Written in memory of Joe Ward
(February 17, 1942 to August 30, 2008) by his daughter,
Amie Ward Cumming
Last year, on a quiet summer morning, my brother and I held our daddy’s hand as he gracefully and peacefully gave up a diligent fight with cancer. Just as he had gently welcomed us into the world years before, we bravely walked with him to the gate that would lead him to a perfect world where he could walk again and do all the things he loved so much.
Like most girls, my daddy was my hero, my role model, my nurturer, provider, and protector. In my eyes there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. If you were fortunate enough to have known him, you know that he could fix anything. Growing up, I assumed all men could build a house, rebuild a car engine, fix an appliance, and even bake a cake. As I got older I realized that he was gifted in the “fixing” department.
When my marriage was in trouble, I turned to the one person I knew could help, and for the first time ever he wasn’t able to fix something that was broken. Rather than accept defeat, he stepped in to fill the void in my life and the lives of his grandchildren, Joseph and Lauren. Our safety, well-being, and happiness became his priority. He may not have been able to keep my family intact, but he was determined to ease the pain and not allow us to feel broken. So many days he carried the burden for us. No longer was he just a grandfather who loved, played with, and spoiled his grandchildren; he was now their source of strength and security. Papa, as he was lovingly called, had become their hero too.
Printed in the August 6, 2009 Edition.