My father, Mike Dowty, died one week ago today (March 3, 2016) at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge. He was a reporter, a photographer and the editor for the Livingston Parish News in Denham Springs, Louisiana.
My mother made sure that every part of my dad would live on through the people he could help after his death. He was inspired to be an organ donor by our parish coroner, Dr. Ron Coe. Just like Dr. Coe, my father's giving nature and integrity had no limits. Every decision he made was out of love for others and never himself.
Underneath a tough exterior was the kindest and most giving man I have ever known. I find myself becoming overwhelmed each day as I remember something special he did for his family and community. He also loved all animals and rescued many dogs, cats and even turtles. Spiders had nothing to fear from my father, as he would carefully place them outside if he saw one inside his home.
He wasn't just my father. He was my mentor and my teacher. He was also my boss. I followed in his footsteps to write and take photos for the Livingston Parish News. Looking at his empty desk beside my own is difficult but I know that is where he would want me to be. He would want me at work writing another story. I can hear his voice telling me to push myself. How could I possibly deny the man who gave me everything? How could I deny the man who gave to everyone?