Though I wasn't able to stay in the chapel but for, oh, about 10 minutes (thanks, Selah) and I didn't get a chance to read it myself (the pastor read it for me), this is what I wrote. I wish I could have got all of the thoughts, feelings and emotion out in it, but it was a start.
"Now that I am a parent, I am shocked about all of the things you have
to teach your children. You teach them how to walk and talk. You teach
them how to use the toilet. You teach them how to wave and give
kisses. While Manley wasn’t the one to teach me these things, he did
teach me a lot of other things.
He taught me to give things a second chance by eating oranges after
an entire lifetime of hating them.
He taught me that V.O. Is a serious drink and will put hair on your chest.
He taught me how to change a tire on my car.
He taught me to use my imagination and design a room in the attic.
He taught me how to nail pictures and shelves to the wall.
He taught me the difference between a flat head and Phillips and how
to use them.
He taught me how to drive a car.
He taught me to love dogs.
He taught me compassion for living creatures when he put a tiny,
shivering soaking wet puppy in his jacket to keep her warm.
Manley taught Selah how to wave.
He taught me to believe in my capabilities and skills.
He taught me that I was more than a silly child.
He taught me to be tough and not be frightened at the sight of blood
when he nailed his fingers (not once. Not twice. But THREE times) and
then proceeded to yank the nail out himself.
He taught me about dedication when he ate the same dinner every.
Single. Day. And when he gave mom the same gift (Earrings or a watch)
for every holiday.
On that note, he taught me to appreciate fine jewelry and watches.
He taught me to take a chance when he took trips to Vegas.
He taught me how to identify older songs by making me name songs and
who was singing them from songs on the local oldies station.
He taught me that, sometimes, it is better to have things straightened just so.
He taught me that family isn’t only blood related.
But, most of all, Manley taught me love. He loved me when he didn’t
have to and he didn’t look back. He dropped the step in stepdaughter
in conversation and in his heart. I was his daughter and I am proud to
have called him my father."