he should be here...

Ens. WJ Green, 1966, USS Higbee, the Tonkin Gulf off of Vietnam

He left this world way too soon. Life was just getting interesting. Sixty-three is far too young. For thirty years a silent killer waited to launch a war on his body. Maybe if he hadn't joined the Navy and served in Vietnam, he would still be here. No exposure to Agent Orange, no cancer.

But he loved this great country, so serve he did and it made him the man he was. He loved me from the first moment he knew of my existence. I was his first daughter. He was the first warrior to hold my heart. He fought hard to stay with us, to love my mother until their hair was grey and their skin was wrinkled like elephants.

He fought with honor, grace and humor.

I miss him more as each day goes by.

He should be here...

Easter 1968

But he's not...

He was wise, kind and very strong. He would argue for hours like the lawyer he was. Theology, law, rights and regulations or constitutional freedoms. Nothing was off limits. He never backed down and always had a smile on his face. He taught me how to live and love.

He would laugh and it would engulf the entire room. He never met a stranger and considered my mother his best friend and holder of his heart. She was his beloved.

In three weeks his eldest granddaughter will "graduate" from school and he should be there, standing next to me, cheering her on. He would be the loudest in the room with his booming "Thunderdome" voice.

May 1970

Maybe I feel this loss so strongly this year because we almost lost her. This saying goodbye...this letting go. I was not ready three weeks ago let alone eleven years ago. He was there in the beginning holding her and loving her bald little head that looked just like his as he battled the disease that would eventually take him home to God. He was there to witness to a miracle for his granddaughter. He should be there surrounding my girl with all of his Irish love, yelling her name across the room like he did her mother's more than 30 years ago. He should be blowing the conk shell that has been a Green Family tradition since her Uncle graduated from high school.

But he won't be...and that breaks my heart.

Daddys and daughters...they are a thing of beauty and I miss my Dad something awful. Eleven years ago today, at 6:02 p.m. my father, William J Green took his last breath, surrounded by those he loved the most.

The Family - May 1984

I miss you Daddy. I miss your hugs the most. They could take your breath away but I have never felt so loved than in those moments. Then there was the way the rosary beads would jingle in your pocket. Mother Mary was always with you, no matter what was happening in life. You were not perfect by any means, but you always had faith and hope for a better day.

So, even if you can't be there in person on Courtney's special day, I know your spirit will surround your girl as she takes the next step in her incredible journey. One day the two of you will dance in heaven surrounded by a choir of angels.

Easter 1993

Until then I will do my best to love her as you taught me to love.

Without fear and full of hope for the future God has planned for her.