Four Years

It’s been four years to the day that my dad passed away.  Every July, to celebrate his birthday I bake a cake and we sing Happy Birthday.  To help keep his spirit alive for my girls we talk about how much he liked to tease, kiss his grandbabies and build things with his hands.  This past July,  we were finally able to gather as a family at the cemetery.  This was my first time returning to his grave since the memorial. The girls had never been to a cemetery so of course they were very curious.  It was hard to have them running around happily and asking to have all the gravestones read while I was there to say hello to my beloved dad that I’d like nothing than more to see in person and actually talk to.  We lit birthday candles (and I’m sure we sang, although I don’t actually remember), the girls cleaned and decorated his grave, we took pictures, we toasted him, we hugged and we lit sparkles. Had I past a larger fireworks stand I would have gotten something with a little bit more kick to better celebrate.  While the dichotomy of happy children and a sad heart was difficult, I was glad to have had them visit, I was glad to finally visit, glad to have us together, glad to have them see us celebrate and see us all shed tears.


But in November, I don’t share with the kids this day.  We don’t celebrate.  Jeff & I will usually go out for a quiet lunch and a beer.  I’ll buy a Busch beer; and most of it will go down the drain.  I always hope this day will be a little easier, a little softer, a little gentler, a little less raw.  I hope that for this year as well. It’s been four years and I still find myself thinking “oh, my dad would get a kick out of this.”  I’d still like to call.  And every now and then I’ll play his voice mail message to hear his voice.  The girls have grown so much in the time he has been gone.  I’d love for him to see how big his first granddaughter has grown.  I’d love for him to see Scarlett’s blue eyes and crazy personality.  I’d love for him to be able to tease Lavender for telling him no (as she does to everything and everyone these days).  I’d have loved to have him with us for so, so much longer.  We love you, Mark R!


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  1. Ruth R

    I wish he was here also to tease our girls… love the pictures…. love them. don’t drink bush have a peppermint snobs much better at what was it 2:38 or something. He would be so proud of you.. and his son (not a son in law a son) , and his baby girls..

    • Amanda

      I love the photo’s too!

  2. Barbara Christensen

    I think it’s amazing that you had such a great relationship with your dad. That says so much about who he was. Hugs!

    • Amanda

      Thank you.

  3. Debbie B

    Thank you for sharing all the love, hurt and wonderful photos. Lighting a candle and sending hugs. When my dad passed away (not such a great relationship- you are so lucky!!) a friend said when folks pass on we just communicate with them in new ways. Like thinking your dad would enjoy something and feeling like he is actually there after all. Sometimes the wine kicks in and it works ;)) hugs. D

    • Amanda

      Thank you.

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