Saturday, May 28, 2011

May 28, 1995. 6:47pm


April 1995

It's funny the things that cross my mind each year around Memorial Day.  How things people have said or done over the last 16 years since my dad died that have affected me profoundly...
The December after my dad died, Father of the Bride, Part 2 came out.  I saw it with a bunch of friends from marching band in college.  One guy asked me a simple question, "Did you like this one or the first one better?"  I said, "I can't really answer that because it became completely different for me. The first one my dad was alive, so I envisioned all those things--getting married, him walking me down the aisle, etc. with him.  And this one, he's it's not an easy comparison."  

Or just days following his death, listening to a beautiful piece of music a friend shared with me who said he felt as though the music sounded like an ascension into heaven...and held me as I sobbed uncontrollably while we listened.

Or the flowers that were delivered the first May 28th after my (then) husband and I separated from a priceless angel of a friend who probably will never truly know how deeply touched I was for more reasons than I could ever express.

Or the friend who, for years, sent a card or email that I received on or around May 28 each year.... and even in the few years where we'd lost touch, I still knew I was thought of.

Last night, as my mom is in town visiting us, my family headed to friends of BOTH my parents whom we haven't seen in many, many years.  My dad and his friend were very close when we all lived in Arizona. 

Now, 16 years later, I learn that I live-- in Pittsburgh--about 7 minutes away from one of his best friends. 

It was a surreal moment hearing one of my dad's best friends speak to my 11 year old son and my 8 year old nephew, telling them that everything he knew about baseball he had learned from their grandfather...whom neither of these children have ever met. 

I cried. 

Cried for them, as they will never know how amazing a person their grandfather was. And I cried for him to not able to be a part of his own grandchildren's lives.  And I cried for me...because I miss him. 

Those are just a few examples throughout the last 16 years of my life, that have struck a chord so deeply in me that when I recall them, I can literally picture them as if it were the times they occurred. 

My husband struggles with not being sure of what to say to me...he hates he cannot "fix" it. Last night he said to me, "It's just hard for me to know what to do since I have no idea what that feels like."

And I wouldn't want you to...

I only know what it feels like to me.  My brothers, my mother, my aunts and uncles...they all lost someone too.

It makes me smile that my son asks questions about his Opa and in just the few days my nephew has been here, hearing him talk about his Opa as well. 

So, I do thank God for allowing people in my life--past and present--to share, honor and remember.



  1. Thinking of you today Steph, anniversaries are so hard, no matter how many years have gone by. I can really relate to what you are saying since my dad also passed before my children were born (actually before I got married or met my husband too). Growing up I never knew my grandfather (we share the same birthday and he died before I turned 1) and it always felt so strange to me when people would tell stories and I had no concept of this man who seemed so wonderful. I never imagined that my kids would experience that same thing. It pains me that although they can hear stories, see pictures, even video, their view of him will always be incomplete. And I wish he could have seen me so happy and as a wife and a mother.

    Today we are headed to the cemetery - my dad was in the military so we're putting Memorial Day flowers on the grave. My 4 year old always fusses over the flowers and insists on being the one to place them so that makes me happy - he clearly understands that pa paw was special and that this important. Still makes me very sad though.


  2. Thinking of you. The day is hard yet filled with so many great memories. Stories is one way to keep his memory alive, to introduce him to your children and honor him. I understand what your husband is saying because my husband says the same thing. No one truly knows, understands or feels what we feel unless they have lost their father. Hugs with you today, tomorrow and years to come.

  3. Sending you so many hugs. Thinking of you.

  4. In a positive note, I don't think I've ever noticed even as many years as I've seen that photo of you and your dad how much Lily looks exactly like you.

    I know your dad would say the exact same thing, it's really amazing how we always come full circle.