Gifts for Dad ➔

Dad,

Today marks nine years since the day you passed away. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you. Sometimes I cry, scream, even isolate myself to try to make sense of it all, and today started out no different. Everyone says I have to face it head on, in order to cope with your loss, but I just didn’t know how.

And I figured today would be a good day to start learning, so with the help of your granddaughter, that’s what I’m doing now.

She’s six and her eyes are like yours. She loves art, dance, being outside, and she can put a smile on anyone’s face. She worries about others, doing what’s right versus what’s easy, and there’s not a mean bone in her body. Crazy, right? You’d think she’d have my hot head but no, she was blessed with your grace.

I can only imagine how close the two of you would be, and how spoiled she’d be if you were here. You’d give her everything she wants and asks for, like a grandpa should. You’d teach her about fishing, grilling, NASCAR, and wood work. You’d show her that helping others is important and how turning the other cheek is the most powerful thing you can do, and I’m happy to say she already knows that part. Because all the love, kindness, and empathy you held is in her, too.

It’s like she was made with all your best qualities, sewed up into one amazing little girl. One amazing little girl who you’ll never get to meet, but I didn’t want to spend today crying. I was done with passing this day by year after year with depression. I wanted to show your granddaughter everything about you.

So instead of 24 hours of sobs and not eating, I spent today laughing. We ate snacks and looked at pictures of you. I told her about all the cool things you’ve done and the things you would show her if you were with us . . . like how the tides work, how you got your horse trophies, how Dale Earnhardt was your man, and how kindness is above all. We spent today celebrating you, your accomplishments, your big heart, and your love. We talked about how beautiful your life was, how you’re in a better place now, and how even though I know it’s this way for a reason, “I wish he could have met you.” She blurted out a response that swelled my eyes with the happiest tears: “No, I wish I could have met him, I love him”.

She loves you, Dad. I wish she could have met you, but whether she’s met you in person or not doesn’t matter, she loves you nonetheless. And I know you love her. At that moment I knew I was learning to cope.

Today, I learned she doesn’t have to meet you to know you. I learned to let you live on through me, through memories, through photographs, through life lessons. I learned to be happy for you, happy that you lived a great life and you’re no longer suffering, happy that my daughter shares the blood and traits of an amazing man . . . and thankful that she has the best granddaddy as her guardian angel.

You may also like:

Even Though You’re In Heaven, Your Grandchildren Will Know You

To Those Who Know the Bitter Hurt of Losing a Parent

Megan Willis

Megan is a creative writer, mystical arts practitioner, and free-range mom of 2. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development and is a former Early Childhood teacher of 12 years. Megan enjoys spending time with her family, writing, gardening, Netflix & food! 🥰

If Only My Mother Were Still Here

In: Grief, Motherhood
Mother and daughter on beach at sunset

My strongest memory of my momma is more of a feeling than a memory. I can see myself standing in the bright kitchen of our big yellow house looking up at my beautiful momma surrounded by sunlight. I think she was handing me a glass of saltwater for a sore throat. But the feeling is what I remember in the most detail . . . I felt safe and loved, known and seen.   I knew that even if I didn’t know what I needed, she would always know. A hug, a song, a gentle nudge of confidence, a silly kitchen...

Keep Reading

How Grateful I Am for a Mother Who Believed in Me

In: Cancer, Grief
Mother and grown daughter, color photo

It was a hot summer day sometime in the middle of high school. I was young and naive, but the ugly six-letter word was looming over our family: cancer. Although I didn’t know it then, this would be our last normal summer before my mother’s health would worsen. Cancer would give way to terminal cancer. It’s funny how something so big can seem so small in those moments. My mom and I were sitting on our back porch, encased in a narrow hedge of yew bushes. It was a yellow, lazy Saturday, and my brothers and father were at Cub...

Keep Reading

A Medical Diagnosis Challenges a Marriage

In: Cancer, Living, Marriage
Bald woman holding clippers over husband's head, color photo

It is no secret now that Albert Pujols and his wife have announced their divorce shortly after she had surgery to remove a brain tumor. As a breast cancer survivor, this news hit me in a special way. As I was reading through an article from Today, there was a quote that hit me hard, “But a marriage falling apart is far more common when the wife is the patient, researchers have found. A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer or multiple sclerosis than if a man in the relationship is...

