This Father’s Day, I think of my dad & all he has done for me my whole life.
There are so many things I want to thank him for.
I have always been thankful for him, but Chloe’s short life has inspired me to make sure everyone I love knows how much I love and appreciate them.
He provided for us
My dad provided for a family of 7. He worked so many hours, went across the world every week, brought back lots of goodies from other countries; but most importantly, never let us go without anything. We had everything we could ever need growing up. A safe place to call home, food to eat, cars to drive. And if we ever wanted to do anything; he found a way to make it happen.
He allowed us to dream
I remember coming to him with my hopes & desires, and he would always encourage me. It didn’t matter how far fetched or crazy it seemed, he told me I could do it. And he gave me ideas on how to start.
Growing up, all I wanted to do was sing. He brought me to all of my auditions. American idol; I failed. The voice; I failed. Arkansas Talent Search, I made it through every round, and he took me to every single competition! But in the last round, I still didn’t win. He never told me to quit. (Even though I never won anything.) instead, he told me to try again. I never did try again, but it wasn’t because of lack of support. He encouraged me to dream. Always.
He helped me in my career
He taught us at a young age how to work hard. I always thought his job was super cool; I remember in elementary school I had him come speak to my classmates about life as a flight attendant. He, of course, brought them Japanese candy. They loved it. Years later I still had classmates ask me when my dad would come back from Japan and bring the candy.
After high school, and during my 2 years of college, I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was just going through the motions. Going to college because that’s what you’re supposed to do after you graduate high school. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to try to follow in his footsteps. But I never thought of being a flight attendant until he said, “hey, Delta is hiring flight attendants. You should try it out.” And so, I did. A few months later, he was pinning my wings on me at flight attendant graduation.
The past 4.5 years of being his colleague have been really great! I love that he has shown me the ropes, he’s helped me with my schedule, and he has shown me around the world.
He always shows up, steps up, and helps us when times are rough
He came to the hospital often to see me; always stopping by before he flew into work or right after a long day of flying. He’s shown so much support during this hard time.
I still remember that when Derrick and I were planning the memorial, we didn’t know where to start. People were asking us all kinds of questions that we didn’t want to answer; questions that we didn’t know how to answer. I was overwhelmed. I know Derrick was too. But Dad helped us answer those questions. And he volunteered to speak at the memorial without hesitation. Your talk was incredible, and honored Chloe in a way that was absolutely beautiful. His faith & strength was inspiring on that seemingly impossible day.
Derrick and I love you, Dad. Our sweet Chloe loves her Grandpa. Thank you for your continuous and unconditional love.
Your dad has loved you from the start. The day I told him I was carrying you, he couldn’t stop smiling. He was full of joy, full of love, full of gratitude. He loved you so much then, he loves you so much still.
Chloe, I want to tell you a few things about your dad...although I have a feeling you already know what an amazing man he is. I believe you hand picked him from heaven to be your daddy.
And I completely understand why.
He is Loving and Kind
Your dad has the biggest heart. He would do anything for us, Chloe. I know if you were here, you would be so happy. He would have given his little girl the whole world. He would make you laugh, he would hold you when you cry, he would be there for you during your best times and your worst times; he would be your light in the darkness. He would lift your burdens. He would bring you so much peace. I know these things,
because that’s what he has done for me.
He is Strong & Brave
On the surface, I seem strong & brave & optimistic. But Chloe, if you’re watching us from above, you know the truth. I’m not strong. I’m not brave. I’m not optimistic. He is. Your daddy carries me through my grief. He wipes away my tears, calms me when I’m troubled. He reassures me that you are safe, and that I did not cause this. I have felt so guilty, I have felt so broken. But he is with me, constantly keeping my head above water. Wrapping me in his arms and loving me unconditionally. I have had to lean on your father more times than I can count. When I am overcome with fear or anxiety, he holds me and says, “no matter what happens we will get through it together; as a family.” He is my strength.
He is Hardworking & Generous
Throughout those 10 weeks you and I were in the hospital, your dad stepped up to the plate with no hesitation. He showed me every day how much he loves us. He worked anywhere from 60-75 hours a week at his hourly job, and then squeezed in side jobs in the evenings so that he could provide everything for us. Monday-Friday, he worked those long & hard hours. Then every single Friday after work, he hopped in the car & drove 3.5 hours to Little Rock to hang out with us.
The weekends were my favorites. Every Friday morning I woke up so happy, because I knew I would get to see him that evening. He made me laugh constantly and brought me so much happiness. Even after a long work week & a long drive, he was always in such a good mood. He never, not even once, complained about the load that was on his back. He wanted to do those things for us, Chloe. He would do anything for us.
Still he continues to work so many long, hard hours. And after work, he is always either doing projects at the house, building tables and furniture, or helping someone who needs him. He’s the most productive man I’ve ever known. Your daddy is such a hard worker. He inspires me. And you inspire him.
He is Supportive & Tender
That night, I could hardly say a word. I could do nothing more than cry and hold you in my arms. I don’t remember much about that night, it was all a blur and I literally feel like I partially lost my vision. And my hearing. The world was no longer a beautiful color;
it was dark. And cruel.
But there are a few vivid details about your dad that I do remember. Moments where his amazing character and beautiful soul shined through despite the terrible pain he was feeling. Moments where he protected me.
I remember that right after you passed away, and while we were holding you together for the first time, your dad was in complete awe of your perfection. He held me so tight, crying, while I held you.
I remember him whispering in my ear; “she’s so beautiful.” multiple times. I could see the pain and pride in his face. He was so proud of you.
I remember that as the nurses and doctors wheeled me back into the room that I gave birth to you in, your daddy held your hand—tears in his eyes, while he told them; “Thank you so much for everything.” I saw tears fill their eyes when he said those words. I could feel their pain. I could also feel their gratitude to him for being so kind despite a terrible circumstance. I was so proud of him for telling the medical team, “Thank you” that night. Beautiful words of appreciation in a moment of complete despair. He amazed me in that moment. I still couldn’t say the words myself, but I was grateful that he did. I fell
even more in love with him. I clung even tighter to him.
I remember he never left my side. He laid there in the twin hospital bed with me that whole terrible night & wiped my tears as they fell.
I remember in the following days, weeks, and months— your dad was always there when I needed him. Whether it was a shoulder to cry on, someone to talk to, someone to answer my deep questions about scriptures & life after death theories, or just simply someone to make me laugh. He was my go-to. He has been everything I could ever need and more. Chloe, your dad is my hero.
He Loves us Both—So Much
Your Dad truly takes care of me. The night after your passing, we were at my parents house. We were lying there in my old room, talking about you, when your daddy said to me; “I can feel Chloe’s love for you. I have always loved you so much, but it has magnified. This Love is intense, indescribable. She wants me to take care of you, and the only thing I ever want to do is make sure you have everything you need & that you know how much we love you.” We had such an amazing conversation following those words. We spoke of you, what you inspired us to do, and how we were going to do better; be better.
I remember those words, because they meant everything to me. Your daddy could feel how much you loved me and he wanted to show me that love for the rest of his existence. Your dad has always loved me and has always shown it, but through your love, His has magnified. He carries on your spirit with his love and strength—because he loves you. You are a part of him forever.
Sweet little girl, your daddy thinks about you all of the time. We will carry you in our hearts until the day we get to see you again.
Singer/Songwriter from Arkansas; with a passion & goal to create real music that speaks to the soul.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.