That pretty much sums it up. Please forgive a personal and less than jolly holiday season blog, but my dad has been on my mind recently. Year upon year now have slipped quietly past since I last held him… last told him I loved him…. said a final goodbye. They say that time heals all wounds, but I’m not so sure. Perhaps it does apply a soft lens and some sepia tones to ones memories.
There are certain times and life events during which the absence of loved ones is most acutely felt. Thanksgiving, Christmas and the birth of a child I’ve found rank high among these. So at this joyous time of year, please indulge me a very brief sad moment. It’s just that I do so wish my father could be with us… could meet his precious granddaughter… could get to know her, and her him.
Please don’t feel you must read all of this. I’m really writing it for myself and for our 14 year old daughter who never got to meet her Grandpa. I want her to know about the man who always brought strangers home to our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners… people with no families and some with no homes. I’m not saying my father was a saint, he was as flawed and human as any man.
He was also always always slightly bigger than life. Perhaps that’s the way dads always seem to their little boys. But I know his friends saw him that way, too. He flew jets off naval aircraft carriers, was an international business man, a Texas rancher… and most importantly he was my dad. I’m not going to drag this out. Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming, and I just wanted to say, “I love you dad.”
Oh, and if you are a dad, or know one… tell him to go hug his kids or his grand kids and tell them he loves them. Would you do that for me? Thanks.
I know exactly how you feel.
I lost my dad 5 years ago this past September. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t stop to think about him just for a minute. My oldest got a chance to know him a little but my youngest was 3 months old when he died.
We talk about him all the time.
I write his contribution to my life constantly.
I miss him always.
Thanks for sharing.
I’m sorry for your lost. I’m happy that your oldest got a chance to know your dad just a little. I think it’s great that you talk about him so much. It keeps him alive and real to your kids. My wife lost her mom when she was a teen, so we have to absent grandparents, but we talk about Grandma Patsy and Grandpa Bill all the time, too. And have plenty of photos out. Thanks for visiting and sharing your story.
Awe, hugs to you my friend. I totally understand what you are saying and feeling as my dad passed away 3 days after Christmas nearly 20 years ago. Christmas has always been tough on me since then cause dad LOVED Christmas so much. Wishing you much peace this holiday season. Your dad smiles down on you daily from heaven and I know he is pleased with the wonderful life of love you have created for Shannon & Molly. ~hugs
That must be hard to have lost him so close to Christmas, as one could not help to associate that sadness with the holiday at least a bit. I know what you mean about your dad LOVING Christmas. Even after the kids were out of the house my dad still got up on the ladder and strung what seemed like miles of Christmas lights on our big long ranch house. And one year when I was a kid we had four Christmas trees. He put two insides and two outside (front and back) that you could see for miles since we were on a hill. Thanks for sharing this, Mitzi.
HUGS. I’m also sad the pumpkin wont get to meet “Grampa Bill” on this earth. But I know he sees her and loves her just the same. And she will certainly grow up loving him as well- as we keep him and his memory alive within our family. Love you sweety. I’m sorry your missing your dad. Even though I’ve never met him- I miss him too. And I look forward to the day we get to introduce him and my mom to our sweet baby girl! What a wonderful day in heaven that would be:)
Thank you so much, sweetheart. You’ve done a wonderful job of keeping Grandpa Bill and Grandma Patsy alive in our home… for little girl and for us. I do hope you are right that they can see their beautiful little granddaughter. I know they would be so proud. I love you and our little pumpkin so much!
Man, I am so sorry to read this. I know that people saying stuff like that is common but as a dad I hate reading this and trying to imagine how you feel.
I have no idea how you handle this and how you can even write about it. but for that you are a awesome example of what a true MAN is and an even better example of a Daddy
Thanks Scott. It just wrote down what I was feeling. Only problem is I wrote it during my lunch break at work… not so smart as I started crying while I was putting down the words on the screen. I closed my office door and turned off the lights (there are windows into the office hallway) so people walking by would be less likely to notice. After a number of years the pain has moved from lying on the cold kitchen floor in a ball crying (with no one watching) right after he passed away in my arms, to just a gentle sadness… a sort of wistful, warm longing. I don’t let myself indulge in these kinds of feelings to long, though. I’ve got a wonderful wife and a sweet little girl to love, protect and with whom to share holiday happiness.
