My First Love……….


My dear Daddy was the first man I ever loved…………  He taught me so many things about life!  He taught me to fish and love boats.  He taught me that “You better learn right now, girl — that life is not always fair!”  He taught me to love books & learning – “Books are your friends”.   He taught me about love – love of country, love of family, and most important of all — love of God.

Last week, my Daddy walked through Heaven’s gates & into the arms of the Heavenly Father he loves so much, at the age of 82.  Its been such a privilege to share my life with him.  I will miss him every day, for the rest of this life.  But, I know that we will be together for all eternity.

I debated about sharing something so personal with all of you — but I decided that I couldn’t be “real” without sharing this part of my journey.    And I wanted you to know why I have been “missing in action” from my blog post and other social media.   I’m still with my Mom in Florida, trying to help her with the details & decisions one has to deal with at a time like this.    I plan to return home this weekend and return to my life, and the “new normal” without Daddy on earth.  He always supported me in my business endeavors & encouraged me to take risks.  So, I will always try to follow the mandate he left — it was on the bottom of the Funeral Home papers & instructions — in his own handwriting – “Live life to the fullest!”

Hugs, Terri

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  1. So sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family.

  2. I just recently discovered your blog. But want to extend my sincere condolences. What a wonderful man your father sounded like. Take peace in those memories.

  3. My father passed on January 8, 2014 He was 94. I share your feelings and thoughts. My thoughts are with you

  4. Phoebe Vercoe says

    Terri-sending prayers to you and your family at this time. I too lost my father when he was 62 and he was my first live as well. I miss him dearly. I have made canvas to sit in my scrapbook room to look at daily. Again I am truly sorry for the loss of your daddy.

  5. Toni Hayes says

    Terri, I am soooooo sorry for your loss. Your dad will be always in your heart and forever in your mind. Bless you and your family.

  6. Terri, so glad you shared. Your friends are here for you and we love you. My precious Dad went to be with The Lord at 56 very suddenly, I was pregnant with my daughter. I missed so much time with him, and never got to say goodbye; but the memories I have are wonderful and I know I will see him again. You will be strong because of all he instilled in you and just be encourage by all you have done and the many people you have helped with your businesses! Hugs! Peggy

  7. Betty Davis says

    I cannot even imagine the depth of your sorrow. My love to you and your wonderful family!!!

  8. Sorry to hear about your fathers death – glad you can be there for your mom. May God give you the peace and comfort you need this day and forward.

  9. Cathie V. vaughn says

    Teri, what a beautiful tribute to your farther. He surely must have been a wonderful man, and for you to have had him in your lives for 82 years is such a blessing! I feel what you practice in living your life is direct proof of how he raised you…you walk the talk on living with faith, and doing unto others. So very sorry for your loss but am celebrating with you heaven’s gain!

  10. Roxana White says

    I’m so sorry. I know so well the pain. My prayers are with you.

  11. My deepest condolences during this difficult time. He sounds like he was a wonderful father who cared deeply for his family. May God comfort you and give you strength.

  12. My father died in 2007. I was with him the moment he took his last breath. It doesn’t matter how expected it is, death is always emotional. Remember the good times, allow yourself to grieve, and love those around you.

  13. May the PEACE of GOD and his GRACE be with you and your Family forever more.

  14. Linda Green says

    My heartfelt condolences and prayers are offered up to you and your family for your loss. I met you recently at the Silhouette conference in Peachtree City, GA. I shared lunch with you one day and remember you speaking warmly about your parents, specifically, your Dad. We shared our love for Longboat Key, FL – in fact, I’m there right now. I read the news about your Dad in another group I belong to and have been thinking about you since then. Coming from a family with 3 siblings who are boys, I know how the love of a father can impact and shape your life in a positive way. I hope that you will let those warm memories surround you like a familiar hug. Take care and wishing you peace and God’s mercy in the difficult days ahead.

  15. Your father’s voice rings so clear in your message to us and all my past interactions with you. He sounds like a wonderful man you loved dearly and who will continually guide you through your life. What a wonderful gift he left upon his death, to ‘live life to the fullest’. May his love continue to wrap around you and your Mom – particularly in this sad and painful time. Much love to you, Terri

  16. Geri Morfino says

    So sorry to hear your news, but rejoice in knowing he’s watching over you from a wonderful place. He’ll be waiting to greet you at Heaven’s gates!

  17. Sharon Field says

    Your Dad sounded like he was a great Dad! Sorry about your loss, but what a joy it can be if you keep in mind that he is face to face with Jesus and that some day you WILL see him again. May God’s peace and comfort get you and your family through this difficult time.

