I’d like you to meet my dad’s 11-year-old granddaughter Chloe.
She was truly one of his best friends. They were more than two peas in a pod. They were soul mates.
Intensive care units have age restrictions, and for three weeks, little buddy could not visit my dad.
There came a bittersweet moment, when the rules suddenly lifted away…
On the last day of my dad’s life, Chloe got her chance to visit
She went to the window of his hospital room and wrote a message using the dry erase marker. She would look at her note, study it, rewrite it.
That afternoon she quietly walked to her grandfather’s bedside She held his hand and with tears streaming down her face yet with a steady strong voice…she leaned in and recited her note from memory.
“You will always be in my heart. I love you more than words can say. I will think of you every day. I am so proud to be your granddaughter. You will always be my Grandy. I am so happy I could be a part of your life.”
My dad died that evening.
Three days later we were on our way to York, Pennsylvania for a dance competition.
Chloe’s solo, “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” by Bette Midler was one my dad’s favorite songs. Chloe dedicated her performance to him, and she swept the awards that weekend.
We were going to have a singer perform the song live during this part of the ceremony, but we decided to use these next two minutes to reflect quietly on the beauty of a child’s love, to honor the bond that Chloe had with my dad, and to remember the ways that my dad was the wind beneath all our wings.