My Father Walter Porter was born Sept 11, 1927 and died August 7, 2001. I had the opportunity to read my tribute to him about 6 months before he had his stroke in 2000. I also read this at his Celebration of Life. My father’s reaction, “He cried, which in turn made me cry.”
As you sit and I read the title of this paper, you may be pondering, “Why on earth would I title this paper as such?” Well, to be quite honest with you dad, I was driving down the street a few days ago, and the thought of writing my father a tribute was dropped into my spirit. So many people give living tributes after their loved and admired one’s are in the comforting arms of our Lord. Your failing heart woke something up in me, and I felt pressed to give you the contents of mine, so that you may know how I feel about you and how your life has touched mine. I don’t want to wait for the day that I won’t be able to see your face. I want my tribute to be given to you while you are here, so that I can see the expression on your face. I would write a tribute, and read it on that blessed day to a congregation of folks, but why? I don’t think I could live with myself knowing that I didn’t say all I wanted to the one whom I cherish.
Daddy, all my life I wanted you to be proud of me. I craved to hear the words, “I am proud of you.” Well you told me the other day with heartfelt tears that you were proud of me. I felt at peace to know that I am on track. I want to let you know that I am proud of you too. I have never once, not been proud of you, even when you would walk down the hallways of my Jr. High wearing your 70’s style plaid suit. I was proud of you when you earned your doctorate degree. I was proud of you when you retired with honorable mentions. I was proud of you when you celebrated your 25th and now 44th wedding anniversary. I was proud of you every time you were in a position of leadership and on the different organization advisory boards. I am proud of you now for just being my daddy.
|Dad was w/Salvation Army Advisory Board for 24 years
I admire you with all your tenacity for living and your admirable life. I admire your strength, the love you have for life, and how you share your experiences with others so that they may learn from them. I have never seen you once, not wanting and not able to help someone in need. You always go the extra mile to touch a life; while improving it. My life you have touched. I could live 100 years and could never fill the shoes that you have set before me to walk, but you have given me a great example to live by.
I know I was slow in pursuing my education, but because of you, I knew I had time. I always kept it in mind that you completed your bachelors at 39. I learned from you, that there is no obstacle that can’t be overcome.
In writing this tribute, I need to say, “thank you.” Thank you for all the memories we have shared. Thank you for the more than half-eaten McDonald hamburgers you shared with me for lunch. Thank you for the outing to Lake Murray when I was little. Catching those polliwogs was fun, but why couldn’t we take them home? Thank you for your encouragement when I ran the 440, and I actually won the race. Thank you for your discipline of love, even though you thought it went through one ear and out the other. Thank you for the tires you replaced on my car, and the old tapes that play in my head about having jumper cables, a blanket, and flashlight in the trunk. Thank you for the NAACP meeting you dragged me to, (I actually enjoyed the attention, and the candy store down the street.) Thank you for the trips to the Salvation Army thrift shop to by my clothes for school, (You always were looking for a deal.) Thank you for scaring me with Jodie, the dummy, I shall never forget. Thank you for entertaining my elementary school with Jodie, and playing your bongo drums, (It made me feel special.)
Thank you for my first job at the Starlight Opera, I learned every show tune. Thank you for the Bon-Bons at the movies; (Why did I only get one?) Thank you for your never-ending love you have for me, no matter where I’ve been in my life. Thank you for standing by me during my times of struggle, (you didn’t even run.) Thank you for your sense of humor, and the joy you seem to give. Thank you for the times you would wash my hair; (I just couldn’t stand the twisting to get the water out.) Thank you for your patience when I would sing two hours in the car to Los Angeles; (and it was always the same old song.) Thank you for the time you carried me into the house after a long trip, (I really was not asleep), but who wouldn’t want their daddy to carry them in while feeling secure. Thank you for the outfits you have adorned me with, just like mom. (You know I couldn’t wait till I was old enough where you would buy me some.) Thank you for being a wonderful grandfather to my children and the quarters you’ve handed out. But most of all thank you for being the most wonderful dad; a daughter could have, and wouldn’t want to be without.