This is my daddy. He was the best daddy a kid could have asked for. He wasn't perfect, those who really knew him could tell you that, but he was my daddy and I was his little girl.
Even as I got older that never changed, I was always his little girl and he was always my daddy. His family, the four of us, he, my momma, my baby brother and I, were the most important things in his life.
He did everything for us. His whole life was about us. We were his world and he was ours. That was truest for my momma more than any of us.
He was her whole life from the time she was 18 years old. The two of them have been fighting through this life, doing whatever it takes to make it, to take care of their kids and each other, together, for the last over 40 years.
It has always been the four of us. As life changed for the extended parts of our family, my moms side and my dads side, spending holidays together and then through the years people
away, spending less and less time together, marriages, births, divorces.....no matter the changes in the other parts of our extended family, the four of us remained strong in our little family, always the four of us, doing what we could to stay together, to take care of each other, to love each other, always the four of us, always.
We struggled often, we didn't have much of anything, not much money, not many friends, not always other family around. No, we didn't have much but we always had each other, the four of us, always the four of us. I know there were times when we had more than other times but I don't remember that, or when we did or didn't have more than at other times. I remember the fun we had. I don't really remember how many homes we were evicted from or how much in debt we were. I remember trips together to watch fire works in San Angelo when we stayed at the hotel with a pool inside.
I remember going to the Living Desert in Carlsbad and seeing the caverns and accidentally locking myself out as I tried to catch fire flies while my parents played mini golf next door with baby brother still inside, asleep on the bed. I remember huddling up in the bath tub with a mattress on top of our heads as a tornado passed over us. I remember the Thanksgiving we spent together when it snowed in Midland and I showed how much of a baker I truly was not with my famous pumpkin pie (that apparently includes more than just plopping the contents of a can into a pie shell and calling it done). I remember torturing my little brother when mom and dad weren't home, at the times when they trusted me with his well being and possibly shouldn't have.
I remember countless summers in Rankin out at "The Land", as we called it, BB-Q'ing, riding 4 wheelers, playing in places we were likely told not to, making club houses, making trouble, making memories.
On Friday, August 28th, I was forced to say goodbye to my daddy...not my dad, not my father, not my pops or any other moniker for the man who called me his little girl, my daddy.
He was larger than life to me and I honestly thought he was tougher than anything out there in the world. I saw my dad crush a tarantula in his bare hands and swallow the worm at the bottom of a bottle of tequila and literally never go to the doctor for being sick or injured....I thought my daddy could never die...deep down inside I really believed that I think. I've always been a daddy's girl and I thought I always would be. He sent me flowers and chocolates for Valentines day and Mother's day and never missed seeing me or his grandson on our birthdays. He spoiled my mom with jewelry for pretty much every gift giving type of holiday. He took amazing care of her when she got really sick and we honestly thought we were going to lose her.
He never lost his patience with her in the hospital when she wasn't herself, when even I wanted to scold her for being mean to him...he wouldn't let me. All he said was it's ok, not she doesn't mean it, or she's not herself or anything else, because he didn't care, it was just ok. Seeing the way my dad was with mom at that time really took me back because I've never known him to be a patient man but my mom was everything to him so he did whatever he needed to do to get her better and make her feel loved.
He has always been so proud of my little brother. He's always texting me about things he's doing, the cars he buys, the trips he takes. There's a very special relationship with a father and a son. He loved my brother so much and always knew he could count on him for anything. My brother and I always knew we were loved very much by both our parents. Sometimes I forget that not all parents are like that. They were always proud of us, no matter what and always behind us in whatever decisions we made. I never realized not all parents do that either. I've always known how great they are and I've always been thankful for them both but when you lose a parent you truly realize how much you took for granted.
How much time you could've but didn't spend, how many pictures you should've but didn't take because you thought there would always be a next time. I wish I would've hugged my daddy around the neck more and called more and gone to see him more and made him come see me more, and texted more and emailed more....I would give absolutely anything for more time. It still doesn't feel real and I still can't truly wrap my head around any of it. My daddy was the best daddy and I will never get over losing him, especially the way we did. I'm so forever grateful despite the horribleness of it all, that he waited for us to all be together again before he left....just the four of us, always the four us.
Howard Wayne Blair, born November 26th, 1957, husband to the wife he loved so very much, Sheliah, his angel, father to the son he was so close to and so very proud of, Dillon, and to his first born, me, Daddy's Little girl. He left us suddenly and unexpectedly August 25th, 2020. We were together, just the four of us, always the four of us.