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See Ya Later, Dad

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August 01, 2022 | NATIONAL Didymus McHugh, Correspondent

There are many times that we do not know how to say that we love someone and then it is too late. Many people have been around people who say that it is not manly to show emotion or that it is a sign of weakness. Well, I have seen too many people that had challenges because they could never process their emotions or refused to go through their grieving process.

We have relatives, friends, people that we work with or people that we are used to see that mean so much to us, but we fail to say the words that clearly express how we feel. I truly appreciate the people that are in my life and sometimes I miss the mark. We have all had people that leave our lives without us expressing how much they mean to us or how they have effected our lives.

My father for a while was ill but still made it to certain meetings, so that we could see each other. I knew that it could be any moment that I may never see him again, so before we left each other, I would tell him that I loved him. His initial response was "why do you think I come to these meetings" and over time he told me back that he loved me. In his weakened state, a week before he passed, we saw each other. He grabbed me, from his wheelchair, he hugged tight and cried and told me that he was sorry. No wake or memorial can do better than that moment.

There are still things that I would like to talk with him about and share, so please indulge me.


Farewell, I appreciate having you in my life more than I can express. I have learned so much from you. It was not until I joined the fire department that I really got to know you. As I was growing up, you were always working two jobs and then the police and fire department but still made time to sit with on days I would take the bus.

You were one of my instructors in the fire service. You may not have taught me in the fire academy but you taught things that many instructors did not teach. One of the things that you taught me was how to think for myself. I was so glad that you were my lieutenant, when I joined truck, and was later my captain.

We went into fires as partners and at times went in with no gear. You even rode with me on a few ambulance calls and saw some of the other work that I did.

I am sorry that we never got our picture taken together but that does not matter. Nobody can ever take away the memories of walking the boardwalk at the convention or having breakfast at the Olympic or having a container of coffee and a buttered roll or time spent together at the firehouse or at different association meetings.

I always looked forward to the meetings, in the later years, because that is when we got a chance to catch each other up, on what was going on in our lives.

I know that most men do not say "I love you" to another man but as you said you showed up. It was not until the last two years that you finally said the words and the last year that I remember a hug. The hugs that you gave me the last time that I saw you were so strong, nobody can ever give me a hug that will ever mean so much. You told me that you were sorry but it is all good. There is nothing to be sorry about.

Thank you for letting me have the honor and privilege of praying with you.

You will continue to live in my heart and memories and you are part of me and in my habits. I was told that grandpa, you and I look alike, talk alike, walk alike and tell the same stupid jokes, so you and grandpa are definitely part of me

You were always a hardworking man and you had dreams and goals that you were not capable of pursuing. Sometimes I wonder where you joy was. Was it in the days that you served in the navy or the brotherhood of firefighters and police that were part of your life?

We rode truck together and many times it did not seem that there was any danger, as long as I knew you had my back, no matter what situation.

You will always be in my heart because you are a big part of me and helped lead me on the path of serving others.

Dad, I will see you when I get reassigned to the Lord's station.

Until we answer the next alarm together, I know you got my back.

Stay safe,

Didymus McHugh 103

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Didymus McHughCorrespondent

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