Rest in Peace, Dad You Will Be Missed

It always comes down to an empty chair. My father always sat in the same chair watching television and doing crossword puzzles.
Now, I am sitting in the chair waiting for him to enter the living room and tell me to get out of his chair. He used to do that to anyone who sat there.

Alas, as of Wednesday, he will not ever say those words to me.

No more will I hear, “I’m still breathing” when we are on the road and mom calls to talk to us.

No more will I hear his jokes, see his sly smile, or smile myself as he asks mom, “Is that all you’re going to do today?”

Gone are the jokes about how pain medicine gets confused if you have more than one ache, or how he will never die because his liver was preserved by the alcohol he drank.

I will miss him trying to give the phone to mom when I call on Father’s Day or his birthday.

Then, there is mom. Even though I have known her to be great at putting up a front, the facade cracked and she’s a total wreck. Taking care of dad when his health was declining has taken its toll. Even though I want to break down with her, I have to be strong for her now.

Dad in Vietnam

My father passed away quietly from the damage that Agent Orange did to his body. Mom and I found out he was exposed to that cursed chemical eight different times.

I know no one lasts forever, but seeing him go from the strong, funny, and energetic person I knew to a shell of his former self unable to walk two feet without being out of breath gutted me. I can only imagine what mom went through.

So, I will end this post with the following:

Sandalio Ivan Rodriguez, a dedicated husband, loving father, and Vietnam Veteran has ended his tour of duty on Wednesday, January 26, 2022. He passed beyond the veil at 6:00 PM CST. He leaves behind his daughter Anissa and wife Marta. 
May he join his family, friends, and fellow brothers-in-arms in heaven. 
You will be missed. 

Anissa “Maddy” Walker

P.S. Someone is cutting onions, and it’s getting hard t type through the tears.


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