  18. Sandra McKinnon says

    Terry; my sincere condolence to you and your family. I too was a daddy ‘s girl and learned many of lessons from him. My parents made the decision to move here to be near there girls. It was a blessing; my dad has passed on any mom is going to be. 95 this year. Your dad taught you well you are a blessing to us all. Peace and comfort be with you. Sandra

  19. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy for your loss. Time heals but we never forget.

  20. Thank you all so much for your thoughts, prayers & well wishes! They give me so much comfort. And I know that many of you have walked this path – and understand how difficult it can be. All of your comments are such an encouragement!

  21. Kathy Bruer says

    I’ve walked in your shoes, God Bless you.

  22. Lynne and Charlie Brown says

    Dear Terri (Flo, Debbie and Kathy), What a beautiful tribute to your dad–there will never be another “Sam”. Always there with a listening ear, wise advise and the heart of a father to so many. So many memories flooded our souls when we heard about your dad’s “home-going”. We treasure these deeply. We will be praying for all of you during these days ahead, believing the Lord to surround you all with His mercy, grace, strength, peace and love. What a glorious reunion day it will be when we are all together forever and ever, no more tears, grief, crying or sorrow. Can’t wait, almost makes me jealous sometimes for those basking in the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lord, up close and personal. We send blessings, huge hugs and our love, Lynne and Charlie

    • Dear Lynne & Charlie — thanks so much for our kind words about Daddy! He certainly is one of a kind. You are right — there will never be another “Sam” — but I know he lives not only for eternity with the Father — but in the faces and lives of the grandchildren & now great-grandchildren! He has 6 – with 2 more on the way in the next few months. I will pass your thoughts on to my mom & sisters. Thanks again, Terri

  23. What a wonderful tribute you just gave to your dad. We would all love to hear such loving words from our children.Yes, you will always miss him but keep those happy memories alive. You and your mother have my deepest sympathy.

  24. I will be thinking of you and your family. Losing someone as important as your Daddy is very hard no matter the age. I lost my Daddy 6 years ago and he was my first love as well as my Hero, I was a Daddy’s girl to the max!! I looked up to him and followed his advice and followed the way he lived his life. It has taken me to where I am today. I will keep you in my prayers! God Bless you and your family.

    Tammy Smith

  25. Phyllis Wilson says

    Beautifully written Terri, a wonderful tribute to him! I bet he would have given you a, “well done” too! 😉

    • Thanks Phyllis — I could have written on and on — but thought this was enough. Daddy might have said “Not bad for a girl!” — He was always saying that to us — and we knew well that he wouldn’t traded his 3 girls for any boy in the world!

  26. Linda Duncan says

    Terri, I am glad you have fond memories to hold on to. It is hard losing a parent. They will always be in your heart. I know sometimes I am doing something that I did with my parents and strong memories come thru my head, it could be a song or something we did and I find myself with tears in my eyes. I think that your parents are always in your heart everyday of your life even after they are gone. I agree with your Dad to live life to it’s fullest everyday. It is such good advice. Time will help and I hope your Mom will be OK and I am glad you are able to help her at this time. She I know will appreciate you helping her at this time. My Thoughts and Prayers are with you and your family.

  27. So sorry for your loss Terri. He continues to live IN you and still be a very BIG part of you everyday for the rest of your days.

    My prayers for you and the family in these very difficult times. God Bless and strengthen you all.

  28. Paula Giffey says

    So very sorry for your loss. May your memories help to heal your pain. You are in my prayers.

  29. So sorry to hear of your loss, may the Lord of all comfort be with you and your family.

  30. Susan Sellers says

    Terry, I am very sorry about the loss of your Daddy. He is still with you in spirit. Talk to him…
    He was one of your greatest gifts, rest assured you will be with him again.
    Susan Sellers

  31. Sincere condolences to you and your family, may you find comfort in your faith, memories and love of your dear love one.

  32. Barbara Wilson says

    I am so sorry for your loss, oh how I miss my parents very much. My prayers are with you!!

  33. barb scharf says

    thank you for sharing, terrie.

  34. Cynthia Ingram says

    Terri, Sorry to hear about your loss. Thinking about the good times and life lessons he taught you is such a great way to treasure your father’s memory. I can only imagine you were a blessing to him like you are to all who have had the good fortune to meet you. Take care and keep his memory alive.

  35. Live life to the fullest. Sage advice. May the peace of Christ be with you and your family. My dad and stepmother made a 12 hour drive to be with me and my husband at the hospital for the birth of my first (and only) son at the age of 44! He had the chance to meet his grandson and spend a few hours with him before heading back home. Three months later “Pappy” was gone. He’d just cooed to his grandson over the phone (from intensive care himself) the night before. That was 8 years ago. Bless you and your family at this time! LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST!

    • What a precious story you shared — I know that it brings you comfort when you miss him! Thanks for the thoughts & prayers! God is certainly blessing & sustaining us!