I always thought I needed Daddy most when I was young. Once I moved out of the house at a young age and was supporting myself pretty well considering, I actually was foolish enough to think I didn’t need him much. But when I did, he was always there for me. Even if not physically present, he had me. He was my person, my support, the one who loved me and would die to get or do anything I needed or asked. He always thought I was capable of amazing things, never doubted that I could do anything but always laughed when I chose the hard way. But now that dementia is stealing my Daddy and strokes and heart attacks have weakened him to the point of being bound to a bed in a nursing home and I am grown up and 42 with kids of my own to care for, I realize something. I need him now more than I ever did. I am not ready to be without my person. I thought I was ready for him to go be in Heaven all happy with God, singing again with his angelic voice. But I am not. There are mean people here. There are people who don’t grow up despite their age. There are people who are evil and destroy because they are miserable and can’t stand when others are happy. There is ugliness around all over. There are circumstances in which you must do things you don’t want to against everything your heart is screaming you need, you want. There are people that would just as soon rip out your heart as to risk hurting their own. There are challenges I never dreamed I would meet. 42 is scarier than any other age I have been. And here I am needing my strong bulldog daddy and he is descending. My time is spent trying to get him to remember anything and laugh as much as possible when what I need is him telling me again that he will kill anyone who harms me, he’s got me no matter what. I was never bad in his eyes, never wrong, never anything but beautiful and loved and accepted as I was and made to feel the most comfortable in the world. I could be me with Daddy. Now I would give anything for another round of advice I was good at trying to avoid. I would love to hear more stories he rarely offered. I wouldn’t even mind one of his rants about what is wrong with greedy politicians. And I wish I still had his Sweet 16 Rifle which about threw out your shoulder to fire or his 12 gage he taught me to fire so well. I wish I had more time. Yes, I can visit him but he is seldom home now. There are rare moments and those I cherish, but my fighter Daddy, my intense but relaxed hard working but soft hearted Daddy, who wanted to march down to school and tear apart any teachers who were mean to me even if they had every right to be. My Daddy, who would protect me from anything in the world or outside of it and really really could, He I miss. My safe zone, my protector, my provider whenever I needed anything, him I miss. I am on my own in a scary world and I feel like a helpless child standing alone in the rain without an umbrella, crying out for one of his enormous bear hugs quick before the ravenous wolves attack me. And there it is. Well meaning people remind me God is always there with me and I respectfully acknowledge that is true and I agree. But there is something magical in a great big bear hug that defies rational thought and overcomes the feelings of insecurity in this world that nothing else can do yet. And Daddy could give them and I miss that most, of all things. It was my ultimate sign of security, my understanding of love and protection. There is a crazy world with psycho people hell bent on harming me and those I love because they are miserable and sick and my bear is hybernating, bedding down for a long sleep. He descends and I am left to fight. He taught me but I still feel unsteady. I grieve for the loss of my fighting warrior. I am proud of who he was and who he is now I love and spend time with. But I still grieve for he cannot fulfill the roll of my champion right now when I need one. I need a champion warrior whose love for me goes beyond his comfort for himself. I grieve for this. I cry. Sometimes I laugh, especially with him. But I cry more now than I ever have. As he descends, I descend too. My heart hurts.