Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dad-

The sun is shining today, so that automatically puts me in a good mood. I eye the massive bag of apples atop my counter and figure that now is as good a time as any to start in on my applesauce.

I stand at my sink and peel away at apple after apple. Peel, peel, peel, core, cut, put in the kettle. There are so many apples that it takes me close to an hour. Well, that and the fact that I have to stop about a gazillion times to break up fights, hand out snacks, change diapers, wipe noses, and wipe butts.

Still, the sun is shining in through my windows in heated streams, Frank Sinatra is playing in the background, and the sweet, spicy smell of my apples is filling the whole house. Strangely enough, it is times like these that the hole in my heart feels especially sharp.

It has been too long since I've seen you. I mean, I know that when people die you don't see them anymore. I get that. But, well, I really miss seeing you. I've been missing you so much lately. I'm wondering if it is finally hitting me that you are gone. I won't be seeing you again. And now I'm starting to cry again.

This past week we celebrated All Saints Day at church. Just like every year, the names of all the church members who have passed away in past year were read in front of church. There I sat in my pew, sweating and nervous. Dreading when they would get to your name. And when your name was finally read it felt like a punch in the gut. I cried and cried and didn't even care that the girl in the pew in front of me turned around to stare. Stare away, girlie! I miss my dad.

This year we skipped right over fall. It was never golden and pretty. It was not cool and crisp. It didn't even have that wonderful fall smell. It was dark and dreary and bitter cold. It seems appropriate though, because fall was your absolute favorite time, and without you here to enjoy it what is the point?

There are so many things you have missed, daddy. I have a little girl. Did you know that? I like to think that maybe you already met her, but I don't know. I named her Grace. And she is perfect. I wish you could have met her. And her you. I feel she is really missing out without you here. We all are.

The boys still talk about you. Mostly at night when we are saying prayers. They like to think of you as an angel now, and they sometimes ask you for favors. One night Joey even asked you to "help all the girls stop trying to kiss me". I laughed so hard and I pictured you laughing right along with us. You would be so proud of my boys and so happy to see how much they want to protect their sister. It is very sweet.

We moved too. Remember that neighborhood that you and mom used to walk through all the time? The one right on top of the lake by the woods? Mom said you used to walk down the very street I live on and dream about living here. The house has everything you always wanted. A fireplace, a big backyard, a huge garage. It even feels like we live out in the country because the neighborhood is so quite. You can hear the waves crashing and listen to the geese honking as they come in for a landing over the cliff edge onto the lake. And the other night we had four deer in our yard. This house has your name all over it. I wish you could see it. You would be so happy for us. So excited.

I miss you, dad. I wish you would visit. At least in my dreams every now and then. It has just been too long. Every once in a while I can hear you in my head. The other night when I was irrationally annoyed with mom I heard you say, "Awe, honey. Come on now." Just like you used to do when mom and I would bicker with each other when I was a sassy teenager. It immediately made me smile. And then it widened that hole in my heart and I missed you even more.

Here I thought I was so strong and doing so well. But I guess it is finally hitting me now. Before I was just happy for you. Glad that you were finally released from your body that wasn't working anymore. Grateful that you were not suffering anymore. Now. Now I'm just sad for me.

I found a three page letter that you had written to me when I was in high school. In it you told me how proud of me you were and how much you loved me. It felt so good to read those words from you. Having that letter now means more to me than you could ever have imagined when you wrote it.
You ended the letter with:
"Mom and I both hope and pray for a bright future for you and that you never stray from the right and good path. We have loving concern for you- so very much- our youngest and last of all of our children. You have so much to offer. Please- always- depend on God to help you- to guide you, care for you and to bless you. And give Him your love, praise, adoration, thanksgiving, and support.
God Bless You Honey- I love you very much!! And right now I am choked up. Dad"

Thank you, Daddy. What a gift. I'll end my letter the same way.

God Bless You Daddy- I love you very much!! And right now I am choked up. Kathy

31 comments:

Mom24 said...

Oh Kat, I'm so, so sorry. I know my dad means the world to me and I literally can not imagine how life will be when he's gone.

So sorry for the hole.

lakeviewer said...

Kat, this is so powerful, brought me to tears too.

Kelly said...

I'm in tears for you. It has to be so hard to lose a parent. I hope that hole gets smaller as time goes on and you can think of him with a smile and less sadness. Know that he is watching over you and I'm sure he's a proud dad and grandpa

Not Your Aunt B said...

Brought tears to my eyes. Somewhere up above he is getting all choked up too I am sure.