Hey thanks for sharing about your Dad. Sounds like a great man.
Dad’s are awesome and those of us who still have ours around need to tell them more often. Thanks for reminding all of us.
Hi Liz. Thank you. Yes, it would be good if we can remember to share our best selves and our love with the people in our lives on a frequent basis. Too often we take for granted they will always be there and we can always pick up the phone and call or visit them later. I do hope this blog might even for just a moment act as a remember to share their love more consistently while they can. Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope your, the twins and the hubby are doing grand! Have a very safe and Merry Christmas!
Thanks for sharing your feelings. I can see by the comments how many people it helped. My mom is very ill and I do not know if she is going to spend this Christmas with us or the good Lord.
I’m very sorry to hear of your mother’s illness. I will add her and your family to my prayers. I hope you can make the most of the time she has left if it should turn out she spends Christmas in heaven. *hugs*
That was beautifully written Michael. I’m sorry for your loss this Christmas with your dad, but happy for you that you have such great memories and that you have such a wonderful family to spend Christmas with! That is so cool that he brought home strangers for holiday dinners. He sounds like he was and still is an inspiration!
ps I truly believe children have a knowledge that as we grow older we lose. They can see things and feel things (like spirits and energies) that we can’t and I think they are more in touch with heaven (as they’ve just come from there!) 🙂 Molly might already have a sense of her grandpa and he of her!
Thank you so much, Nicole. I’d like to think that’s true. Between my late dad and Shannon’s late mom, she is missing so much. We do talk about them all the time and she refers to them by name and knows them from photos.
I absolutely love what Nikki wrote and I completely agree. I am so sorry that you and Shannon have lost your dad and mom, respectively, but I am so happy for you in the abundance of love that is within your family – the abundance of love that started with them and is being carried on by you.
Love you all and sending you hugs.
That’s a nice way to look at it, Laura. Certainly at the very least the love we received from our late parents lives on in us. Thank you, Laura.
What a heartfelt and sincere blog Michael!
Looking at the photo of your father you are very alike him in looks. I never knew my father’s father he died long before I was even thought of…but I always imagine he would be very like my father in personality and sense of humour etc and I’m sure I would have been fond of him, and I’m sure Molly will grow up with a picture of a grandfather that she will be proud of.
Fathers sometimes are people we take for granted, mine for instance is living on ‘borrowed’ time and I truly treasure that, every day counts. I’m staying with my parents at the moment due to making it handier to travel in and out to college and the favourite part of the day at the moment is….saying goodnight to my parents, because 1) I can 2) I miss it since leaving home.
…’tell him to go hug his kids or his grand kids and say he loves them. Would you do that for me?’ my dad was never a hugger but he has made up for it since being ill and gets plenty of hugs and kisses with his three grandkids.
Thank you for sharing that, Ann. I do of course know a bit about your dad’s situation. I’m glad circumstances are conspiring to make it easier to stay with them for commute purposes. That extra time, and being aware of it’s importance (so many of us take it for granted) is a gift. It’s interesting how our fathers will sometimes soften in terms of their comfort with displays of affection as they age. Mine did, too.
Glad you are there so your daughter will always know how wonderful your dad was. Keep on sharing your stories with her. They will mean so much! 🙂
Thanks Teri. Yes, between the photos and frequent (probably daily) references to her late grandparents I hope they will add something to her life even without their physical presence. So nice to meet you. Loved the illuminating photo of your wee ones.
this was a great post about your father. your words came from the heart and it’s ok to feel what you shared. sounds like you were blessed with a great father. take care rosie
Thanks Rosie. Like all dads he had his strengths and weaknesses, but yes, he was pretty great and much missed.
This is a lovely tribute to your father.
This time of year makes me nostalgic. I remember my own father, my grandparents, old friends. It’s easy to miss people at Christmas, for me.
Thanks so much for stopping by. Yes this time of year we tend to feel the absence of loved ones more acutely. At least over time the loss feels more sweet than bitter.
Have a great weekend!
