Today marks five months since my father has passed. Here is my latest journal entry:

Dear Dad,

I’m writing this letter to tell you that I think of you every day, and miss you even more. Many people who sent me cards when you passed told me to “find strength in my memories,” which is what I try to do.

Here are a few of my favorites…

How when I was younger, you would talk me into giving you footrubs for packs of grape Bubble Yum, and I would jump at the chance.

How you stayed up late helping me make a lamp for a science fair at school. I admired how you knew what to do and was proud to turn in that project.

How you saved the letters that your daughters wrote to you from the airplane when Mom, Michelle, Kris, and I went on Spring break. You couldn’t join us until later because it was tax season, and I would cry during part of those flights.

How you loved the hamburgers from a local pub. I remember bringing those to you with Mom and Michelle and having lunch at your office. I met you there for lunch a few years ago, and they didn’t quite taste the same. Yet, the company was just as good.

How as a teen you scolded me for wearing jeans with rips in both knees to a neighbor’s graduation open house. I tried explaining it was the look at the time, and you wouldn’t have any of it.

How that same neighbor told me after you died how you would offer to drive her home, even though she lived only three houses away.

How you would tease me that people in town would ask if you’re Deborah Honeycutt’s father, and you would reply with a laugh, “Never heard of her.”

How when we danced at my wedding, you held my hand in yours and led the way. And how I could tell you were a little embarrassed that eyes were upon us.

How you attached a silver pencil sharpener to the wall out in the garage, and I would run out there to sharpen my Number two when doing homework.

How I rarely saw you cry, yet I remember you doing so when we went back to see Grandma when she died. I will never forget seeing you shed some tears for your mother.

How every Valentine’s Day since I was a teen, you would send all of your daughters flowers. A vase of three red roses, because you had three girls. And how, for many years, your flowers were the only ones I’d receive.

How when I would call you, I would say, “Hey Dad, it’s your favorite.” And you would say, “Shel? Kristen?” knowing it was me all along.

I could go on and on, and you would be glad to know that both Griffin and Hayden remember you daily.

Out of the blue yesterday, Hayden told his doctor during an exam, “My Papaw died…he was so silly.” And Griff described you better than anyone during a recent conversation. He sighed, and said…

“Papaw was just…the BEST.”