Thursday, June 30, 2022

Farewell, Sweet Poopdeck.

William Ralph Draper, Sr. 10/8/1943 - 6/22/2022
What if missing your father was the singular burden he left behind for you? What if he was so present, so loving, so engaged, so proud, and so over-the-top supportive that you had nothing—I mean not one single thing—to wish he’d done for you? What if he fully equipped you with confidence and enough self-love for meaningful adult relationships through his exemplary love of your mother, his siblings, his cousins, and countless lifelong friends? And what if you had the chance to personally evolve into a loving, trusting grown up friendship with him? One distinctly different and special from the one you had with him as a child—and unique to you and no one else?
What if he not only told you how much he loved you for your entire life — but showed you through his actions and sacrifices? What if he cherished you and had such high expectations of you that you actually got to reach your full potential professionally and personally—and then be blessed to have him live long enough to bear witness to it? What if he got to know and love your spouse in addition to many of your closest friends—enough for them to have their very own connections, feelings, and memories of him, too? And what if all of this was amplified exponentially by the love, adoration, and influence he poured not only into his own grandchildren but generations of nieces, nephews, cousins, play cousins, and community kids as well? Imagine that.
Then all you’d have to do is miss him. And though missing him is a heavy load, it is a price we gladly pay for the intense, fulfilling, and comprehensive love God blessed us to know in the form of our father. For this, we are more grateful than sad. There is not a single regret left to bear.
Rest in power, sweet daddy. Thank you for leaving it all on the field as a father, a grandfather, a role model, and man. And especially thank you for the gift of showing up in every aspect of our lives—physically, emotionally, financially, collectively, and individually. We will forever speak your name and rejoice in your legacy. Job well done, sir. And just so you know—we were always proud of you, too, Daddy. And we always will be.
I knew that it would be important for me to share this news here since so many of you grew to know and love him through this blog. Though I'm not as active here these days, do know that he loved, loved, loved the way you celebrated his unforgettable Camp Papa summers and so much more. Thanks in advance for your outpouring of love, prayers, and condolences. Know that it is felt even if we don’t respond immediately. We are more glad than sad. And more grateful than anything else that all we have to do is miss him.