Sunday, August 14, 2011
My father has always been there. From the first moment that I was aware of a world beyond myself, of a sky above and the need for nourishment, he was there. I’ve never known a day in which my father didn’t love me, protect me and support me with all that he had. There was a time that I feared being left alone, feared not having constant support. I would occasionally imagine life without my parents and cry. Thankfully that day never arrived, until now.
I am so much like my father. The outside observer knows instantly that we are related. We share the same slight build, long legs, slender arms, and high cheekbones. We share many of the same characteristics as well. We are simple in nature but fight a tendency to complicate. We are level headed and abiding in general with a short fuse that shows itself on occasion. We try not to judge and look for the best in our contemporaries. We are not particularly religious, but rather use reason to answer our questions and guide us.
My father believed in a quiet life filled with hard work and a mantra of doing the right thing no matter what. I strive to follow that philosophy. I attempt to follow the high road even when the alternative beckons. I believe that my father held the dream for a more adventurous life and I’d like to think that I fulfilled that part of his cravings.
My father taught me what was right and wrong by example, not by words. He encouraged me to shoot for the stars and not accept mediocrity. He supported me early on in every manner possible, praising me and correcting me as needed. He never laid a hand on me, instead he disciplined with a slow shake of the head that showed his disappointment when I had chosen poorly. To disappoint my father was the ultimate shame. That was penalty enough.
I will miss seeing my dad physically, but visually I will see, remember, and experience him many times throughout each day. He is a part of me. I am a part of him. We have a connection that will never wane.
Thank you Dad for instilling in me the basics in which to live by and for being there day in and day out for 46+ years. Thank you for introducing me to a balanced way to live life. Thank you for loving me and being proud of me. Thank you for introducing me to the game of golf that has molded my life in so many positive ways. I am honored and thankful to have had someone as unconditionally loving and caring as you.
Please know that I will take care of mom and make sure she transitions well to a life without you. After 63 years together, it isn’t going to be easy. I will be there to help her in any way possible. Together you two became one and will forever be my inspiration for dedication and persistence. A day won’t go by that I won’t miss you or thank you for all that you’ve done to help me become the person I am.
I am my father’s daughter forever.
Dale Cockerill B 12/21/24 D 8/12/11