Donny Rogers

What can a girl say about her daddy?

If you knew mine, that answer is easy, but to find out that girl has just lost her daddy… that answer is hard, because he was so much more. He was a son, a brother, a grandfather, an uncle, and friends to so many.

If you knew my daddy, and I know so many did, then you already know how wonderful he was. How funny he was. How caring he was.

At least I know where he got it from… my Granny. God blessed me with such amazing people in my life, and I know she was waiting for him with arms open wide to greet him in Heaven with my Grandaddy and my cousin, Danielle by her side.

God, our Father in Heaven has called my daddy home and Heaven is now where he will reside.

There are always so many questions: the what if’s, the how’s and the why’s.

Those questions are hammering inside my head right now and tearing at my heart.

I am hurt and angry. I want to destroy things and tear my house apart. I want the pain and loss to be over so that the healing can start.

It’s always hard to lose a loved one, regardless of how it happens. When those are sick, and you know it’s coming… you have time to prepare yourself. I was not prepared. We were already planning for when we moved back to Tennessee next year. It was not supposed to happen this way.

I was just on the phone with my him and my mom two days earlier, planning our trip to the Pigeon Forge for Rod Run in April. They were so excited. We have so many amazing memories there. We were talking about the cars, when daddy mentioned the Ford Fairlane he had when he and my mom got married. I went to Facebook and found the picture.

I booked the rooms and then called my son. The trip was only going to be better. Michael was going to take leave and show up unexpected and drive them there to meet us.

It was the perfect gift. The perfect surprise. But it was ripped to shreds.

I was awakened this morning by my husband with tears in his eyes telling me I had to get up. “Why,” I asked. “You have to get up,” he said to me again. I got up to find my sister in my living room hugging my daughter and crying. Her words punched me in the throat. I screamed at her and fell to the floor. “Not my daddy.”

Not the strong stubborn man that has been through so much and kicked it all before. Not the man that was so proud of me for overcoming my own obstacles in life. Not the man that loves his wife, my mother, and takes care of her, even when he was unable to. Not the man that loves his three daughters unconditionally. Not the man that was so proud of his grandson when he entered the military. Not the man that took me and my friends to a concert and a Tennessee football game and enjoyed every minute of it. Not the man who took me to football games and always let me drive. Not the man that played Santa Claus when we were kids. Not the man that always stuck his tongue out when I wanted to take his picture. Not the man that would move Heaven and Earth for me if I needed something.

My daddy was like my Granny. They knew everyone and never met a stranger. They would each give you the shirt off their backs if you were in need. This is how I was raised. To love others and show compassion.

My daddy loved to fish. I still remember the first boat he had. It would stand straight up when he took off it was so fast. He let me drive. He taught me how to fish. He taught me how to ride a motorcycle and drive go carts. I remember stealing his tools when I was little. He taught me so many valuable things in life. He was the one that laughed at me when he let me shoot his Colt45 and I thought my hand blew off.

I remember the day when he called me to tell me he got baptized. I think that was one of the happiest days, because I know he is now in Heaven and that I will get to see him again one day. I think that is what will get me through this.

Before I started writing this, I was looking at some pictures I had posted on Facebook. The first one was from five or six years ago when my son took us all to Nashville to see the Predators hockey game. It was a picture of myself, my daddy, and my son. I broke into tears. Then I found the one he sent me when he had taken my mom fishing maybe 2 years ago. I still remember when he bought my Mustang I had for my mom. We all love our fast cars. I guess that’s where I got that from.

Daddy… I love you and my heart is breaking into a million pieces right now. And anytime I hear my song, “Brandy you’re a fine girl,” the song you named me from I will probably break down. If I hear the Doobie Brothers, Chicago, 38 Special or Journey playing, I will probably break down.

You were loved so much by so many and will be missed just as much. I still cannot fathom the feelings coursing through me right now. I just know that I love you more than you will ever know, and I will hold onto the memories in my heart and know that we will see other again when it’s time.