not I need to strip away all the trappings of religion and denomination and get back to basics...get back to the heart of the matter.  I'm not there yet but I have the desire to get learn to trust the Lord again...or maybe to trust Him fully for the first time.  I'm so glad that I serve a Saviour who is acquainted with my grief and understands my human-ness.  Who suffered in human flesh so that He could identify with my human flesh.  The Heavenly Father can absorb a lot and I'm grateful for that fact.  Right now, I seem to be somewhere between faith and my loss. There's an old pop song that comes to mind when I think of where I am in my relationship with my Saviour.  It's a song sung by The Four Seasons called "Working my Way Back to You" and the lyric that came to me just now was "I'll keep working my way back to you, babe, with a burning love inside..."  I just changed "babe" to "Lord". 

So, that's what I'll keep doing...working my way back to you Lord with a burning love inside.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Where Do I Go From Here?

On November 21, 2012 life as I had known it came to a screeching halt. It was the day before Thanksgiving when Dad got his promotion from this first world into eternity. It was the worst day of my life and the beginning of the most difficult journey I have ever had to walk.

In some ways, I feel abandoned by God, as if He somehow slighted me. So many whys swirling around in my mind…so many unanswered questions. Questions that I know, logically, will never be answered in this life but that doesn’t make me want the answers any less. I ask myself why God heals some in this world and chooses not to heal others here on this earth. Is one life worth more to Him here and others worth more to Him in Glory? Do our prayers really move God? If He has already seen the beginning to the end…is there any altering that plan? Is it possible to pray “Thy will be done” and really mean it…I mean afterall, we are flesh and our human nature wants what we want…right? I wanted my Dad to be healed; restored to perfect health here in this life. I love him and need him…I want him here. Why didn’t he receive the healing that we prayed and believed for – healing that we trusted God to bring to fruition? I know that God could have, at any moment, raised my Dad up and brought him perfect health so that he could have continued to preach and teach the Word of God. But no healing came and I stood by the bed of my wonderful, precious earthly father as he passed from this world into eternity. Those gathered with us in those moments raised our voices in praise to the Heavenly Father that we had believed would heal this faithful servant…but no miracle came…no Lazarus moment. Where was our miracle?

On the bad days…I cry and I have a knot in the pit of my stomach that won’t go away. I feel this overwhelming desire to “fix it” knowing that it can’t be fixed…EVER. Today, right now, I feel as though this hole in my soul will remain with me until I see my Dad’s sweet million dollar smile again. On these days, which happen more often than not, I feel as though there is no laughter left…but I know this isn’t the way Dad lived and he wouldn’t want this for me. I know that his legacy is one of faith and hope…the hope of Glory in Christ Jesus.

On good days, I know that we did, in fact, receive a miracle…the miracle of my Dad’s eternal life; a life that he now lives out in the presence of the Lord that he served so faithfully for so many years. I know that he is well and happy and free. I no longer have to worry about his health and well-being because he is in perfect health. I’m sure that if they play sports in Heaven, my Dad has already got a team together in at least 2 (basketball and football). On good days, I can see God’s mercy in my Dad’s situation and the love He has for my Daddy and I can see, through tears, the love the Heavenly Father has for me through the people He allows to cross my path…those folks to help me and hold me up during this journey.

So, I get up every day and try to be the best wife and mother that I can be in the moment and hope that my children love me as much I as love my Dad. I say love rather than loved because I still love him…he isn’t here with me but my love, I believe, reaches all the way to Heaven and I know that my Dad continues to feel the love of his family and friends.

This may seem like rambling…and it may be…but I figure I have to start somewhere and this is point A for me. I hope that whatever journey you are on, that you aren’t traveling alone. I hope that you have people surrounding you, as I do, who are willing to let you walk the journey at your pace all the while holding your hand.

My journey through grief is really just beginning…I hope that somehow sharing my thoughts along the way not only help bring healing to my heart and soul but help others in whatever part of the journey they are in. It is my desire to live the kind of godly life that my Dad lived. He didn’t just tell me to live a godly life…he lived one and let me watch and I am forever grateful that I had the privilege to be Darryl’s daughter.

I miss you, Dad…every minute!