It's hard to believe it was four years ago today that my Dad passed away. In some ways it seems like just a short time ago that the family stood around his bed as he slipped away to soar once again in the sky as he loved to do in his F-4 jet. In other ways, it seems like he's been gone so very long since so much has happened in the last four years. It just doesn't seem possible that he doesn't know Lexie and she hasn't run into PaPa's arms as his other grandchildren loved to do. He was truly a great man. He loved and honored his country with 30 years of service in the Air Force as a pilot and retired as a full bird Colonel. But we always knew that he loved my mom and his family even more. He was smart, funny, strong, compassionate and honest like no one else I've ever met. He was a great father and wonderful role model for all five of us kids. My sister Lynn & I joke that we've never gotten married because no one could live up to Dad until Angie, our youngest sister, married Jim who is SO much like Dad. Lucky Angie. Dad was a wonderful husband to Mom, who always said he was her best friend so it was okay that we moved all the time since her best friend moved with her. It's been the hardest on her of course but I know their love has made her strong enough to continue on without him.
Once I started back down the road to adoption, I know he supported me and was guiding me through it all. During the long wait for the Embassy approval, MFA, MOE, LOI and Visa numbers then finally getting on that plane, I always knew with a certainty that Dad was watching over his latest grandchild Lexie. In my heart Dad held Lexie in his arms and gave her his strength and love in the baby house in Aktau so she wasn't alone until I could go get her. Thanks Dad for watching over her then and now. We all love and miss you.