Nine years. Can it really be that long? Almost a decade? Though my thoughts during the day are no longer constantly consumed with him, he is still in my dreams every night. There are still moments, events, random things that bring tears to my eyes, remembering him.
It has become tradition for me to write a blog of remembrance each year on this day. My heart really isn't in it for some reason today, but here I am, tradition will hold. I was reading back through previous years' posts moments ago. What sweet memories were brought to mind as I read through my random ramblings.
Daddy wanted me. I know that. He chose to have me, persuaded my mom to have another child late in life. It makes me smile, knowing that I was wanted, chosen, loved.
Daddy was a hard man. You didn't want to cross him. He was small, but mighty. He didn't mince words. But he loved and served fiercely, usually behind the scenes, where no one would know.
He loved to do things he wasn't supposed to do. If he was told not to do something, that usually meant he was going to do it; whether that meant buying his daughter a $60 teddy bear AND the $60 Easter dress, because his wife said no, or whether it was throwing his granddaughters into the pool, in their pajamas, because one of their mothers had specifically said to him they were not allowed to swim anymore. He loved to live on the edge of defiance. No one told daddy what he could or could not do.
He loved to spoil those he loved. I miss my weekly daddy-dates. I miss the gifts he lavished upon me. Not because I want all the gifts, but because that's how he said, "I love you," and I want so badly to feel that again. He often had a hard time verbalizing his love, but he showed it in so many other ways.
I wish my children could have known him longer. They were so young, just four and five when he died. I fear their memories of him are fading and will eventually fail them. Grandaddy loved them so much, I hate that they may not have that memory, the memory of the love. Besides Jake and myself, I wanted my daddy to be the first one to hold JD. I still remember the pride on his face as he took him in his arms. He loved that little boy like no one else could. They had an instant bond that transcended time, space, age...
Grandaddy loved all his grandchildren to the moon and back. Brittnee came along and he knew he was born to be a Grandaddy. Her grandaddy. That little girl could do no wrong. She got away with murder. Each grandchild came, and with the excitement and pride only a Grandaddy could show, he welcomed them into the world and into our family. Alyssa, Haleigh, Kennon, Melanie, Jared...He wanted nothing more than to spend time with his grandkids and spoil them rotten. I pray they remember that.
I am thankful for the time we did have with him. I am thankful, thanks to the blood of Jesus, many in our family will have the opportunity to be with him again.
Until that time comes, I will keep on remembering, keep on loving, and today I will say, "happy 9th homecoming day daddy. I'll be seeing you."
Douglas Cox Haynie February 26, 1939 - February 10, 2007