Most little girls think their daddy is a hero. MY daddy WAS a hero and a genius. He always had time for me. He would listen intently to my goals and dreams and he always replied, “You are beautiful and smart. When it comes to anything you want to do – if you do your part, daddy will do his part!” He NEVER broke a promise. He held me up on his shoulders through 2 Michael Jackson concerts! The fist time I stole something, he lectured me for hours about the Cunningham name, I was 7 and I remember it like it was yesterday. Consequently, I NEVER stole anything else in my life! Daddy spanked me twice in my life and I remember both times. Daddy would talk to me, reason with me and “I don’t know” was never an acceptable answer for him. He taught me to talk about only what I know about. To find the answer myself and not let someone tell me the answer. To NEVER live above my means. To NEVER accept less than the very best, to demand it of myself and demand it of others.
I could go on and on – but hopefully that gives you a glimpse as to why he was “one of a kind.”
After his memorial service, my mom asked me to take the lead in obtaining a monument. My dad was classy, a gentleman with flair and everyone who met him, liked him. The monument had to be “different,” “special,” benefitting of a wonderful father and a dutiful husband. Like most – our search started at the funeral home. But as you drive through the cemetery – you notice that it looks just like what you saw in the catalog. You may see a special stone or monument here or there, and the cemetery is quick to tell you that “they can do that.” But their process seemed so very impersonal. This is when I got on the internet. After talking to a few other companies, I ended up at West.
They listened intently – as I described my dad. They asked me to send a picture of him and to send his memorial program. They listened as I talked about him. They worked with me on a number of designs until “we got it right.” There was no rush in their process, they listened, they made suggestions and in the end, they came up with something so unique and so fitting that when people see us in the cemetery, they let us know that they always stop to look at that stone.
The stone has been in place for 5 years and is as beautiful today as when it was first placed. We also had them make a small matching marker for my grandmother.
As you can see, my father passed away on my birthday. My mother and I have made a huge effort to try to be together that week. We go to that stone and ensure that it shines and place red roses, as you can see in the photo. Those were daddy’s favorite.
I’m glad that West Memorials is in business. The entire team is so kind and so loving. To deal with people who have suffered tremendous loss, they have to be. They worked with me through this process and I’m very pleased with the results.