After I outgrew "Daddy" he was known to me as Daggett.
That's what I called him.
I think he got a kick out of it, too.
Didn't consider it disrespectful - instead, a term of endearment.
I give thanks to him for this.
You see, six years ago this Thanksgiving evening, he took his last breath.
A massive stroke took his life at age 84.
It was on that night that my sister and I lost our father.
And the grandfather of our children.
I give thanks that they were able to know and love him.
We buried him on the third anniversary of my mother's death.
Oh, how he missed her. He could barely survive alone.
I know that he just couldn't wait for the day he could reunite with his Babe.
I give thanks that he could finally be with her.
They were married for 63 years.
I give thanks to have been a part of those years.
He was a cute little toddler and grew to be a handsome man.
Growing up, he played baseball, basketball and football.
Football was his first love
and he could talk about each and every play like it happened yesterday.
I give thanks that he had such great memories.
There weren't too many things that he could not do.
He loved to putter in the yard.
At one time, he had his own landscaping company.
His business cards said "Don's Lawns."
I give thanks because he helped my yard look good, too.
He was pretty good with a hammer and a saw.
He turned an empty attic into a beautiful bedroom for me.
I give thanks for such a nice room to lay my head each night.
He told jokes and always messed them up.
Rarely could he remember the punch line.
He laughed more at the jokes than anybody else did.
But that didn't bother him.
I give thanks for his sense of humor.
He loved to go camping.
First at Barney Google in Sheffield, Pennsylvania.
Once my parents were empty-nesters,
he bought a truck with a camper shell on the back.
It was already 'camp-ready' but not the way he wanted it.
He completely re-did it and off they went.
Later, he upsized and bought a real camper.
Many weekends (mostly rainy ones) were spent in that camper.
He often took us with him.
I give thanks for including me in those weekends.
His passion, later in life, were making airplanes out of soda and beer cans.
I give thanks for his creativity - and for passing those genes down to me.
He was a fidgety one!
And sometimes (okay, lots of times) was a grumpy one.
I give thanks for the times he was sitting still and happy.
But he would give you the shirt off his back
and never think twice about it.
I give thanks for his selflessness and his generosity!
He was so very blessed to have lived a long life
where he was able to fulfill so many of his passions.
He was able to do some traveling - especially to Las Vegas.
Ohhhhhh, how he loved that place.
I give thanks for his long life.
He taught me so much during my years.
Lessons of value, about being kind and generosity.
I give thanks for those lessons.
I know in my heart that he was proud of me
and loved me from the bottom of his heart.
I give thanks for that love.