It has taken a minute to write this post, it's very personal but I must write so I can move on in my life. I have been doing what I must each day but remain somewhat paralyzed by the loss of my Dad several weeks ago. Fully aware of his long time health challenges and impending demise, the loss has been and still is tremendous. Although I am likely oversharing, writing is cathartic. Stop now or read on, I must do what I must do for me on this journey called Life.
My Dad is Dr. Arthur E. Woodard. His life was a testament to hard work, persistence and unselfishness. My Dad came from very humble beginnings. He accomplished a lot through education in the traditional school classroom; the military and life. Because of his life's path, I realized, at an early age, there would be no acceptable excuse for me not being successful.
My Dad instilled in me the confidence to do anything I decided to do. He said it wouldn’t always be easy but the satisfaction of the accomplishment of a goal would be worth the sacrifice. There was a time during my adolescence when my Dad worked a full-time job and two part-time jobs to provide for our family and to pay for his postgraduate studies. I thought all little girls had fathers like mine.
Until October of this year, my Dad has always been in my life. As a little girl, I had tea sets, dolls and did girlie things. I was a cheerleader and a majorette. To my mother’s chagrin, I also played football with the boys in the neighborhood and went fishing and crabbing in the Gulf with my Dad. He told me I could do anything so I tried to do everything I wanted to do and to do things well that pleased him.
My Daddy told me that I never had to worry about anything. He told me that he and my Mom would make sure I always had a place to sleep and food to eat. He told me that I didn’t have to put up with anyone’s foolishness and disrespect whether it was on a job or in a personal relationship. Where many families expected their children to be out of the household by the time they were 21 years old, my parents, especially my Daddy, was the opposite. He said I didn't have to move out. He said I could always come home and so, over time, I did.
Now, when I return home each day, my Dad is not there. It’s a strange disconnected feeling that I’m sure other people experience when both parents are deceased. My Dad was the person I called before I called AAA when I had car trouble. He was the person who taught me how to repair things around the house. My Dad was the person I called when other people called me about helping their child with the application process at our alma mater, Florida A&M. My Dad, even during his illness, was the person our neighbors sought out for help with issues with the County. The list goes on and on.
I miss my Dad. I am logical enough to know that we all must leave this Earth as surely as we are born. I thank God for allowing me to be born to a wonderful Dad and Mom. I thank everyone who has helped me and is helping me through this difficult time of being a Daddyless Daddy's Girl.
My journey continues. Smooches…