name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : When The Anniversary Approaches - Missing my Dad


When The Anniversary Approaches - Missing my Dad

Sixteen years. Sixteen years ago, I came home from a long day of teaching, ready for a lazy weekend. Instead, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law are waiting for me inside the home I rented with two friends. I see them, and I run. I don't know where I am going, but I know whatever they tell me is not going to be good. I run so it won't be real.

At that moment, my worst fear has come true. Something has happened to my dad. I think heart attack because he's had two prior, but it's not that. It's a fishing accident. They found his canoe, his fishing gear, but not him. Fast forward to nine days later, and we find him. And just like that, I can't outrun this reality.

So, where I am 16 years later on his anniversary? I am a mom. A wife. A daughter and a sister. I try to be a good friend. I worry. I grieve. I sit here right now thinking of how in the world I am here when my dad is not.

Most days, I am good - my kids keep me in real time. I am busy most days with just everyday life. I try on those days to be present because I know that life can change when you least expect it. There are other days - many, in fact - where I just can't. Give me the comfort of my home when I can't face the world outside. When I can't explain my anxiety, my grief, or my depression to anyone at all.

February 28th is the day where I sit in it for those 24 hours. I won't hide my sadness from my kids because I want to be real. I also won't shy away from telling them about the guy who would probably pick them up from school, take them to the park or on a quick fishing trip. The guy who would tell them corny jokes and laugh that raspy laugh. The guy who would call me and read me parts of his favorite book. The guy who would open a beer with my husband to talk business, college football, and how stubborn his daughter is.

My kids are old enough now to really grasp what this day means for me - and for them, too. They are wise enough to know they missed a really good thing. Though I am sad, I want them to a part of this day, too.

We will play Jimmy Buffet because he loved Margaritaville and Son of a Sailor

We will spend part of our day outdoors because he volunteered often to take care of our world.

We will make a good dinner - probably one we just make up - because he didn't follow recipes.

We will talk about good books and reading because my love of reading comes from him.

We will talk about hope because through harder times for my dad, he always had it.

We will look at pictures - like the one of my dad and I dancing at a friend's wedding. 

I will spend some time in the quiet, sitting knee-deep in my loss. Missing him

I will text my friend, Jennifer, and thank my dad and her sister, Missy, for them bringing us together through their deaths.

I will share good memories with my husband because he was lucky enough to know him.

I will hug my kids so hard because I strongly believe he chose them for me.

I will pray hard. For my family. For our loss. For our continued strength that only He can provide.

Sixteen years ago. Sixteen. I've grown. I've lost again. And after this day ends, my dad would want all of us to remember he's safely home - full of hope and fishing in the greatest rivers in Heaven. 


  1. Oh my dear friend, so hard to contain tears from this heartfelt post. Though grief is so hard and the pain sometimes is unexplainable and not comprehended by those that haven’t been through it, it’s amazing to see how God brings beauty from our hardest moments and show us His infinite love through it all. Sending you a big hug today and praying for your heart. Hope your day of celebrating him and mourning his absence can bring peace to your heart.

    1. I always appreciate your love and support - makes the harder days better!

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss and the grief you still go through. I lost my dad two weeks ago and it's a blessing to read posts like this from people who have been there and understand!

    1. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You will find strength on many days and sorrow many others - such a crazy roller coaster. I'll be praying for you and your family!

  3. We flew home to book this venue in June last year. Absolutely loved venues in NYC here and I'll be certainly waiting to go back there for more events. Regardless of the time of your event, you always get the same thing: reasonable drink prices, great decoration, & friendly staff.


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