Kimberly, my sister, asked me to post this for her, since she's having difficulty accessing her own blog right now:
You have given me the things that only a parent can give . . . discipline, structure, knowledge, and unconditional love. You and Mom brought a joy for life and music that infused the world in which I lived and neither of you paled when discussing the life of the 1960s and 1970s and all of the changes that took place. You taught me and you guided me, but you never faulted me for my beliefs. For that I am one of the lucky ones and you served me well.
I made my choices – be they good or bad – and somehow you continued to allow me to be who I was and supported me in spite of my decisions. Because of how you guided and supported me, I am now who I am – strong, compassionate, joyous and desiring to support the community in which I live. And I am eternally grateful for the teachings that you gave to me.
When I see you and Mom, I see her as a strong buffer that kept us all somehow stable from the winds of change; and you supported her in those efforts. You not only guided your family, but you also guided the community. You became a beacon of light that led so many people to their own internal place that was home as well as an interpersonal realm of ‘home’ within their community. You are a true hero; a generous man who never ceased to give of himself –
be it home, neighborhood, or community. You were, and are, a great man and I am honored in so many ways – you are my father, you are our neighborhood, and you are a pillar of our community. I don’t just love you, but I respect you in all of your aspects and I am a better person because of not only who you are but also because of what you have done for our family and how you have pushed the world into a better place.
You are my hero and if I can be only half the person that you are then I know that I have succeeded way beyond the expectations that anyone could achieve.
You have taught me that each day provides an opportunity; a chance to be who you are and to make a difference in the world. You are truly a new day rising and a chance to be all that you can be.
For all that you have done that has changed my life and all that you will continue to do to mold and shape me, thank you from my heart and soul. I will never forget and will always grow because of who you are.
I love you from the bottom of my heart and I cherish you from my soul,
“I, am a new day rising
I’m the brand new sky
To hang stars upon tonight
I, am a little divided
Do I stay or run away
And leave it all behind
It’s times like these you learn to live again
It’s times like these you give and give again
It’s times like these you learn to love again
It’s times like these, time and time again”