I discovered today that there is no seven. I have no recollection as to why, 365 days ago, I didn’t write about this day. 

8 years. 96 months. 424 weeks. 2,920 days. That is the time measurement that I have now lived on this beautiful earth without my daddy being a physical part of it. 8 years ago today.

Those of you that know me closest have heard me refer to some of the “unthoughtful” things that people can say in a time of crisis. I remember a well meaning friend saying “the worst part of this is that there will be a day in the future when you won’t remember the sound of his voice.” (um, yep, thanks for that). But, I am happy to report (and determined to prove her wrong) that I remember his voice in my head like he just called out my name from the other side of this house.

I can recall the sweet “There she is!” voice he would say as he lowered the foot rest on his leather recliner, getting up to hug me, as I walked in the door. (same chair I am sitting in right now, as a matter of fact).

I remember his purposeful, melodic voice singing “Silent Night” on Christmas eve.

I can recall his firm and frustrated rhetoric of “dadgonit” when our Clemson Tigers would mess up and more importantly his loud “alright” and high five when they would score. (and hugs for all when there was a touchdown!)

I will never forget the softness and love in his voice when he said “Bettie”, his favorite, my mom’s name. He would look her dead in the eye and say “How’s my gal?” as he held her tight.

I can hear his professional voice going in depth about a disease or a health outbreak. (people that have known us both say that my professional voice and presentation manner is the exact same as his).

There is the “argue with the current political situation reported by CNN” voice that I would be fine forgetting. It had a tone of its own. Never enjoyable to me. It wore me out.

I remember his “out of breath” voice when we would exercise and he would be trying to tell me something. Same voice that encouraged me and walked 8 miles by my side in a marathon. He crossed the finish line with me as I reached my goal. That voice “You did it!” was more precious than gold in so many ways.

I can clearly recall the time I talked back to him in the 3rd grade and what his voice did then. But, we won’t dwell on that one.

I can still hear him order ice cream, pray from the pulpit, and say the blessing at the dinner table. I can hear his “business on the phone voice” and his “talking to his parents long distance on the phone voice”. I can hear him say “Son” to Thom (my precious brother). And there is none much better than his unique “Good Morning” on December 25th ever year.

I have not forgotten his voice. I intend not to. I don’t really think there is much about him that I have forgotten.

In “The Colonel Chronicles” I continued to reference that I didn’t hate cancer and wasn’t mad at God. The same remains true today. As much as I miss The Colonel every day of my life, I want to follow God’s sovereign plan. This was His plan for my Daddy’s life. It was and continues to be very beautiful. There is beauty in the pain.

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

Keep working, Jesus, to fulfill your good purpose. Keep me from walking ahead of your plan and remind me to allow the Holy Spirit to mold me and make me in Your image. Most importantly, constantly me to listen for YOUR voice each and every day. That is the voice I never want to not hear or recall.

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