“My dad is gone. Covid-19 took him.
My mom died when I was 12, and my dad found himself a single dad of 6 children. He met and married my step-mom Cheryl, and together they took care of us. He did his best to instill good values in us. I was never taught to hate. He showed love to everyone he met.
Growing up in the Deep South, there was plenty of racism to go around, but I never understood it because my dad wasn’t like that. He didn’t care what color a person was. He gave people opportunities that others wouldn’t. He taught me about Jesus Christ. And not just by word, but by actions. His life was filled with service. He served even when it was hard. He didn’t even think about if it would be inconvenient for him or give him anxiety. He served because it was the right thing to do. He taught me and my 5 siblings the value of hard work.
From the time I was 12 years old, my dad was taking me to work in his office. I worked every summer after that. Because of that experience, I was able to get a good office job in college, and I am grateful. We worked in the garden and in the yard. There was always something to do, and he taught us how to do it. But we had plenty of fun, too.
One of my favorite memories is when my dad let me ride with him on one of his business trips down to Mobile, Alabama. It was just me and him. I felt so special. I bet I talked his ear off, but he never made me feel like I was a burden.
There are a lot of things that I’m not sure about in life, but one thing I know for certain is that my daddy loved me. He took care of me and watched out for me. He let me fail sometimes, so I could learn from my mistakes. He never made me feel unwanted. He loved my babies. He worried about us and worked hard to provide for us.
He was an amazing man, and I feel so blessed to have had him in my life. He has been the best daddy any girl could ask for. I will miss his hugs and his terrible rendition of happy birthday every year (it really was the worst), but what an honor it has been to be his daughter.
I hope that the rest of my days on this earth are spent making him proud on the other side. And one day when I see him again, I’ll get that big ole Daddy hug that I’ve been missing, and he’ll kiss my forehead, and say, ‘I love you, sugar babe.'”
– Johanna Brown
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