Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This is my Dad.

He died one week to the day after Alyssa was born. He had been sick with dementia and was obviously older, so his death was imminent. The timing of his death however was a shock. The day I went into the hospital to have Alyssa is the same day Dad was sent home from the hospital with Hospice care to die. The nurses at the hospital were questioning my blood pressure...it was high...ya think?

That was three years ago. I thought I was over it. I'm not.

My Dad was creamated and requested that his ashes be put into the Ohio River where he had spent lots of time in his younger years. His best friend Stu had a barge that my Dad worked on in his spare time.

Dad and Stu on the barge.

This past weekend our family made the trip to Ohio and completed his request.

My Dad and I were really close when I was young. He could do no wrong. He was home with me after school and during the summers and I loved working along side of him on projects around the house. During Jr. High I began realizing that my dad was different, and by High School I was flat out ashamed of that fact. Not only was my dad older than everyone elses he was also much more conservative. During college, I got over the superficialness of my high school years and began appreciating him as my dad again, regardless.

Then he got sick. He was no longer someone I could go to for help or conversation, but a "child" who needed watched and helped. He was confused and frustrated and sometimes mean. Calls home were no longer to chat, but to check in. Weekends home were no longer to visit, but to support. In many ways, I lost my dad years before I lost my dad.

When he died, I knew it was significant, but I had already lost the relationship, so I didn't grieve the physical loss at that time. I couldn't...I had just become a mom! So life kept going and going and going and suddenly, I was angry. I wasn't angry at God, no, I still believe God's plan is perfect, I was angry at Dad. For everything he had ever done that wasn't perfect. That's fair right? I have sat in that angry place now for almost a year. I went to the river this weekend in that angry place. I think I would have been content to be in that angry place for a long time. But when I got home, someone said something, and I really wish I could remember the exact words, but the gist was... it's time to get over it. And I think he was right.

I've learned since coming home, that getting over it probably means I'm going to be sad. Because even though we're three years out, there's a lot of stuff I still have to reconcile. It's so much easier to not miss him or wish I still had a dad here with me if I can convince myself that he sucked anyway. But he didn't.

So for now I work through the truth...I'm too young to not have a dad. I want my kids to know my dad. I want my mom to have her husband so that I don't feel guilty having mine. Most of all, I think I want my dad back.


  1. The tables have turned.

    I now know how you feel all those times you read a deep post of mine and then simply commented that you didn't know what to say.

    So, since I'd only flounder if I tried to say more, I'll only say that I love you and that I've been praying for you, and I'll continue to do so.

  2. Nice post hun. I am here to support you any way I can. Love you, -Chris

  3. It's an exclusive club that we're both in. Normally, I'm all about being a part of an exclusive club. However, this is not a club that any of us want to join. I can truly say that I've known many of those above feelings that you've described and they suck. Working through those feelings is a long, hard journey--one that is sometimes easier to avoid. If you want some company on your journey, let me know--I've traveled a similar path. Take care my friend.