What a special tribute to a wonderful man! We lost my fil last Feb. It is hard to go through a holiday and not wonder what he would say or do to help us celebrate it.
I’m sorry for your family’s loss, Deidre. I feel the same way. Thanks for your kind words. I wish you and yours a very safe and merry Christmas!
I lost my dad when I was 19. Sometimes when I take a moment and I’m very still, I can hear him. In my heart. And that’s the best feeling in the world.
That’s lovely, Alessandra. Thank you. My wife lost her mother when she was 16. I was fortunate at least to have my dad until a few years ago.
I suddenly recognize how fortunate I am to still have my Dad a loving and active part of my life. I’ll tell him that today too.
Clicked over from blogfrog and added you to my reader. Always happy to find a new blog, especially one from a little different perspective. Since you know, you’re a guy and all. 🙂
If I helped anyone remember to appreciate their time with a parent a bit more… or a parent with their child(ren) it would certainly make me happy. Thanks so much. I left a comment on your blog and was already following on GFC. Have a lovely weekend.
My dad was an Oklahoma rancher and later in the Intelligence in the Air-force. I am blessed to still have him around. He is still bigger than life. He is my hero. I enjoyed your tribute. I’m stopping from MomLoop today.
I’m so happy you’re dad is still with you. I know what you mean. My dad was bigger than life right up to the end… and beyond. He’ll stay that way in the memories of our children, and their children. Thanks for dropping by from MomLoop on BlogFrog.
Thanks for sharing you memories about your dad.
You are a good son and your little girl has a lovely example to follow.
You are very kind, Hope. Thank you. How is your experience with letterdash.com going. I’m not familiar with them. Most seem to use WordPress or Blogger… and some Typepad. Anyway, nice ot meet you!
Your post is so poignant, and really resonates at this moment. My husband lost his dad to a massive stroke in early December. Though he survived four years to amazement of doctors, it was a heartbreaking shell of Bill. His dad was a WWII pacific vet, and I know the Pearl Harbor observations at same time of year make the memory unavoidbale for E. Like a lot of baby boomers, he clashed w/his dad but was terribly close to his mom. Her bday would have been 12/13, but she passed suddenly, just months after Bill’s stroke. It was such a time of massive grief for E, and all smack in the middle of our adoption process. She never got to meet my boys, and Bill was a trapped victim of his illness when he did. I know E feels the same as you~ he’d love just one more time to have them hug his older daughters and his young sons they couldnt experience. (sorry to ramble- once I got going, couldn’t stop…)
Thank you for sharing yours and your husband’s story. Please pass my condolences on to him for the loss of his mother and gradual and now final loss of his father. My dad, also named Bill, suffered a pretty bad decline due in part to small strokes during his final years so I can identify a bit with what you all went through. I’m sure his dad like all WWII vets was a bit bigger than life, and it’s hard to see illness reduce them to something smaller and more fragile. BUT WE GET TO CHOOSE how we remember them now, so the photos I have out for my 2 year old daughter to see are of a fit, healthy, vital man in the prime of his life. And it how I want to remember him, too. I’m glad I was there to hold him when he died, but part of me wishes I could wash my brain of the memory of that last 24 hours . Okay, tearing up again. Best stop. Thanks so much for your comment.
You put into words, so poignantly, how it feels to miss the gentle love of someone who has gone on. I lost my mom 6 years ago and the holidays still bring a dull ache that only her hug could remedy. Thanks for sharing!
I’m so sorry for the loss of your Mom, Erin. I suppose the ache may soften or shift a bit with time, but we never forget or stop missing them, especially at the holidays. My wife lost her mother about 16 years ago, and I know it’s very hard for her, especially now that she’s a mom and doesn’t have her mom to talk to. Thanks for the sweet words, Erin.
I know EXACTLY what you mean. While I always miss my parents, there are Holidays, milestones and markers that I miss them intensely. I KNOW they would have loved my kids and I really wished my kids had know them. I love this post!!!
Hi, Lynn. I’m sorry your kids couldn’t know your parents. And you’re right that loss is felt more acutely at certain times of year and at certain events/milestones. I feel the same way. On a completely unrelated note, I enjoy your blog, though it makes me squirm sometimes. LOL. Have a great rest of the week!
