There are some things in your life you expect will be there forever

I always thought my Dad would be there.  I’m not sure if it is proper blog “etiquette” to share something so personal or not upbeat and happy but I need to make a tribute to my Dad who lost his battle with cancer yesterday evening.  I need to do this for him but also for my heart. 

My Dad was a military man, a soldier’s soldier, who gave 30 years of distinguished service to his country.  As a “military brat” I learned from him the value of service and to have gratitude for those who serve.  I learned sacrifice for country and I learned anything worth doing was worth doing right. 

He was also a son, a father, a brother, a husband, a father-in-law, a grandpa and me and my sister’s daddy.  Because he didn’t have sons or perhaps because he was trying to equip me for life he taught me how to fix my car when it broke down, how to chop wood and how to pull myself up by my bootstraps and keep pushing when life threw me curve balls. 

He had a sensitive side too.  He always claimed not to like cats but I caught him more than a few times petting the family cat early in the morning when he thought no one was watching.   ;)

One of my earliest memories is when I was 4 yrs old and he brought home a teddy bear for me that had felt eyelashes and a little pom-pom belly button.  It was the belly button that caught his eye and caused him to purchase it.  The eyelashes and the little belly button are long gone after many years of being squeezed and cuddled but I still have the teddy bear.  It makes me smile, everytime I look at it, remembering the day the soldier came home and gave it to his little girl.

I know as the days go by I will have many more memories that come to mind but those are the ones that jump out at me at this moment. 

In the last four years of his life he was blessed to be married to Susan, a woman who stood by him and loved him .  He told me in our last phone call that the times with her were some of the happiest of his life.  I am grateful to Susan for the love and care she gave him, for her strength in battling with him and battling for him when he couldn’t battle.  He was blessed by her presence.  Thank you Susan. 

I will miss you Dad.  I know you are in Jesus’ arms now, hearing a choir of angels, at peace after a soldier’s final battle.  See you on the other side.  I love you!

April 13, 2009 - 1:40 pm Deb Gunsch - Hey Maria, I just got back on your site and noticed this blog. I'm so sorry. Having just gone through this with my mom, I know how hard it is. She died from Brain tumor/cancer the day after Christmas, so it's been a hard time since then. I'll be praying for you and your family. Love, Deb

April 8, 2009 - 9:35 am ang - Oh Maria... What a full and long life your father had. From your story he sounds like a wonderful man who will be fondly remembered. Beautiful memories at that. Sweet little bear. And big hugs to you.

April 8, 2009 - 12:18 am Maria Ramos - Maria, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You wrote a beautiful tribute to your Dad that brought tears to the eyes of this "military brat." Your Dad sounds like a wonderful man and I hope all the beautiful memories that come to you over the next days and weeks will help heal the hurt in your heart, and leave in its place the calm peacefulness that comes with the rememberance and celebration of a life well-lived.

April 7, 2009 - 10:59 am Cheryl - I'm sad to hear of your loss Maria (((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))!

April 6, 2009 - 10:30 pm Nicheli Altamirano - Maria, I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful story about your father. Now I understand a little more why you wanted me to thank my fiance about what he does for our country. Your dad was and will always be a hero to so many people. Thank you so much for the beautiful thank you card you sent me. It really made me feel so special. I don't have a wedding date yet. Unfortunately! But I hope to be in contact with you soon. Take Care and God Bless you and your family.

April 5, 2009 - 2:07 pm Hannah Rodriquez - Hi Mrs. Butterfield I will be praying for you and your family.

April 4, 2009 - 9:25 pm Susan - What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. He loved you very much and so do I. Thank you for the beautiful words. See you soon.

April 4, 2009 - 4:37 am Luke Arms - Thanks for sharing this. A fitting tribute, it seems, for a man I didn't know but somehow respect. May your pain over his loss ease a little each day. Luke

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