Grit is defined as courage and resolve; strength of character. My father is the definition of grit; my father was the most courageous person I have ever met. Yes, I am a little biased because I am his youngest daughter, but he really was a man of such strong character, a man of integrity, and a man whose life was fully surrendered to God.
I don’t really talk about my Dad too much though. I don’t talk about how he was sick for a really long time.
I don’t talk about how watching my father be sick for such a long time really broke my heart, and is still a deep place of pain for me. Every time I left my Dad’s nursing home where he lived for almost five years I wanted to break down because I always knew it could be the last time I see him. The last time I saw him was not the last time we had planned on seeing each other, and I realize that there are a few things I wish I could have said to my Dad before he went to heaven.
Thank you for always being so involved in my life. Thank you for being at my little league softball games, my dance recitals, my track meets, my basketball games, my powerlifting meets, and for watching me cheer at football games. I might not have expressed my gratitude as a bratty teenager, but looking back as an adult I am so thankful you were in the stands for me.
Thank you for teaching me how to love and trust God. You were a man with a very colorful past, but you showed me how God can take something that is broken, and turn it into something for his glory. You taught me how to trust God through the good and the bad. You taught me how to love God, and that through loving God you can love people as well.
Thank you for showing me that it is never too late to follow your dreams. I always loved hearing about the things that you had done and experienced. You served in the Navy, and received one of the highest medals of Honor in the Navy. You were also a traveling salesman at one point, you were a pharmacy technician for a long time, and after having a stroke you went back to school to become a paralegal and completed your degree with a 4.0 GPA. Dad, you showed me that I can do anything at any given time if I just believe in myself, and work hard.
Thank you for showing me that fighting for your life is important, and it is worth it. Dad, you never gave up; you endured multiple heart attacks, had two strokes, broke a hip, and you still kept going. I watched you fight every day to be a better man than the one you were the day before.
You consistently fought for your life, and I never heard you complain! You were always thankful to be alive and thankful to live another day. Thank you for also molding me into a fighter, Dad.
Lastly, I just want you to know that I am so honored to be your daughter. You made me brave, you taught me how to think for myself, and you taught me how to laugh and be goofy even when life is handing you lemons. You taught me that it’s always best to be yourself instead of pretending to be someone you are not. You taught me that the truth is always, always, always better than a lie, and that simple manners go a long way. You taught me to always stand by the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers, and that a steak cooked medium rare is as close to heaven as you’re going to get here on Earth.
I want you to know that I love you so much, and that I could not have asked for a better man to raise me. You are a wonderful father, and even though you are not physically here with me I know that you are watching from above.