Monthly Archives: June 2010

Remembering My Dad

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. Anyone reading this probably already knows, but if not, my father passed away very suddenly last month. I knew I would want to write something about my dad, but it’s been really difficult both to come up with the right words to describe how I’m feeling and to actually make myself sit down and type it all out. My dad was one of the most important people in my life and it’s been a hard few weeks dealing with losing him and accepting the fact that he’s gone.

Dad and me at my graduation from JMU

My dad was so fun to be around. That’s one of the best ways I can describe him. Anytime I was going to visit him, I knew I was going to have fun. Looking back, it’s really amazing to me because I know my dad was probably always in pain, either with his back or his constant migraines, but when his kids were there, he hid it as much as he could.  I really admire him for that, because I know how much he must have been hurting, but he sure didn’t show it. He would sit there and spend time with us and just laugh. He had the best, most infectious laugh of anyone I’ve ever known. I’ll always be able to hear that laugh of his.

I also always knew I’d eat well (maybe not healthy, but I would eat WELL) when I went to visit my dad. That man knew how to cook! He got it from his father and it’s something that he was very passionate about. I’ve never met anyone in my life that spent so much time making a salad. It had to look just perfect.  By the time he was done with it and put it on the table, none of us wanted to eat it because it looked too pretty. He was such a perfectionist. He loved to cook so much that we actually put his steak recipe on the prayer cards at his memorial service. (I’ll be sure to share that one in a later post.) We thought it would be really fitting to share that with his close friends and family since cooking meant so much to him.

Dad grilling in his gator apron

There are so many things I could tell you about my dad, so many great stories and memories, but it’s the really simple things I’ll miss the most about him. I lived too far away to visit as often as I would’ve liked, so Dad and I talked a lot on the phone. We didn’t really have a specific time of week that we talked. We would just call each other whenever we had a chance. I called him a lot when I was coming home from work or class and we would just chat while I sat in traffic or while I walked home. It’s been really difficult these past few weeks to break the habit of pulling out my phone and calling him. That has been really difficult. We would always talk about nothing in particular, but they were always the best conversations.

Dad and me

My siblings and I are all interested in pretty different things, but my dad always was enthusiastic in what we were all doing and he was always so proud of us, and was sure to tell us that. He took a genuine interest in what we were doing and wanted to know all about it. He was always asking me about the different classes I was taking and about my internships. He was so excited about my internship at the Air and Space Museum. I started that internship a week after he died and I hate that I don’t get to call him when I get off work and tell him all about it.  He loved talking about history and museums with me. He loved talking to Rebecca about nursing and talking to Twila about animals. He loved talking to Chris about cooking (and eating!) and I know how much we all miss talking to him too.

At my sister, Twila's wedding last fall

There are probably a million more things I could tell you about my dad, and perhaps more things will come with time. It’s been a hard month for us all to figure out how to cope with losing my dad. It’s certainly brought us all closer together, which I know my dad would appreciate. There are things I see and think of that remind me of him every day, for which I am very grateful. I know that I’m so lucky for the time that I had with him. One thing my wonderful stepmom, Kathy, said is that his legacy is his children and because of that he’ll always be here with us. I think all four of us will surely keep his legacy alive in every way we can.

Dad, it’s been a long, sad month without you. More than anything, I wish I could just give you a call and talk, make you laugh, and tell you I love you, and just how much I miss you.

Someday when we meet up yonder
We’ll stroll hand in hand again
In the land that knows no parting
Blue eyes crying in the rain

Dad fishing in NC



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