Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

This is my first year living without you. I knew it would be hard, but I didn’t know it would be this hard.

I didn’t know I would break down while cleaning up the kitchen after breakfast because that’s when I would have called you. I didn’t know I would cry once again looking outside at the rain, the perfect weather to suit my current moodAnd I didn’t know how much I would need those consoling hugs from your grandsons, the ones who remind me of you more and more the older they get.

Hudson can say “grandpa” now. I wish you could have heard him say it. He has your solid build and your kind heart.

Hayden is so much bigger than when you held him last. He’s already a year old, Dad. He was only three weeks old when we lost you. He has your smile and your happy demeanor.

And Taven, can you believe he’s almost a teenager, a young man? He definitely has your sense of humor—and your stubbornness. 

I wish you could have been here to watch these boys grow up.

I wish you could have taught them about cars or cooked them one of your famous barbecued meals (you also knew how to make a mean mac ‘n cheese). I wish you could have built or drawn them something they’d treasure, just as you used to do for me—those are such fond memories. You were so talented, Dad.

RELATED: To Those Who Know the Bitter Hurt of Losing a Parent

I wish they had many more years of birthday cards with heartfelt messages in them. I wish you could be there to cheer them on at sports games and school concerts. I wish you could be there to watch them graduate and get married. I wish they could see all you had to offer as a dad and a grandpa and maybe one day, a great-grandpa.

We weren’t ready to lose you yet, Dad. One day short of two months from your diagnosis—when we were told you had three to nine months left—was too soon. It would always have been too soon.

You had so much life left to live. So many more memories to make.

It hurts unbelievably to think that my youngest kids won’t remember you. But I promise you this, Dad—they will know you. They will see pictures and hear stories and know what an amazing dad and great man you were. They will see the legacy you left. I will make sure of it.

Not a day, or hardly even a minute, goes by that I don’t think of you. I talk to you all the time, and I still know what you would say in response. I’m scared to lose that. I don’t want to forget what your big bear hugs felt like or the way you smelled. Those are memories of my father that pictures and videos just can’t capture.

People say it gets easier, and maybe it does. The hurt, those feelings of loss, never really go away, but you learn to live with it. Death becomes a way of life.

But when I hear one of your favorite songs, or feel the urge to pick up the phone and call you—that’s when it hits me.

I break down like I did the moment you took your last breath. Grief isn’t something you can control or wish away. It’s always there, ever-present, just waiting to strike.

And today, it’s like a heavy cloak hanging over my shoulders. The tears are ready to fall. I’m trying to keep it together, trying to push through because as much as I am missing you, I am trying to enjoy this day with the family I still have. They understand, of course, and I know they miss you, too.

RELATED: For As Long As We Love, We Grieve

Thank you for supporting me, believing in me, teaching me, being there for me, and loving me, Dad. While I can’t pick up the phone for those words of dad wisdom, I can draw on the love and memories you left me with. And that—that’s something I can smile about.

In loving memory of Alvin (Al) Rehberg

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Trina Rehberg Boyko

Trina Rehberg Boyko is a writer in Winnipeg, MB. 

I Wish She Could Have Met You, Dad

In: Grief, Loss
little girl www.herviewfromhome.com

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,...

Keep Reading

My Dad Showed Me the Greatest Lessons Are Taught Through Example

In: Fatherhood
grandpa holding donut box with grandson

Waiting at the window, I arranged the blue ruffles on my brand new dress and flipped my hair around to look just right. It was a night to be fancy. It was my first date. My face was flushed as I looked forward to the night ahead. I knew it was a big deal to be taken out and I would get special treatment. I would pick the restaurant and maybe we would have some ice cream and walk around downtown before the sun went down. After that, I was pretty sure we could go to the store and that...

Keep Reading

How is it Possible I’ll Never Hear My Dad’s Laugh Again?

In: Grief, Kids
Vintage photo of dad and daughter

This June will mark my first Father’s Day without my dad. I sometimes feel like I have been admitted to a secret club of those who mourn the loss of a parent. We see each other and give slight nods and meaningful looks to honor the losses we often can’t articulate. We shoulder our way through the difficult holidays together, squeezing our eyes shut and staying away from social media until they pass. It is cold comfort knowing there are people who understand. My dad has been gone for nearly nine months and somehow my grief is more consuming now...

Keep Reading