I don't recall that we ever celebrated Dad's Day when we were growing up. Back then, I didn't realize that one day I would no longer have my beloved Daddy. Even when he was slowly slipping away from us, I refused to believe that God would take MY Daddy. I just knew that OUR family would be exempt from actually losing one of us. How utopian! How silly! After he died, it really hit me that we are just as vulnerable and mortal as anyone else's family.

Daddy was the first to go, and Mother followed just a little less than 18 years later. He was sixty-one when he died. When I was a teen-ager, sixty-one seemed ancient. People who were sixty-one years old were withered, gray-haired, toothless, wrinkled and….well, you get the idea. Not my Daddy. Until the day he died, Daddy was young in spirit. Even when he was smothering to death, he could manage a joke. Oh, how I miss him! I'd love to see him drive up into my driveway again with his elbow stuck out the window. Before Mother and he drove off after coming to see us, Daddy would reach his arm out the window and "pat" the boys on the head.

My fondest wish, at age thirteen, was to be sixteen like one of my cousins. I can't remember her name, but she was the daughter of Wayne and Edna Herald - and the prettiest girl I had ever seen. In a few days, I'll be sixty years old! Yes, SIXTY YEARS OLD!! 'I don't know where the time went,' many people say as they age. It's true. I'm just a little under a year less than Daddy was when he died and I'm not through yet. I wish Daddy could have been with us longer, but I believe God had a plan for him. Yes, that's another thing people always say but I believe it's true.

Daddy, I hope you dress up tomorrow in a pair of your plaid slacks, gaudy suspenders, bright socks, and a loud shirt - just like you did when you were with us. No, I'm not ready for the men in the white coats! I only want to see my Daddy again, but - God willing - not for a long time. I still have a lot of things I want to do.

My son, Tim, is a Dad who loves his son very much. Even though I'm probably prejudiced, Tim really is a wonderful dad to Brian. I'll bet Brian has a gift and a special card to give to his dad tomorrow. I can almost see his face as he gives them to him.

I'd like to say to all the dads in the family: HAPPY DAD'S DAY! To everyone who still has a dad, I can only say, 'Cherish him, love him, value him while you can. Tomorrow may be too late. Never let an opportunity pass when you could have told him you love him.'

I love you, Daddy.

Kathleen McCoy Eldridge©
June 16, 2001
All Rights Reserved

Note: Since I wrote this, a lot has happened in our family. Our sisters, Lena and Cheryl, have also gone home but we are comforted to know they are with Daddy and Mother. Tim now has three children instead of one and is still a great Dad. Yes, a lot has changed since 2001 but one thing never will: I still miss my Daddy!

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