When I think back to my earliest memories in life I see three people. My mother, my great grandmother and you.
I see pictures of myself with my biological father but I don't have a single memory of him. Only of you, my dad. Having you as a father wasn't always easy. You weren't perfect. You yelled, you were stubborn and you didn't come to every choir performance or school event. With that said, there was never a single moment in life where I thought "my dad doesn't love me."
I remember when I was 18 and I had just gotten out of a bad relationship. I had to move back home, and that first night you came into my room and gave me a long talk. You told me that I was worth so much more than I thought I was. That talk you gave me has stuck with me ever since. After that, I had met a few men here and there but I stopped settling. Eventually I met Kodi and fell in love.
You actually liked him! It was so weird to me because you never liked any of my boyfriends. I think you just knew that he was a good man. I remember so vividly how happy you were on our wedding day. The whole evening you were smiling, laughing, dancing and enjoying yourself. I will never forget your face on that day.
When we had Sophia you were such a great Papa. She loved you so much. She was only 3 months old when you had your embolism and were taken to Sacred Heart. We lived in that hospital waiting room for what seemed like forever. Not knowing if you would ever get to come home. But by the Grace of God you did.
That's when the seizures started and you were diagnosed with Epilepsy. We were all terrified. Constantly watching you. Making sure we eliminated your triggers (like ceiling fans.) Every time you had a seizure we thought we were going to lose you. It was a constant fear in all of our lives.
Kodi and I got pregnant again and had Genna and once again you were a great Papa. I remember Sophia went though a stage where she was scared of you. The day before you passed away I called you and asked if you'd like some company. You said yes so the girls and I drove to your house. I took Sophia out of her carseat and set her on the sidewalk about the same time you were coming out of the house. She saw you and instead of being scared and hiding behind me her face lit up and with her arms wide open she ran straight into your arms. I could see how happy that made you.
One day later you were all working at the house you were trying to sell. I was home with the girls when I got a call from mom saying you had a seizure and weren't coming out of it. I loaded the girls into the car and started driving. I ended up pulling into the home depot parking lot and sobbing while Liz (who had taken the phone from mom) just kept saying "He's still not breathing, he's still not breathing."
I pulled myself together and drove to the house and parked my car. The ambulance was there but the paramedics were standing around. No longer trying because it was too late. You were gone. I stepped out of the car and Liz ran to me and we hugged and we cried. I went to the room to tell you goodbye and I never wanted to leave. I wanted to stay in that room forever, holding your hand. I knew once I left that room I would never see you again.
You died days before my birthday.
I was angry. Not at you, but at life. Our family had seen so much death and we were just so tired. Grandma Gracie, Grandpa Richard, Grandma Hart, Grandpa Conway, Uncle Woody, Grandpa Ed and others. Loss was not new to us but losing you was another level of loss. A level that we never wanted to be at.
I will say that I am so thankful for that extra time after your hospital stay that we got with you. I still tell the girls how much you loved them and Sophia still remembers her Papa. She knows that you are in Heaven and that you are in her heart. You are in all of our hearts.
Thank you for being the best dad that you could be.
I love you and I miss you.
In memory of my Father, Robert W Busherd