Showing posts from 2021

Memories of Dad: Part VII

Today marks three months since the Celebration of Life for my father. My heart hurts. I often think of my father and an overwhelming sadness envelopes me. It can't be true, yet it is. The good, the bad, and the ugly of it. It's undeniable. The thing that has started to bother me more and more, recently, is that my memories already seem to be fading. How can memories of a man I was around for forty-one years already be fading? I don't want to lose the memories. Even if it...sometimes...often...always...hurts to remember. My father was a man worth remembering. Not just my father, but your father as well. And your mother. Your brother. Your sister. Your best friend. Your son. Your daughter. Your neighbor down the street. Your high school English teacher. You get the idea. Every life is worth remembering, honoring, commemorating.  My dad has a legacy in me, in my brother, in his grandchildren, in his cousin, in his friend, in a young man or two or four, and in so many countless

Memories of Dad: Part VI

Has is really been three months since my dad went Home? One fourth of a year has already passed without my father present. My heart aches to think of it. Thanksgiving has passed, and Christmas is quickly approaching. How will I get through it? How will we forge ahead without my dad's presence at the table? I simply don't know. If it's anything like the last few months, we will plod forward one little step at a time. And, as is often the case, time will swiftly move by us, unaware of our sorrow and questions and wondering. My dad was a thinker, a dreamer, a jokester, an encourager, a servant, and so very much more. I am thankful that God answered my parents' prayers and gave them me to be their daughter. Not all my memories are fond ones, but the vast majority are. My father was a man of great integrity with a strong work ethic and a heart for others. He was a great example to many. He passed on knowledge to many. He debated Scripture and politics. He found ways to engag

Memories of Dad: Part V

Yesterday, I celebrated my first Thanksgiving without my dad. The tears and sadness hit today. Being thankful has been hard this year, especially starting in August. One less place was set at the table yesterday. My husband said the prayer instead of my dad. One less voice joined in sharing the thanks for all God has done. One less laugh echoed around the table when something tickled our funny bones. At least five less hugs were given. My heart hurts, even now tears fill my eyes. It can't be real. It just can't! I want to tell him how much I appreciate him, love him, think of him, am proud of him, am thankful that he's my dad. But I can't. Maybe, like my 11-year-old does, I can send my dad a message through God. I am thankful for forty-one years with my dad, for hugs, for encouragement, for silly wordplay, for smiles, for shoulder rubs, for prayers, for talks, for adventures, for road trips, for rides to work, the mall, wherever, for so much more than I can say here. My

Memories of Dad: Part IV

Two months have passed since my dad's Celebration of Life service. It feels like yesterday or five years or not real, depending on the day, my mood, my thoughts and emotions, etc. What can I say about my dad today? What haven't you already heard or read? Did you ever hear about the time my dad thought there was a skunk in our motel room on a family vacation? It was the middle of the night, and I had gone to bed with a newly-gifted-to-me stuffed Mickey Mouse. Do you see where this is going? Well, apparently, Mickey left my side at some point during the night and got away from the bed I was in. At some point after, my father woke up and in his tired, travel-worn state of mind saw Mickey on the floor. In his mind, in the dark, Mickey morphed into a skunk. I think he probably woke my mom up and began formulating a plan of how to get the skunk out of the motel room. Well, now that story is legendary in our family. Do you have those legendary, shared family memories that pop up in yo

Memories of Dad: Part III

It has been two months since my dad went to his heavenly home. My heart still hurts and my mind still frets. Life is not the same without my dad here to laugh with, to joke with, to dream with, to ponder and question and discuss with... His knowledge of so many things was only passed on to various people in snippets and segments, not whole volumes. Some may know how to hook up a washing machine or adjust a home air conditioning system or the finer points of our country's constitution because of my father, but the ins and outs of washing machine repair, proper vent openings, or the real purpose of a constitutional amendment will likely be lost on most of us. Can we dream about the perfect RV? Can we plan the ideal family gathering? Can we discuss boot camp in the 1970s? Can we find the quickest route from here to our favorite spot in Wisconsin? Can we hear the story one more time of driving cars out on the ice or hunting trips with Grandpa or getting white bell-bottom jeans covered

Memories of Dad: Part II

Today marks one month since my father's Celebration of Life... My father has always liked children. My mother recently told me a story about when they worked at SuperAmerica together before they were married. In the story, my, then 20-year-old, father was talking to a baby or young child the mother had set on the counter while she paid. It was obvious to my mother that this guy was special because he was actively enjoying entertaining and talking to the child. I've often benamed my father the pied piper of children and the baby whisperer. He just had a way with kids and took to them. Whether he was calming one of my crying babies or holding one in the sunlight to help when they were jaundiced or getting down on the floor to play cars with a toddler, he loved interacting with children. He even walked my young cousin around our breezeway years ago to try to calm him. It didn't bother him to try to calm a baby's cries; he seemed to enjoy it. He would start mimicking one of