Well, a lot has happened in the last 3 months….
The most significant event has been the passing of my father, Charles H. Miller. He struggled with multiple chronic illnesses for over a decade and his body was just tired. He passed on April 27. It was a peaceful passing and I’m grateful that he was surrounded by his family.
To be honest, it still doesn’t seem real most days. But when I still think about calling him or we go to NM and he’s not there, reality hits me harder than I can handle and I just crumble for a time. For his sake, it was much more merciful for him to go and I am excited for him and what I imagine he is accomplishing on the other side. I am happy that he is at peace. He was not afraid of death and I admire his faith and understanding. But for me…. my dad has been one of my best friends and my go-to-guy for pretty much everything since I was 16 years old. He is my hero. I am very much my father’s daughter, and am honored to be so, but it’s just so hard as I feel a very literal piece of who I am is gone. He always pushed me (in an uplifting way) to live up to my potential and has been with me through the best and worst of my times. His confidence in me and love for me (as well as my mother’s) has very much shaped me into who I am. I am lucky to have had his influence and example in my life and I’m not sure that I’ll ever match up to the person he was. But I couldn’t have asked for a better father and friend and I am just so grateful that he was with us as long as he was. Even if it was for just a short 27 years of my life, his influence will continue to impact and shape me forever.
Even though he would hate me posting pictures and doing this, here is a small tribute to my dad
Dad was a very very talented man, in so many ways. He was so quick minded; very smart and amazing with numbers. Although he didn’t particularly like his profession, he succeeded very well as a CPA. He was very athletic. Anyone who ever played with him or saw him play (pretty much any sport) can attest to that. He was an excellent golfer, a talented football player, would have most likely been drafted by the Minnesota Twins for baseball (a car accident ruined his future in baseball), and could still beat all of us at racquetball, even when he had poor health.
He was also always right it seemed. It drove us kids crazy. But he could pretty much predict the outcome of any given situation and he generally had a pretty good idea if we were up to any trouble. Speaking of trouble, dad has always been a bit of a trouble maker. That’s probably how he knew so well what we were doing, haha. But this kindergarten report card pretty much sums up how he was his whole life, haha.
He was a big kid. He was very responsible, but he loved to play and he never lost his youthful attitude. He was a very funny man. He always tried to be positive and in most areas of his life was very practical. I don’t think he complained more than 5 times about his illnesses the entire time he was sick. And even when he did, it was basically just him admitting that he wasn’t feeling good that day and then he would move on from it. Anytime I asked how he was doing, he would say “If I got any better looking, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself” 🙂 Such is my dad.
But he just had fun in life and with those around him. If he wasn’t teasing us or giving us some innocent guilt trip, then we knew something was wrong. He just loved to joke and have a good time. We took family pictures when I was pregnant, and he made it a point to rest his arm on my pregnant belly when we took pictures, just to be silly, haha. Anyway, he had such a wonderful sense of humor and it is very hard for to think of him and not smile/laugh.
He was an extremely giving person. He has done more good for more people than I will ever admit to anyone. He taught me the importance of helping others without expecting anything back or without them even being aware that he had helped them. He provided a good life for my family, but he made sure that others were taken care of too.
He and I had some many very special and meaningful conversations and I’m so grateful for the things he taught me about the gospel and about life. They are invaluable lessons. He always tried to teach us, always tried to help us avoid hardships in life by learning from his mistakes. And he always loved us, all of his children. He loved my mom more than I can fully appreciate. It is my goal in my own marriage to have the friendship and love and fun that my parents had in theirs. It is truly something unique and he always made it very clear how special my mother is and how much he loves her.
He was one of the strongest and most honorable men I know. Thank you daddy.
It’s amazing how much Craig (brother) looked just like him at this age
Not a bad looking guy 🙂
Dad’s sickness started off with a virus that attacked his heart when he was 50. He had been extremely healthy and fit up to that point. The endocarditis led to heart failure and he developed several other ailments along the way, such as arthritis and diabetes. He also had a condition called systemic scleroderma; a hardening of the skin and organs that made it even more difficult for him to move around and function. In addition, he had nonalcoholic cirrhosis. This and his heart failure caused organomegaly (enlarging of all his organs) and essentially he had multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. He was truly miserable (physically) and exhausted most of the time and he would often wonder the purpose of his still being kept on this earth. He’d chalk it up to the saying “you can’t kill a cockroach”. He was anything but that, but despite being afflicted with so much, his body was very strong and held out as long as it could. Eventually liver and kidney failure became irreversible.
The funeral was held on May 1. He was buried in the Sunset Gardens Memorial Park in Albuquerque, NM. It’s interesting, dad didn’t think very many people would come to his funeral, but the chapel was full and lots of people came in from out of state. He was a loved man by many people. It was a beautiful service and a time of great healing for his family. I hope that all of us can honorably carry on his legacy.
His 7 kids
In order from left to right: Bill, Ken, Ashleigh, Craig, Elise, David, Carl
In birth order: Ken, David, Carl, Bill, Ashleigh, Elise, Craig
His siblings, Colleen, Scott, and Luanna
My mother’s mother and her sisters (my mom is in the blue)
Pallbearers: Craig, Matt, Ken, David, Carl, Bill, Craig Sheffield, Allen Sheffield
Very dear friends of my dad’s, The Wolfgram’s and Ivan Waddoups
The 4 boys
I’m with Craig Sheffield in this picture. He was a very close friend of my dads for a very long time. My brother is named after him. They had way too much fun together 🙂
We each put a rose on his casket prior to the burial
Turns out the funeral director had played golf with my dad before. Said he was really good. He was.
Some of my cousins and aunt. And my mom.
All of his children (with spouses) and grandchildren
I am unable to describe the gratitude that I feel for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been sealed to my father and family forever and at times, that is the only reassurance that can bring me peace and comfort. I know I will see him again. I am very saddened that most of my mortal life will be without him on this earth, but there is so much joy in knowing that it will be but a short time in the scheme of things. There is so much more I could say and there would never enough to suffice, but I will just say that I love him and miss him so much everyday and I hope that I can live a life that would make him proud.
I just want to say thank you to anyone/everyone who came to honor my father and for all of the love and condolences that you gave to us. My family is grateful to have and know so many wonderful people. We truly felt loved and supported and I offer my deepest appreciation. Thank you.