The Greatest Gift…

I always love to call a rare and precious day, a “Unicorn Day”.

The day we took Lea and Reagen for homecoming dresses was one. Our two youngest children laughing in the backseat and twirling in the store is something I appreciate now that we have empty bedrooms.

There was a time here at the house that we had a girls bedroom with 3 beds and a boys bedroom with 2 sets of bunkbeds. I like to remember and say that we had kids “stacked like cord wood”.

One day back then I had a full blown meltdown, and I hollered “NO ONE ELSE CAN SAY MY NAME!” Jeff pulled me aside and calmed me down. He has a way of making me calmer than anybody. (He can make me madder too, but that is a different story.) We both laugh about it now.

Most days around the house now, all I have is Sir Oliver at my feet. He follows me everywhere. He gets on my last nerve just like the kids, but he keeps me company.

I have been thinking of how Daddy must feel now that his house is empty of kids and he has lost his little dog “Killer Joe”.

So I got up early yesterday, with the intent of buying Daddy’s breakfast and lunch. He wouldn’t have it.

We talked about Father’s Day presents when the waitress brought our ticket. Daddy looked across the table at me straight in the eye.

He has a way of lowering his head and leaning in when he talks serious. This was serious.

“Sister, I don’t want for anything. The greatest gift you could give me is this right here. A day with you. Your time.”

Powerful.

If that don’t make you put your phone down and pay attention. Well I lied a little, I picked it up to D.J. his memories. We drove and he called out songs. I looked them up and played them.

Ronnie Milsap made him tell me how he felt when my Mom loaded up the kids and left him. He lets me know, “I was in a bad place,” talking about his state of mind.

And Bob Seger made us laugh about Uncle Joe with Fire Lake. That one was played so often and so loud when I was growing up that my friend Todd Jones said he thinks of Daddy when he hears it.

I told Daddy that I played it for my buddy A.J. at work and got him hooked. Daddy really laughed when I told him A.J. played it so much that his wife Mandy had to say no more.

I love to make Daddy laugh. It is my second favorite thing.

My first is to hear him pray.

I have no doubt of his love for me and that is the greatest gift I have ever had.

LOVE.

Some people never have a father, much less a sweet Daddy. I am so grateful.

Happy Father’s Day to all of you.

May your heart and your memory get you through today if you are without yours.

You are in my heart and prayers and better yet, my Daddy’s…

Cheryl

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