My daddy was the first man I ever loved.
There was not a day that went by that I wasn’t certain of his undeniable love for me. I was the baby girl and the second to youngest out of five siblings. My father affectionately called me “Didums,” which to this day I have no idea where that nickname originated. As I transitioned into my pre-teen years, I asked that my dad no longer call me by this name, and as with most other things, he graciously honored my wish.
From a very young age, my father and I had a special bond. Though my father was a very hardworking person, and for most of my life worked seven days a week; only transitioning to five days a week the last three years of his professional career, we always found times to connect. Whether, it was when he drove me to elementary, middle, or high school or even when he returned home to play Nerf basketball or any number of video and games, he took precious time with me. Like my father, I was highly competitive, so you could be assured a lively game of Scrabble, Life, Monopoly, Uno, backgammon, or dominoes was always at play. As I got older, I still tried to maintain seeing him once a week, or every other week.
Then there’s the lessons I learned about money. At the ripe age of seven, my father began to pay me for various task and chores that I’d do. I particularly got great pleasure out of ironing his dress shirts and shining his shoes. As I grew, my tasks did too, and my dad began to trust me with more complex responsibilities. These early experiences helped to shape my appreciation for the value of money and my solid understanding of the importance of good money management.
On Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 8:20 pm, my beloved father, Dwight Eugene Dixon, passed away in his home surrounded by his family. He lost his battle to a cancer that was internally ravaging his body for months. Though an official diagnosis of stage four cancer was only revealed on April 24th, just two days before his very last day as a manager of the Southlake D&K in Morrow, GA, it was the end of a professional career that extended 30+ years in retail. Additionally, during my father’s professional career, he served as an associate pastor at West Hunter Baptist Church under Reverend Ralph David Abernathy while also working for the City of Atlanta for 18+ years.
His extraordinary work ethic and eternal passion for what he did is the only reason I can see of how he pressed through this last year, working through what was later learned to be unimaginable pain. Only weeks before his passing did I hear my dad say for the first time ever, “I don’t feel good today.”
I have a lifetime of wonderful memories with my dad: a Pittsburgh, PA born and raised-Steeler’s fan, that excelled at chess, had a huge heart, a big smile, and truly lived a life of integrity on his own terms. Not only was he an adoring father to me and my siblings, but he was a loving husband to my mother for 45 years and a doting PawPaw of seven grandchildren. Words can’t begin to describe how much I will miss my dad, but I know he’s in a better place and no longer in pain. I’m committed to continuing my father’s legacy of loving people and helping them be and look their best on the inside and out.
Rest in Peace, Daddy. I love you, always. -Didums️