This is not an easy post to make. I’ve sat down at my computer countless times over the past few days to write this blog but the words wouldn’t come. Today I decided that no matter what, I was going to do this. For my dad.
Chiriqui Chatter was very special to him. I know he made many friendships and reached many people through his writing here, and he enjoyed you all so much. Keeping this blog going was more than a hobby, it became a means of touching lives in ways he didn’t expect. It made him happy to write here.
Years ago he set me up as an admin for this exact moment. Now that it’s here, I don’t feel worthy. I’m not sure I can do it justice.
My name is Kimberly Dawn Williams Frank and I’ve been blessed to call Don Ray Williams my father throughout my life. In late December he suffered a medical emergency that required surgery, and over the course of the next four months doctors did everything they could to save his life, but on the morning of May 4th, in the comfort of his own home and surrounded by family, he took his last breath. We are overwhelmed with sadness. My dad was supposed to be a centenarian like his Uncle Horace. He was supposed to watch his great grandchildren grow up. My middle school son still needs help with his math homework.
That life lesson my dad taught me many years ago rings truer than ever today. It’s not fair.
So how can I possibly sum up 77 years of his life in one short post? It’s not possible. I could barely scratch the surface of all his accomplishments or even begin to say how much he was loved and appreciated. The amount of generosity and compassion my father bestowed on family, friends, and often times strangers, is overwhelming. Already I’ve had people reaching out to tell me stories of his kindness, how he’s helped people find homes, set up their technology, and even provide financial support.
My father was the smartest man I’ve ever known. Do you remember when you were a young child and you believed your parents knew everything? That never went away for me. My dad was always the first person I would call when I had questions.
“How do I connect my speakers to the receiver?”
“What does this light mean on my car?”
“What kind of investments should I make?”
“How should I respond to this person?”
“What’s happening in politics right now?”
“What’s the best laptop?”
He wasn’t perfect, there’s only one Father who is, but he was very special. I will miss him so much. I think I will miss his laughter the most. He and I had a unique sense of humor and when we were together he would almost always laugh. I mean the kind of laughter where his face would turn red and he’d throw his head back in silence until the bubbled laughter would finally burst through. It made me happy that I could help bring that kind of joy to him.
His wife, Lilliam, was the love of his life. I can’t express enough my gratitude to her for loving and nurturing my dad all these years. Though countless times I told my dad he didn’t deserve her (haha), they completed each other. She’s been an amazing wife and step-mother and will forever be my family.
I plan to leave this blog up. At least for now. Lilliam has told me it’s paid up for the year and the thought of taking this down feels like erasing a part of my dad. There’s so much knowledge and history here.
Thank you all who shared in my dad’s life either through leaving him comments here or real-life friendships. Know that you were all special him.
Hug your loved ones today. Life is short, so take a look around you and be thankful for what you have. Don’t take things for granted; if you have something on your mind, say it. Don’t let a day go by without telling someone you love them and you appreciate them. I was blessed to be able to have all those conversations with my dad while he was in the hospital. I told him I loved him and that he was a great father. He told me he loved me and that he couldn’t ask for a better daughter. It was special. It was needed. Have those conversations with your loved ones now. Don’t wait.
During his last day on earth, my son prayed with my father and my daughter shared the gospel. He couldn’t speak to us at that point, but we know he heard us. My prayer and my hope now is that he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior so that I can end this blog with one final message to my beloved father:
This is not good-bye, dad.
I’ll see you later.