Your dad does sound bigger than life – a rancher and a pilot?
To a girl from suburbia, I’m in awe already.
I hope your memories bring you comfort over the holidays and that you realize he’s somewhere, so proud of you and your little girl.
As one of my newest favorite nutters, I never know what you might say, but that was super sweet. Thank you, Megan. I do so hope my dad and my wife’s mother can see their wonderful grandchild.
Your Dad was amazing! A relationship with my Dad is something I’ve always craved, but never happened.When I see my little girls with their Dad, I’m happy!
At the least you’ve been able to provide what you missed for your girls. My dad was human, worked to hard and wasn’t always home, but still I’d not trade the good times with him for anything.
Love it! Thank you for including us in your memory.
Oh, thank you, Daria. Between my rants about Dora the Explorer and guy talk about the challenges of finding an alternative to the family van… I do occasionally write something from the heart. Have a great weekend.
What a lovely post. It’s timely too. One of my best friends just lost her dad on Friday. We are attending the visitation tomorrow. It came as a shock to her and everyone else. He seemed a middle aged healthy man.
It’s caused me to want to hold my loved ones even closer. Life can be sad and scary! Reminders are always good!
I left a comment on your blog. I’m so sorry for your friend’s loss, but happy you could be there for her. While we can’t live our lives in constant fear of loss, it is important we hold our love ones close and show them the love we feel… every day.
I know exactly how you feel.. I lost my dad 7 months ago and this Christmas was probably the worst I’ve ever experienced..
My dad was one of the most important people in my life, and I was absolutely thrilled to be the typical “Daddy’s Little Girl”..
I’ve been blogging about my feelings too because it seems to help in this whole “grieving process”.. My blog is gettingthroughthefirsts.blogspot.com
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.. It helps to know we’re not alone..
Alyshia, I remember when my grief was as fresh as yours. There are no magic words to make it better, and there’s not real reason to make it better. You must feel it and grieve. It will get better, but no go away, nor would you really want it to go away. Sending (((HUGS))).
My dad ‘died’ in the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh in 1968…My dad came to see me in spirit about three years ago…I never knew I had ESP till that happened. My life is filled with wondrous joy knowing there is life after death. Heaven is not up in the moon or in another sphere or whatever. Heaven is all around us for some of us to see into. Nobody has died, they have just passed over and if you remember them in love, they will be around you, no too worries about that. People came to see me, my sister, my brother in laws, 3 (from each side of my family) a little son of a friend, and people walking across my lounge room and some of them coming through my window and passing across into my kitchen wall.If anyone wants anymore info just write to me if you will…
That’s quite interesting and I’m sure comforting. I’d love to think my daughter’s late Grandfather (my father) and Grandmother (my wife’s mother) can see what a lovely little girl their granddaughter is.
Above, of course they can. Heaven knows how they do, but my dad sat staring at me through a coffee table, and a woman I suspect had her arm around me when I was in my chair asleep, not feeling well, I woke up to see her there. Tbey are real and active and I always ask God to bless them when they come. God didn’t make this life here final, that would be ridiculous…
Popping over from mom loop friday and found this post. I understand…from a mommy perspective anyway. I lost my mom 7 years ago and I miss her everyday. Motherhood isn’t the same as I pictured it being without her here to see it all unfold.
I understand, Becca. Thank you for your thoughtful response. As it happens my wife lost her mother about 18 years ago, and it’s really harder on her (as I imagine it may be on you) than it is in some ways for me not having my dad here. Moms play such an important role and that absence is a void not easily filled.
Thank you for this beautiful post. I lost my dad in 2001 and I still grieve over it — not all the time — but certain songs or memories will pop up and I will sob. I kept thinking it would get better, but now I realize it won’t and I’m glad. He was my hero and the reason I am.
I’m sorry to hear of your loss, Samantha… but happy to hear they way you frame your memories of your father and they way he affected your life. They will never be forgotten.
I loved this post. We were lucky indeed to have the time we did with our wonderful Dads, but they do remain close to us in our hearts. (((HUGS)))
Thank you, Mitzi. It means a lot. I’ll do my best to keep him alive for my little girl who he never got to hold. [sniff]