Monday, February 6, 2012


On Saturday we said goodbye to my dad in a beautiful memorial service. I was so touched by how many people came to pay tribute. His service was standing room only and I am sure he would have been pleased to see that many of his friends in one place. There was an equal amount of crying and laughing, but much more than that there was love.

My brother and I both spoke and it was all I could do to get through my two minutes without breaking down. It took me a long time to decide what to say. Looking back there are things I wish I had added, but in the moment it was the best I could do. As my brother said during his speech, "How do you pay tribute to your dad with mere words? You can't".

This is what I said...

I remember very vividly that November night in 1999 when my parents called to tell me that my dad had cancer. I sunk down to the floor of my room in College Station and cried and cried. I remember wondering if he would be there to see me graduate from college or start my first job or walk me down the aisle or see me become a mother. At that moment, I honestly wasn't sure sure how to go on

But then, in typical Tommy fashion, he began to fight and together as family we moved on. I don't know why I ever had my doubts . He was, after all, the most competitive person I have ever met. He is the reason I can't play a card game "just for fun" or have to try to beat my time ever single run. I inherited it from him. And I have to say it is one of the finer qualities we share. 

Well that and our need to give everyone at least one nickname. I am sure he called half the people in this room by a name different than the one they were given. Drew and I realized a few months ago that our son Hayes didn't know his name because I called him too many things. My defense was, "take it up with my dad", I inherited it from him. 

One of the favorite things my Dad taught me, was to be spontaneous and enjoy every moment. It was in either 5th or 6th grade that we had a girl scout father daughter dance. Everything was great until my dad actually wanted to dance. I remember being so embarrassed. No one else was dancing. After a few minutes of watching me squrim. he said "Maggie darlin', we came to the party, we're gonna dance". And we did. And I had a blast. 

That is how my dad lived his life. 

He always wanted to make sure that everyone was having a great time. 

He took risks. 

He helped others. 

He loved his friends and is family fiercely.  

So now, I would like to thank him. 


Thank you for buying us a puppy, even though mom was out of town. 

Thank you for teaching me how to shoot a basketball. 

Thank you for understanding that the Reebok Pump Shoes were essential. 

Thank you for standing in the Toyota dealership parking lot for 2 hours while I decided between a blue and black car. 

Thank you for being the cool dad that always had the best music. 

Thank you for listening to me talk and talk and talk and talk. 

Thank you for always calling me back. 

Thank you for loving Drew.

Thank you for walking me down the aisle. 

Thank you for not wearing your tan fringe jacket to our wedding. 

Thank you for our wedding. It was perfect. 

Thank you for flying to Long Beach to help when I was on bed rest even though you really didn't have the strength to do so. 

Thank you for adoring my children. 

Thank you for opening your heart to faith. 

Thank you for fighting so hard, for so long. 

I miss you so much, sometimes it is hard to breathe. 

The last few days several people have said, "you know you were daddy's little girl". I do know, and I still am. 

I love you dad. 


  1. Thank you for sharing. That was beautiful and I'm sure it wasn't easy. Add patient to the list. He was always patient with me when I needed it most, but NEVER let me quit.

  2. This is so compelling, Maggie... I'm crying reading it.
    And in the last picture of your daddy on their wedding day, I see you looking back at me. Well, you with a mustache.

  3. You all are such an amazing family, and I'm so, so very thankful for the time I spent with your hilarious, fun-loving father. What a guy.

  4. Beautiful, Maggie. What precious moments to have captured as memories...and I know there were probably so many more for him, being your parent. I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family will certainly be in my prayers. Praying for comfort and in thankfulness...for such a fine example of love and family.

  5. That was so beautiful! Thank you for sharing.