Keep Reading

Dear Grandmother, I’m Not Ready to Lose You

In: Grief
Elderly woman and granddaughter touch foreheads

I had a visit from my grandmother the other day. It wasn’t a regular sit on the porch with a cup of tea kind of visit. It was more of an “I have something I need to tell you” type of visit. She’s been unwell for some time, and I guess I had sort of hoped she would get better, and she would be back to herself soon enough. I noticed when she sat down and tears filled her eyes that it wasn’t going to be a normal conversation. Her eyes widened and she struggled to get her words out without...

Keep Reading

Love Carries On in the Ones We Raise

In: Grief, Motherhood
Mother and son hug

From a very young age, two of the most important men in my life were my grandpa and my brother. I never could have imagined that I’d lose them both within nine months, nor could I predict the profound effects the magnitude of those losses would have on my life. My grandpa was my father figure and shepherd. I have endless memories of him— from splashing in the ocean together to shopping each Easter season for my Easter dress. He was always there. Every choir concert, musical, or school ceremony, I could easily find his face in the crowd. I...

Keep Reading

Friends Can Be a Sanctuary

In: Friendship, Grief
Group of friends hugging

A sanctuary is defined as anywhere people go for peaceful tranquility or introspection. My friends became my sanctuary when my husband, Frank, died. They became my refuge and my safe place. Friendship is one of the most wonderful gifts in this world. It is beautiful, comforting, ever-changing, and, for me, a fixed point.  My friends seemed to know exactly what I needed and when I needed it. Their love and constant support got me through the worst of times and gave me the courage and confidence I needed to move forward.  I could never give an adequate thank you to...

Keep Reading

All I Wanted Was For My Baby To Stay Alive

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Sad woman with head in hands

Today is the day I’ve dreaded and resisted for almost a year: the day I face going through the white plastic bag the hospital sent home with me after my D&C, 10 months ago. This bag held my clothes, shoes, and wedding ring for the short time I was in surgery, but I rescued all of those precious items soon after waking. The items that remain show the paper trail of that difficult day—receipts from my hospital admittance and anesthesia, general post-operative care instructions, and a consent form for “treatment of incomplete abortion.” That last part brings tears to my...

Keep Reading

My Husband Makes Me a Stronger Woman

In: Grief, Loss, Marriage
Daddy standing over hospital crib with infant, black-and-white photo

A little over a year ago, my husband and I went through the unimaginable. We lost our child, Lillian, to a congenital heart defect. The days following that, and even to this day, people will comment on how strong I am. How well I’ve dealt with this darkness. How they can’t imagine what I am going through. The truth is I was never alone. From the day we found out I would give birth to a child who had complex heart defects, my husband has been there. Always in the background of what others saw but ever so present in...

Keep Reading

Mothers Don’t Teach Us How To Live Life Without Them

In: Grief, Grown Children, Loss, Motherhood
Woman in dress with corsage, smiling color photo

When you’re a little girl, you dream of marriage, children, a career, and memories that you will cherish forever—and you want your mother by your side at all times. Our mothers teach us how to live a life we will enjoy, but they never teach us how to live a life without them in it. Our mothers don’t tell us that one day they will not be here to answer the phone when we call or go on spontaneous dinner dates. My mother never told me there will come a day when she will be gone and how bad it...

Keep Reading

When Mother’s Day Feels Awkward, Find Comfort in Community

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood

Mother’s Day can be beautiful for some women. It can be hurt filled for others. Or in my case, it can just feel plain old awkward. I felt eight years of awkward Mother’s Days. In my late 20s to mid-30s, I felt like the woman no one knew what to say to or what to do with. I felt a double whammy on Mother’s Day. My mother was home in Heaven. My womb was empty and always would be. My desire to have a child was filled with an intentional choice to go a non-traditional route to motherhood and was...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections