Remembering Dad (Part One of Many)

{an explanation}

There are so many moments that shape our lives. It’s not so much the day to day that change us but rather the sixty seconds here or there that are filled with love and hope and joy or fear and anger and malice.

These moments are rarely pre-meditated. No. They spontaneously occur without warning and something about us will never be the same as a result.

I have many of these moments in my life. They often appear as images in my mind’s eye. These still photos in my memory can quickly turn the corners of my lips into the brightest smile; they can also stab at my heart causing a deep twinge of pain.

I have many of both kinds of memories when I reflect on the life of my dad. And as I grieve his loss, these memories will show up at times like an uninvited guest. Other times like a long lost friend come to sit a while and talk.

I’ve been told there is no right or wrong way to grieve. I believe I will find my healing in writing about what I am feeling. I am hesitant to make these passages public yet if I didn’t go through such trials to bring strength and courage to others, then why?

Not all stories have happy endings but that doesn’t mean the story should not be told.


Enter at your own risk. Know that I loved my dad dearly. He was a good man as you will read. He tried so hard to change his legacy. His children will continue this endeavor, and with God’s help, succeed.

Dear Dad,

I am so sorry that you are gone

It’s hard to think about you not being here to welcome Dominic into the world

To be the Poppy you always wanted to be

Dear Dad,

It is also hard to swallow your passing at this time

The last image in my mind’s eye of you is not a good one

I see you at the airport alongside momma

Shooing us away

When I think of this moment I am saddened

Our last hug was obligatory

Dear Dad,

You never wrote

I had to extend tough love

Because I did love you so much

But you never wrote back

Maybe you were thinking about it

Maybe you had even started a letter

But I never got it
Dear Dad,

Mom says you really enjoyed the pictures I sent

I promise I was going to send a big one

So you could see our growing family

You just left too soon

Dear Dad,

The last words I have from you

Are such bitter ones

Wish they were sweeter

Dear Dad,

I’ve been told by many to remember the good times

And I want to

You could be the sweetest man

But right now I am stuck in those recent times that were not so sweet

Dear Dad,

You were stuck in the past

You were not very happy

I never understood that

A beautiful, loving, serving wife

Two kids who had grown up to embrace joyfilled lives of their own

Why were you so unhappy?

Dear Dad,

I know you had your moments of joy

Your laugh is one of the things I delight in remembering

Your deep baritone voice is another

You loved to sing

Dear Dad,

I will always remember my wedding day

I will remember how we practiced for the ‘daddy/daughter dance’ that very morning

I will remember that there was a time that I didn’t want you to walk me down the aisle

I will remember that on that day I could not have been prouder of my escort

Dear Dad,

I will cherish your love for birds

I will smile every time I pass some form of memorabilia for Andy Griffeth

Or Gomer Pile, or Jimmy Stewart

Dear Dad,

I will remember that you were the one who taught me how to write my name in cursive

I will smile at the memory of learning short division from you and then having to relearn long division because the teacher wanted me to show my work

I will cherish our mutual love for Boston Creme Donuts

Dear Dad,

I will hold back tears when I think of the times that you beheld me in a true father’s light

You would call me your sweet pea and meant it with all your heart

There is nothing that compares to the compliments of a father as he dotes upon his daughter

Those moments are not quickly forgotten

Dear Dad,

I don’t understand why God took you when he did

Mom says you were beginning to change

How I would have loved to have seen those seeds of change

How I would have liked to say one last time that I love you

To give you a genuine hug

To have a better image in my mind of goodbye

Perhaps like the times when you would wave goodbye from the backsteps

as I drove away to college

Now that is a nice goodbye

That is a goodbye I would like to have etched in my mind

Not the one that haunts me in my sleep

Not the one that still oozes hatred

Not the one that made me feel so hollow inside

Dear Dad,

I know you didn’t mean it

I know you always loved me

I know you wanted to live it more than you did

I know

Dear Dad,

I wish you were still around

I wish you could have become the man I prayed you would become

I hate that momma is all alone

I hate that you will never meet your grandchildren

Dear Dad,

I know that you loved me

I know that you know that I loved you

I just wish we could have had one last phone conversation to clear the air

Why couldn’t we have had a goodbye like you had with mom?

Dear Dad,

I want to remember all the good times

But something inside me is determined not to forget the bad either

You lived in the past

I can’t do that.

I have to live in the present joys of life

Looking forward to the future ahead

Dear Dad,

Life is a gift

Your life was a gift

You met no stranger

In your finest moments you were a very loving man

Dear Dad,

I always wanted to be your little girl

Daddy’s girl

Although that didn’t work out the way I had hoped

I do have memories of being the sparkle in your eye

Dear Daddy,

I really wish I could hug you one more time

And tell you how muchI have always loved you

And my heart tells me that I did the right thing

But my head can’t help but wonder if it was wrong

Dear Dad,

You were a fine man in your shining moments

I have to cherish those times

Those are the times I want to share with Dominic

The parts of you that were admirable I pray I demonstrate to my son

Those traits that made you a miserable man, I pray I keep with me only as a reminder that life is more beautiful than words and not worth carrying such a heavy burden.

Dear Dad,

Life is beautiful

and even the passing of your life can be remembered in it’s most beautiful state:

in those moments where your life was truly lived.



Patty Parker

My name is Patty Parker. I write about finding beauty in the every day.

2 thoughts on “Remembering Dad (Part One of Many)

  1. Patty, I really do believe that in remembering the good times we had in our lives, we also need to “think on” the bad times. Not “harp on” them, but “review” everything.
    Maybe that helps us to appreciate the better times more, and to help us forgive them. My father also was a good man, and also had rage in his life. And sadly, he also went to meet Jesus in his sleep. That was 27 years ago, and I still miss him. Just know that one day in the future, you will be reunited with him in heaven, and that now, he is watching you live your life and raise his grandson, and know that he knows that you love him, as he loved and still loves you. Love you, Linda Robinson

  2. What a painful struggle to go through, but such wonderful memories as well. You’re right; there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Thank you for allowing us this window into your life. And thank you for giving us permission to maybe face things ourselves & grieve in a way we may need to but haven’t. I really liked what you said – that why go through this and not do something to help others by sharing it. I love you. And I am praying for you. And I miss you! 😉

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