Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 8th, 1999: The Day I Said Goodbye to my Dad

It was 12 years ago today. My dad lost his battle with brain cancer. I think of him so often. Raising my kids, I often find my thoughts drifting, thinking what it would be like for my dad to meet them. I wonder what things he would approve of, if we would've grown closer, or drifted farther apart.
I know it's silly to think in "what if's", but I still do it. I think often of how I desired to be closer to my daddy growing up. It brings me such joy to see my kids with their daddy, and observe the close bond they are forming. Losing my dad at fifteen has taught me so much. The biggest lesson I've learned is to cherish every loved one every moment I have.

I'll leave you now with some fond memories of my dad:

  • He was incredibly smart. We referred to him as the "human encyclopedia".
  • He was strong, brave, a man's man.
  • He served our country proudly for 21 years in the U.S. Navy (submariner)
  • He was pretty funny...though I didn't like to admit it. He loved to tell puns and they were pretty good, I must admit. :)
  • He LOVED to fish, and loved to include us in that.
  • He could polish off a half gallon of Blue Bell Ice Cream in a single sitting! (that must be where I get it)
  • One time he snapped at me pretty harshly and later told me how much he loved me, and that he felt like he was hard on me a lot because I reminded him of himself as a kid.
  • He loved Christmas time and became almost giddy (a word I would RAREly use to describe my dad!)
  • He had big ideas and always dreamed out loud about building cool things (such as a train going down to the river, through the woods in our back yard)
  • He hated killing snakes but did it more than once for us girls when we asked him to!
  • He loved animals.
  • He was an experimental chef, which was often very scary, since we were his guinea pigs! He made excellent breakfast, though, and even to this day I hardly accept cereal as sufficient in the mornings.
  • He was always early everywhere he went.
One of my last memories of him was when he was dropping me off at my mom's house before church one morning and he told me I looked beautiful. He even sang "you are so beautiful to me". I cherished it. I would've been embarrassed, however, he was very sick and I knew it. It's amazing how differently we look at things when we're faced with loss. You really do never fully know what you have until it's gone.

I love you and miss you, Daddy.


  1. Man, you made me cry!!! That was good! There were so many of those things that I had forgotten. Its funny the different things that will stick out in different peoples minds. It was good to hear your fond memories. Oh, and I just had to add, about the not wanting to kill snakesm (just to clarify for others who read this)....it wasn't because he was afraid to, but because he never wanted to kill an animal for no purpose (you know, unless it was going to be eaten or used in some way)! Those ARE some good memories! And it is true that you appreciate someone more when they are dying or gone, or even just when you grow up and become an adult, and a parent.
    Love you sis!!

  2. wow. i am so blessed to have found your blog. lara, i feel so crappy because i never even knew he died until recently (seeing you on FB) and in 99 we would have been in hs together. i am so sorry that i never knew. i have one memory of your dad- being at your house for your bday party. wow. everything you wrote about him is just so, so, sweet. you're an amazing woman, lara!

  3. Thanks Lissa! Don't feel bad!! You are so kind and I've always thought you are an amazing woman, too, Lissa! :)