As I sit here I think about all of the Father Day’s that have passed by without you. There are so many things that I wish I could do with you but I can only dream. How I wish I could just spend the day with you. How I would love for the kids and I to take you out to dinner. I imagine seeing your smile or hearing your voice. There is so much I want to say to you. But I am thankful for the people who work hard to keep his memory alive.

I can recall a time when I was grocery shopping with my youngest daughter and ran into a friend of my father’s. The man was following me down the aisle of the store and I was beginning to get paranoid. I was thinking to myself why is this dude following us? Finally he approached me and asked, “who is your father?” I then told him Chris Ushry and he began to cry. I didn’t know what to say or do. I looked in his eyes and I could see the pain he was feeling. Right now I can’t even remember his name because I was so emotional watching him. He said, “your father was a great man and I miss him dearly.” I could feel my eyes flooding with tears. He then began to share how in school he was the outcast and my dad was his only true friend. How my father always took up for him and wouldn’t allow others to taunt him. He then said, “your dad was a gentle giant but others knew not to mess with him.” He wanted me to know that my father had a heart of gold. No he wasn’t perfect but he was a man of great character. Then he shared with me how when his family turned their back on him because of trouble that my father was right there to help him. He ended the conversation with letting me know that my father loved me more than anything this earth had to offer him. I cried the whole time he talked and as he walked away.

I shared that story to say this it’s stories like these that help me through the rough times. When I am missing my father like I am right now I can always think back to these stories. Knowing that he touched so many people and that he loved me makes me smile. Although I can’t see his face or hear his voice I can smile knowing that he was a loving man. It’s been 37 years since he left this earth and I still love hearing stories about my father. I now share those same stories with my children in order to give them a sense of who he was as a man. My mother made a album for me which was destroyed during a flood. I was devastated but some loving family members have offered to give me photos to make another one. I can never share the pain you feel as a widow but I can share the pain of a child. As a child I use to make cards on different holidays and put in my daddy box. This was therapy for me and it allowed me to feel close to my father. Now that I am older I make a bouquet of flowers and put on his grave. I sit there for a while and just share with him all that has happened in my life this past year. Some say I should stop doing that but I will never stop having that time unless my health keeps me from doing it. So tomorrow I will spend part of my time talking with dad as I do every year.

As I close out I want to say for those with children hold them tight as tomorrow may be hard for them. And in holding them prayerfully it will give you comfort as well. Try to surround yourself with love ones that can help you to make it through tomorrow. Peace and Blessings to you all.