I’m sitting in paradise and thinking of you. My morning view of the crashing waves and sun-kissed clouds is nearly the polar opposite of our shared beginnings in the dry farmlands and sagebrush of Eastern Washington. Yet for me, my soul and spirit connects and converses with both environments.
I keep looking for you here — I’m so thankful you and Mom were here to celebrate your 20th wedding anniversary in Hawai’i. I know you didn’t like to travel and HATED airplanes! Whenever you sent my siblings and I on a plane you always told us to pedal like mad to make sure the plane was able to take off.
I keep looking for you here.
I’m so much a part of you — you continue to have a sacred place in my heart and soul.
I thought today was for saying good-bye to you.
I thought today was about releasing you and letting go.
I was wrong, and you KNOW how much I hate to be wrong. Perhaps I was just mistaken …
We have already said our good-byes, more good-byes than a father and daughter should ever have to share. And I am not talking about the happy goodbyes.
The happy goodbyes were the ones when I left the farm and the entire family would gather on the side steps, waving until my Citation was out of sight. I honked and waved to you all — often times long past Pizarro with sweet salty tears streaming down my face. What a gift to be so loved and so missed. These were our happy goodbyes.
Then there were our sad goodbyes. We had far too many of these.
Before one Summerwood goodbye, I spoke to you quietly and said “You were a Wonderful Dad.” You looked up at me with those beautiful speckled hazel eyes and simply replied, “Thank you.”
Then I said my sad goodbye with tears streaming down my face and the blank emptiness had returned to your eyes.We had way too many sad goodbyes.
You and Mom gave me everything. You gave your family everything. You gave us the gift of expectations, healthy competition and the love of learning.
You were so unselfish by sending all your devoted kids to college. You never complained one time about the cost. You quietly encouraged me to explore — tap lessons, piano lessons, Girl Scouts, cheerleading, volleyball, basketball, tennis, church youth group and so many more things. You never said no to any opportunity that I had, or my siblings had.
I miss you.
I plan to honor you by embracing the values you held close to your heart: Love and Honor Your Life Partner, Family First and Laugh whenever you can — with your WHOLE BELLY!
We are all doing fine. I am doing fine. I miss you. I love you … always.
I just looked up and saw a rainbow. So I’ll end by simply saying “Thank you and Mahalo.”
Love always, Your Devoted Daughter
P.S. The Huskies are really doing well this year!