Tam said...

This post should have a major Tissue warning up front! Powerfull and moving!

Mel said...

Oh Kat...how blessed you are. Yeah...it hurts...it hurts a LOT...but to have your memories...to be able to hear him...and that letter? I am so envious...so very envious. My dad passed when I was 19 years old...close to 30 years ago. I had complete strangers tell me at his funeral how much he loved me...that was the first time I'd ever heard that my dad loved me. Hold onto those memories my girl...cry all you want and loudly if you have to! You are BLESSED and you have suffered a tremendous loss. Just *be* Kat.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Oh Kat, I've been waiting for this post and you have me bawling like a baby. You really never had a moment to really grieve did you.
I am 30 years out from my Dad's passing and I still have days like this. I don't think we ever stop missing them, but it does stop hurting quite so much after a while.
What you had with your Dad was a rare gift, and that letter is priceless.
Now point out the staring girl to me-- is it wrong to tackle someone in church?

*hugs and prayers to you*, J

Dawn said...

Saying a little prayer, for you, for comfort. I love reading about your Dad...what an wonderful person.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

This is a beautiful post. Thanks for adding the part about Joey's prayer so I could add a laugh to my tears.

painted maypole said...

Of course you miss him. It's a testament to how much he meant to you that you think of him, particularly in the good times.

Stare away, Girlie, indeed.

He was a gift.

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
All are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Maryeliz said...

Oh my. So powerful and sweet. I'm sure your Dad is watching over you and your family.

Hilary said...

I feel like I'm intruding on a private moment. A very beautiful private moment. Hugs to you.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Right now I am choked up too.
You are so lucky to have that letter. And you are strong, Kat, you are so strong and you went through so much with him.
I truly believe that he does see your home, and his beautiful granddaughter.
xoxoxo

Rima said...

You know he does see you and is happy for you, I totally believe that. And I hope he pays you a visit in your dreams soon. (Someone once told me that you should ask right before falling asleep, just say it out loud! Crazy, I know, but it doesn't hurt to try :)

Emily said...

I can't imagine life without my dad. Yours was obviously amazing to have this much of an impact on you still...what a blessing to have a parent like that.

Kathryn said...

Beautiful post! My Dad died 20 years ago this October, and I miss him still..especially in the Fall. I also dream of him sometimes and when I realize I'm in a dream I fight the waking up with all my might, I love those dreams!
Now I'm all choked up, really truly lovely post!

Tonya said...

I'm tearing up. Beautifully written. Oh neat to have a letter from him from years ago. So sweet.

CC said...

Hugs. What a beautiful letter to your dad. And beautiful letter he wrote you as well.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

It's those anniversaries that are so tough...I'm glad you're paying tribute to him and keeping him so alive for your children's sake, too!

Kristen said...

Now I am all choked up at work too.....

Thinking of you Kat as I am sure your dad is as well! He is so proud of you!! :)

Karen Deborah said...

Oh Kat...*sigh*...*sniff* wish I could hug you, I am a very good hugger. I would wipe your eyes and just sit and listen and let you talk and talk and remember.

You have just been to busy. So much has happened. It's OK. We can't get away from grief. We may be busy for a season but when the quiet moments come so does that heartache that we must attend too.

Applesauce and memories is a very good way to spend the day.

*HUGS*

Beck said...

I am so sorry. He sounds like he was a wonderful dad and I truly believe that he's still watching over you...

JennyMac said...

Such a special letter...it was really moving. What an amazing Father you had.

tweetey30 said...

Wow what a letter Kat. I am not ready to lose any of my parents yet. I have a step dad, my mom and my real dad. I am not ready to lose any of them yet.. But when I do I will look back at this letter you wrote and realize how you feel right now.. Thanks for sharing your letter with us..

Fire Hunt said...

I'm in tears I know how you feel I miss my dad to.

Jaysi said...

I have tears streaming down my face!!! I hope that felt good to be able to write that. I know nothing will take away the sting of losing your dad. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers today.

Jaysi

Lisa said...

That gave me chills. So raw and real. Know that your Dad knows how much you love him & he's looking down on you and your sweet family with smiling eyes.

April said...

So sweet. And sad. Daughters will always miss their Daddies.

Catwoman said...

You have me sobbing.

lime said...

big hugs. it's natural to miss him, especiallywhen there are so many happy things you wish you could share with him. more big hugs.

Molly's Mom said...

Oh, Kat. I think you might guess how this post spoke to me.

(((Hugs)))

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson