A tribute from Dad
Caralee is gone. Once again, she has plucked herself out of our lives and into another adventure and without even trying, has left behind a trail of admirers, just as effortlessly as she slipped back into our lives from the last one. I wish I could put into words how much I miss her. It has only been a few days since we dropped her off at the MTC, but it feels like months. Cara made time fly by in my realm almost as fast as she led her own life. I used to try to keep up with her because I felt it was my duty to provide a safety net just in case something happened as she was experiencing life. I now realize she was mine. She provided me a distraction from the stresses of life and protected me from becoming too consumed in trying to solve the problems of my world. She had an amazing gift for motivating people to help her out with some project or another, probably because she has such a penchant for service herself. Her constant quest for a cause to help other people led her to the desire to go on her mission. In the months following the receipt of her call, it seemed she was able to spend quality time with everyone, and even though we can never be satisfied that we got to spend enough time with her, she had an amazing ability to make every second with us count. And how I miss that. Quality time will now be relegated to a few moments on email or in the words of an occasional letter. But I know she will be able to make those few seconds count precious, too.
The tune of the hymn, "Oh My Father" as strummed on her harp has played itself over and over again in my head since she left. That was the hymn she played in Sacrament meeting the Sunday before she left, and we had her play it the night before so that we could record it and keep it to play back whenever we missed hearing her play the harp. So far, I haven't needed that digital recorder, because I can't and won't let it out of my head.
Cara was a gift from God that we didn't deserve. No matter what garbage life spills all over me, He has more than offset it with the tender mercy of allowing her into our family. I sometimes don't know who to thank more; God, for giving her to me, or Cara, for being herself. From the day she was born, Cara seemes as close to perfection as we can expect to be in this world, yet if anyone could look past shortcomings, it was her. I know that God loves her with a perfect love, but in my imperfect state, I doubt any mortal could love her more than I do.
I pray for her safe return, and yearn for the moment she steps off the plane and profoundly says......"MEOW"! When she does, we will know that her legacy never missed a beat.
From Cara's Dad