I’m super proud of this week’s blogger. Maddie Perry is the oldest child of Larry “Doc” Perry, a 14 year old field hockey player, Christ follower, and my incredible bonus daughter. This Veterans Day she remembers and honors her dad, and wishes to remind other vets that their lives matter.
Who was Doc Perry to me? Doc Perry, the one who was always by your side as many have said, was my dad. The person I woke up to very aggressively opening my creaky door at 6 in the morning. The one that always encouraged me to pray at the dinner table, but still did it when I couldn’t find the words. The one that sculpted my relationship with Christ that I have today. The one that always corrected me when I did something wrong but ended it with a long hug telling me how much he loved me. Man do I miss those hugs. He was my dad, and not just any dad but the best person that I could ever imagine being my dad. He knew me so well in what I wanted, what I was thinking and feeling. He could read me like no one else could. But on January 27, 2020 my life and many others took a turn. A turn that would leave me and many others in grief and pain, but also leave us wondering, “what could I have done better?” I know that that was my everyday thought for so long and it still creeps in there from time to time. I go back and replay the last week or so I had with him and just try so hard to think of things that could have happened differently that maybe wouldn’t have made him make this choice. Believe me I’ve come up with a ton of different things but it all comes down to just the answer being no. I mean miracles do happen but I don’t think saying “I love you” twice instead of just once 4 days before he passed would change much. My amazing Step-Mom, Jenn (also president of the DPF) has helped me so much through these thoughts, mostly in the car while driving to Maryland with the either loudly talking or sleeping 3 other kids in the back. With the help of her and others I had to come down to the decision that as much as I wish I could have done something, this was a decision that was weighing on him for years and thinking about how much pain he went through for so long gives me chills. It makes me want to find some way that maybe another 11 year old girl wouldn’t have to go through what I did on January 27, 2020. I am so happy that she has made this program to help many others like me and my family so that there may not be #22aday anymore and that that number would decrease. I would like to honor all the veterans who sacrificed their lives to fight for our country. My dad was one of them and unfortunately he lost that battle with himself, but that doesn’t mean that another veteran has to lose it, too. You are honored and very loved by many people and never underestimate yourself and the selfless choice you made to fight for us. Don’t let your fight be over. Thank you all veterans with us or not, we appreciate you.