Time Rolls On

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes. ~Gloria Naylor, American novelist

I lost my dad eight and one-half years ago to cancer, and not a day goes by that I don’t miss him.

Miss his advice

Daddy knew what to do with things in the yard. How and when to spray the roses. Ways to recognize bugs or birds. When to prune and how much.

Daddy understood business. How to deal with unexpected problems or tight cashflow. When to let a client go. How to soothe ruffled feathers and keep clients happy.

Miss his humor

Daddy loved a good joke and remembered them way better than many people. Not everybody wakes up “chirpy,” but those who do are a joy to be around. Daddy never needed that first cup of coffee before being civil or entertaining.

Daddy was able to look on the bright side of most things. Despite his battle with cancer, he never complained. He must have been in a world of pain, but he always pointed out, “There’s pain enough to go around for all of us.”

Miss his encouragement

Daddy recognized the best in me and was quick to call me out if I failed to live up to potential. We had some doozies of arguments when I thought he was too interfering or he thought I was too rebelious. And neither of us was much of an apologiser. Still, I knew he had my back, and he knew I’d eventually cave — if for no other reason than out of respect.

Miss celebrations

Like Christmas, birthdays, and Father’s Day. Miss picking out special cards and writing a heart-felt message on them. Miss pumping him for details about the “good ole days” when he was a boy (even though I’d heard the stories before!) Miss long summer nights playing tennis as a family. Miss snowed-in winter weekends learning something new … like chess.

It’s easy to say none of us gets out of here alive, or that time heals all wounds. But does one ever “get over” the death of a parent?

P.S. Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there! And to those whose dads are still living, give them an extra hug for the rest of us today!

22 thoughts on “Time Rolls On

  1. My dad died many years ago, in 1981 (also because of cancer) and I swear I miss him more today than I did in the years after his death. For one thing, I was that many years younger, and not as good at dealing with such things. For another, over the last twenty years or so, I keep thinking, “I wish he were still here. He’d really enjoy this…”

    Ah, well. We can’ t change the past or predict the future, so I guess the best thing to do is live in the present, and remember the past with affection.

    • I’m sorry you, too, are missing a dad today, Linda. I think you’re right about missing Daddy more now as the years have piled up than at first. I attribute that to shock … and disbelief. Looking back, we should have known he wasn’t going to make it through cancer, but perhaps it’s human nature to cling to hope.

      I like your advice to live in the present and recall the past with affection. That resonates with me, my friend!

  2. What a touching post, Debbie! Your Daddy sounded like such a WONDERFUL man!

    So many of the things you mentioned about your father are reflective of my own dad. He too had the ability to always look on the bright side of things and never complained during his battle with cancer. He also LOVED to tell jokes and make people laugh.

    I was just thinking and speaking of my father yesterday at work, sharing with some of my coworkers what a great cook my father was; especially his Italian meatballs. His were the BEST ever.

    I too feel his loss during missed celebrations; especially Christmas. The holidays for me are so bittersweet.

    Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful post, my friend!

    Sending you a BIG hug…..

    (((((((((((((((((((( YOU ))))))))))))))))))


    • Aw, Ron, your dad sounds amazing! With parents such as you’ve described so often, it’s no wonder you turned out to be the kind, funny, and interesting guy you did!

      I’m sorry this is a father-less Father’s Day for you, too. I guess staying busy helps, but in the quiet moments it’s fitting and good for us to remember their wisdom and love.

      Big hugs heading right back to you, my friend! xo

  3. I take heart with this quote:
    “The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”
    ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

    Your daddy sounds like a wonderful man. He left a lot of himself behind. ♥~

    • Aw, Katybeth, what a perfect quote for the way I’m feeling today! Thank you for providing it so I can shake off the tears and know that there’s a bright tomorrow. Suffering is part of the human condition. Learning to live with grief matures us in ways we can’t foresee — although most of us rebel against the idea of having to suffer at all. I’m glad you’ve got your dear dad around still (and my heart goes out to Cole, who surely misses his dear dad).

  4. This is the third year without my Papa – my heart still misses him so much! But the legacy of his love, like the love of your father, continues to fill my heart and life. