Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I don’t even know where to begin.  I miss you terribly.  My heart aches to hear your voice, to hold your hand, to see your name pop up on my phone.  I miss your hugs, your laugh, the way you would show up for everything in my life.  

To be your daughter has been the biggest honor, privilege and something I can’t let go of.  I need you still.  We need you still.  I don’t think I’ll ever understand this end to your story.  But then I am reminded that your story has no end.  In fact, you worked so hard to change the trajectory of your life, so that your story could live on in your children, your children’s children and so on.  Not only will it live on with your family, but with your friends, your employees, and even the strangers you came across on a daily basis.

I didn’t get to say thank you before you entered your forever home, so this is my attempt at letting the world know just how incredibly lucky I was to be one your “cute blondes”. 


thank you for showing up everyday of my life.  I think back of the way you would pray with me every night while I lived under your roof…even into my teenage years.  You would listen for hours on hours about my day or my concerns.  You had an open door policy.  I always knew, no matter what, you’d take my call or me showing up to your office unannounced.  I remember not being able to look at you (still couldn’t do this day) anytime I sang on stage because you would have tears streaming down your face…every single time.  Every dream we had in our hearts, you championed.  You sat us down and counseled us through decisions.  My goodness, I miss you, daddy.  

I remember the way you loved your family with every part of you.  Everyone knew we were your number one priority.  We were everything to you….and you were everything to us.

Thank you for the way you would take care of me.  Here are just a couple of things you did.

  1. When I would come home from college, you insisted on driving me back because you knew how tired I was.  You would drive and I would sleep.  You’d fly home and now, looking back and having my own kids, I think it was your way of making sure I was safe.
  2. In high school, thank you for seeing me and my friends in a restaurant and paying for our meal.  Thank you for washing and detailing my car on a weekly basis and sneaking cash in little places to surprise me and then acting like you didn’t know what I was talking about when I would thank you.
  3. Thank you for always embracing and loving my friends as your own.  You hugged them, celebrated them and found ways to pay for their school, meals, extras on their honeymoons, trips and fundraisers…you took care of anyone who had a need.  ANYONE.
  4. Thank you for walking with me through my darkest days and never giving up on me.  You saw the good in me.  Fought for me and believed the best…always.  You lifted my head many times and spoke “you are a good girl” when I believed less.
  5. You always slipped $100 bill in my purse or my console when I left home and always encouraged me to carry cash and put some away.  Thank you for always preparing me for the future and the bigger picture.
  6. Thank you for always responding to any need in our circle and in the world.  You were literally the most generous man I’ve ever known and will ever know.
  7. Thank you for installing a shelter and a generator at our home so that we would always have a place of shelter in storms and a source to keep our home warm and running.
  8. Thank you for taking care of all of our children’s therapy appointments, schooling, birthday parties…you refused to let us pay.  You took care of us in every little detail.

The list could go on and on and on and on…there is nobody like you.  I just still can’t believe you are gone. I don’t know what life is like without you and I don’t want to find out.  I am broken and sad.  I’m mad and frustrated and in the same breath, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude that I got you for 40 years of my life.  I got to know the love of a heavenly Father through the life of my earthly Father.  Thank you for pointing me and others to Him every single day of your life.  The moment you met Jesus, your life was never the same and everyone around you knew that.  You have been my world for so long…all of our world.  I’m not sure how we are going to do it without you.  I ache for you.  To have one last hug…one last kiss on the cheek…one last “I love you honey”. 

You served this world well.  I can’t imagine the homecoming you received the moment you took your last breath. I know the Father was so proud to welcome you home.  You were His hands and feet while you were on this earth.  I long for heaven more than I ever have.  I dream of our reunion.  I dream of you seeing your sweet wife again.  We will take good care of her.  You have nothing to worry about.  We’ve got her and she’s go us.  

I love you dad.  I truly was the luckiest girl to have ever lived, having you as a father.  Well done, good and faithful servant.  

13 thoughts on “Dear Dad

  1. Terry Rich says:

    As a Father to two daughters I can only hope one of them would write something like this to me upon my departure 😭😭😭

  2. Trish Knight says:

    I love you, Noelle. ♥️

  3. LaRaye Worthan-Gollihugh says:

    Noelle you father was a phenomenal man. My heart breaks for you. You and your amazing family will continue to be in my prayers.

  4. Douglas Sanderson says:

    Well said, Noelle !

