Posts Tagged ‘Traci Walker’

My Daddy’s Faith

When I was seven years old and my younger sister was only four, our father was tragically killed in an automobile accident just two weeks after his twenty-seventh birthday. Mom was devastated and although we were really too young to understand what was going on, somehow I knew life would never be quite the same.

After about a year, my mom’s friends thought she should start dating and hopefully meet someone to fill the void in her life. Although mom was young and beautiful and certainly desirable, she was more interested in her girls and making sure our life was as comfortable as possible. We had a nice home, plenty of what we needed and all the love you could ask for, but we sure missed our father. Mom was lonely too, so just about every evening we would go to our grandparent’s house for a visit.

My grandmother, Nanny as we called her, had begun working part time at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Her boss was a nice young man named Charles who had recently moved to Tennessee from North Carolina where he was fresh out of college. His older brother had purchased two Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises and Charles was managing one of them. One day he asked Nanny if she knew any nice girls, to which she replied, "No, not a one!" We still laugh about her statement to this day! Mom, my sister and I decided to eat dinner at Kentucky Fried Chicken one evening and when Charles met my mom, he was interested in getting to know her better. To make a long story short, the two of them dated for a few months and decided to get married. My sister and I were so excited that we were getting a daddy. They had a quiet ceremony and we all went to the Smoky Mountains on a honeymoon.

That was just the beginning of 32 very wonderful years for us. We were never called or considered "step" children, but we were his girls from day one. My mother was a queen and we were princesses. Daddy soon left Kentucky Fried Chicken and became a banker, which he did for 28 years before retiring in November 2003. He was a very loved and respected member of our community, a deacon at our church and a man that we were so proud to call our Daddy. He was passionate about his relationship with God, his love for his family and was an avid golfer.

On October 29, 2004, we received news that would forever change our lives. Daddy had cancer. He had been living with Parkinson’s for over ten years and dealt with it head on just like everything else. He seldom complained and was determined to squeeze as much out of life as possible. The treatments did not work and as a result we knew our time was running out. I have never experienced such overwhelming agony as I did seeing my Daddy suffer and wilt away. I have also never seen such courage demonstrated as I did as he bravely faced his destiny with as much humour and determination as he could muster.

I will never forget the day I was spending the morning with him and he had gotten violently ill. Mom and I were sitting outside the bathroom in case he needed assistance. All of the sudden he began singing, "Just A Closer Walk With Thee." That was such an inspiration to me that even though he was facing death, he still had a song in his heart. Daddy went home to heaven seven weeks to the day that he was diagnosed, so on December 17, 2004, I said goodbye to a man that was more than a father – he was my daddy, not by blood, but by love and God’s plan.

By: Traci Walker