Someone told me that no matter how long you have loved someone, when the day comes that you must say goodbye, you realize that it was never long enough, and I know now how true that is.
From the day you became my precious Father until the day you left this world, you loved me totally and unconditionally, ever steadfast - my rock. The word '' generous'' could not begin to describe the depth of your love for not only me, but for all your family, from the oldest to the youngest, no matter when they became a part of your life or you became a part of theirs.
Throughout my entire life, you have been there for me - always so giving of your affection, your time, your advice, your wisdom, your encouragement, and so much more than I could ever begin to thank you for.
It is beyond comprehension how one man could give so much to not only their family but their friends, their church, their employees, their business associates, their community, as well as all the charities, and the countless children throughout the world that you and Mom have supported through the years, all of whose lives will be forever changed because of your loving, caring and giving heart.
You have seen me through all the seasons and experiences of my life, ever present to share in my joys, lift me in my sorrows, rejoice in my achievements, and pick me up and dust me off when I messed up - truly the most compassionate and forgiving person I have ever known.
And I find I am smiling through my tears, remembering your wonderful sense of humor and your wit and some of the things that you would come out with that were so priceless. I know anyone who is reading this right now who knew you is probably laughing thinking about that and that brings me so much joy.
The way you have lived your life has set the highest standard and example of integrity, decency, courage and values for me to follow, and if I lived for a million years, it would never be enough time to thank you for all the love expressed in so many countless ways that you have given me throughout my entire life, but I promise you to do my best as long as I live, to honor you by letting that gift of love shine through me to others, and to live my life in a way that would make you proud.
I know that your beautiful spirit is now home in the presence of our heavenly Father, and you are free from the suffering you endured with such grace in these last few years of your life. Heaven must surely be a brighter place because you have arrived, and I know that when you stood with Jesus face to face, you heard Him say that most beautiful phrase, '' Well done, my good and faithful servant. ''
I know that you are only as far away as a thought or memory of you, but there will never be a day that goes by for the rest of my life that I do not miss you and love you with all my heart, but I will hold fast to the comforting promise that I will be with you again one fine day in paradise.
Forever your loving and grateful daughter,