Then the World Stopped...Or At Least It Should Have

Dear Diary,

Everything changed on November 15, 2016 at 5:03 p.m. I saw that I had missed calls from Sophia; and Stephanie; and my mom, and that's when I knew something was wrong. I knew it wouldn't be good news when I stepped outside my office to call my mom back after listening to her cryptic voicemail of only "call me back." The phone barely rang once before she answered, and her shaky voice shook me.

"Hi Marilyn, how are you?" said mom.
"Mom, what's going on?" I asked, my heart pounding as fear and dread welled up inside me.
"Where are you? Are you at work?"
"I'm outside, it's fine - what's up?"
"Well, just call me when you get home," she said, but I could hear tears.
"Mom, please just tell me."
"Your father passed."

The following weeks happened quickly. My sisters and I all jumped on the fastest flights home. Over the next week, we spent most of our time planning the funeral, the military burial, and talking about the incredible man whom we would never speak to in this life again.

We looked at pictures, we told stories, we cried. Family came over often to check on us, talk about their brother/uncle, and bring us food. Friends came over with cases of soda and cakes. We would laugh about something funny dad said or did, and then cry because we'd never hear him say or do it again.

Some things felt really normal and familiar, like when we went to Walmart to buy random things for the house. That familiarity caused us to break down into tears because nothing would ever be normal again.

What do I miss most about my dad? Everything. I miss his voice, I miss his infectious laugh, I miss his easy going demeanor, I miss hugging him and hearing him say, "Turn me loose!" I miss calling home and having mom toss the phone to him with the quick instruction of, "Talk to the baby." I miss sitting with him and watching TV. I miss sitting with him and talking about nothing. I miss sitting with him and staring off into the distance in comfortable silence.

I am incredibly blessed and favored to have had a father whom I loved so deeply, who loved me so completely, and who is missed by so many people. I'm lucky. My sisters are lucky. My mom is lucky and I am grateful that she said "Yes!" to him 35 years ago. My cousins who grew up with Uncle Frog are lucky. My aunts and uncles who were raised with him as their brother are lucky. Every person he met, worked with, chatted with in the liquor store, bumped into during his travels, and everyone else in between is lucky to have met him.

No one lives forever, but I thought surely I had more time with my favorite person. I hate that he's going to miss the rest of our lives, but I am so thankful that he was here for the first 26 years of my wild, chaotic, restless life. He shaped me, helped me, loved me, listened to me, and took care of me. I'm sad for my future children who won't know him. I'm sad for my future husband who won't have to go through the terrifying process of meeting him and asking for his blessing. I'm sad for the world because it lost a wonderful soul. I know he's with our enigmatic, loving God right now, making Him laugh and reminiscing over lazy Alabama days. I know I will see him again, and I know that I will never stop loving my dad. I will never stop remembering him, talking about him, and praying for him.

Roy Williams was a remarkable man who left a huge footprint on this Earth. I hope I can do him proud.