  5. Jane Thomas says:

    Precious words to your Daddy and the best part is he did know how much you loved him everyday of your life. I have no doubt that he thought you “hung the moon” and brought him the greatest of joys a Dad’s heart could contain.
    I’ll never forget when I ran into your Dad in Paris of all places and before I was close enough to realize who he was, I thought I had spotted a celebrity and nudged my cousin and said – this person walking across the street toward us is SOMEBODY BIG! And as we got closer, Lo and behold it was your Daddy! My cousin was so impressed I knew this famous person! “He looked like a movie..” to quote Adele!! I love how he adored your Mom his kids! What a man. God did good when He made Garth. Everyone knows it.

  6. Melanie Dzierba says:

    Beautiful, Noelle.

  7. Ksutlief says:

    These beautiful words are a precious way to honor and remember your daddy. Praying for you and all the family.

  8. Carmen says:

    What a gift he was to you and so many others. I’ve never seen a man love his family so well, in the bottle and small things. It was inspiring. He loved you so much. It doesn’t make sense that he’s gone and he will be missed terribly. I love you

  9. Tammy Beaton says:


    My heart breaks for you and your family. We were so praying for his healing this side of Heaven. However, God had plans of healing him in His presence. Thank you Jesus that he is complete and whole lacking absolutely nothing. Our prayers now are with your precious family. Prayers of peace and comfort. I know the void in each of your lives will be big but our God is so much bigger and able to see you all through. Holy Spirit you are “The Comforter.” Please embrace this family, each and every member, and comfort them as only You can.

  10. Dewayne Pybus says:

    Thank you for your words. You were very blessed. Your Dad taught me a little life lesson when I was 24 years old. I didn’t know him, but I met him at Amarillo Imports, where I was the Finance Manager. I was out front attempting to break the ice away from our porch for our customers.

    I was not having much success because I was hammering the middle of the patch. Your Dad approached me and said,(as he took the shovel out of my hands), “May I show you something? If you start on the outside and chip little pieces the rest will break more easily.”

    That was something very simple but very wise he shared with me. I introduced myself an he said he was Garth. I found out later, he was Garth Merrick.
    He was a true gentleman. And, he had an impeccable reputation. I’ve told this story, not a fabulous story to Stacey, Audrey and Kate because he made such an impression on me in that brief encounter.
    I’ve visited with him on occasions at Church with Susie. Susie helped make or light a fire for both my girls to be the wonderful Christians they are. I’m sorry you’ve lost your Dad. You have been Blessed and Highly Favored. Thank you for sharing your letter. I am inspired and hope to be a better husband and father to my girls! The Pybus family grieves with you and prays for you and your family. May God Continue to Bless Y’all!

  11. Tanya Spivey says:

    Noelle, I will continue to lift you, your mom, Teel, and all of your family up before the throne. Praying memories of your dad warm your heart even as you grieve. We don’t understand, but we know God’s faithfulness. You are altogether lovely. Your heart is precious! ❤️

  12. Terrie LeGate says:

    Noelle, what a great tribute to your Dad. Garth and Susie were very gracious in all that they did for others. It was a true blessing to know those two and I know Susie will carry on where Garth left off. He will never be forgotten by those who knew him. My Dad, Nolen LeGate always spoke very highly of Garth. It’s so hard to lose our earthy fathers but knowing they are in the arms of our Heavenly Father makes us thankful the we’re men of God. My prayers are you you and your family🙏 Please give your mother my condolences and she is loved!

  13. Eddie Trotter says:

    That was beautiful! We’ve all got our own stories about Garth and I would bet they all speak of his huge heart. My clearest memories of him were of his always asking about me when he would talk to a former employer of mine. I knew he respected me, believed in me, and wanted to see me do good.
    One time wayyyyyy back when I went to the Nazarene Christian Academy I forgot to bring my lunch and he had stopped by to check on the cute blondes and Teel. Noticing I didn’t have my lunch, he asked what I wanted and after my telling him several times I was fine, he left. I thought that was the end of it. Boy was I wrong! He left for sure. But only to go get me something and bring it back. He didn’t have to do that. And anyone reading this would know there were higher priority meetings for him than getting a fourth grade boy a meal. Christs love showed through Garth every time I was around him.
    I mentioned in a Facebook post that if I manage to become even an eighth of the man he was that I will have accomplished a whole lot and I mean that.
    Thank you Garth for living the way you did and giving a guy like me a good example to follow.
    There’s no doubt in my mind the first words he heard upon arrival was “Well done! My good and faithful servant.”

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