My Father was the most amazing man in my life. No one will ever take his place as long as I am on this Earth. I'm crying right now, but in a happy way because I know my daddy is with me. And I know so many people loved him so dearly and the news of his death is unbelievable to us all. He touched so many lives, and he has changed my life forever. I am a new person now, and there is no more he could have taught me as a human being.
Before he died, my sister was about to hear back from the college, University of Oregon. He was so proud of her. He loved and still loves her so much, as he loves me and my mom. He was the love of my Mom's life and watching her cry is the hardest thing I have ever had to endure in my lifetime. I know that my life will go on, and this will be the hardest thing I have ever faced--truthfully the only difficult thing I have ever faced. He gave me anything and everything--he gave me unconditional love. All he ever wanted was to be happy, and to make us happy. We were his world--we were his three girls. But as he watches down on our family from heaven, he IS smiling and he knows that we are going to be all right, because we have to be. We have to get through this. Things in life happen for reasons that we just CANNOT understand. But if anyone would, my Father would be one to tell us that there IS life after death. We have to grieve for the ones we love, and we have to set their souls free. But it sure will be hard. I miss him so much already.
My Father was the bravest, wisest, happiest man I will ever meet in my life. He was the only man I know that truly practiced what he preached. He was the man I turned to whenever I needed a real smile and a laugh. I never believed this could ever happen to the one person who was truly perfect. Life does some crazy things, but God does not give us more than we can handle. Daddy will be remembered for years to come, and he has left a legacy on this Earth that will never be forgotten as long as I'm living. He touched over 35 million people in his life, and he really did live an amazing 46 years. He did more than ten men would ever do in a lifetime.
December 13, 2006.* Richard Carlson: Lover, Father, Brother, Friend. You have touched us all in a way that will never be forgotten. You changed my life, Daddy. I always said that I could never live without you. And I know now, that as much as I feel like I am going to fall and die, I will make it for you. You live through me and the people you love. Your soul is here with me, guiding me all the way.
Someday, when I turn 16 and get my car, I'll think of you. When I turn 21, I'll go to Vegas like we had planned and I'll think of you. When I get married someday, I'll think of you. You'll be with me. You are not leaving, and I am not willing to let go of you or your love. When I talk to my grandchildren, I'll be sure to tell them of the amazing and wonderful man I came from, and they came from too.
My life has changed in a way that I can't even believe. But I am so very grateful for the ones I love, and I am so blessed to have such an amazing sister, mother, and Father ... who lives on forever.
They say, "Only the Good Die Young," and Daddy, God must have really needed his angel back this time. I love you. R.I.P*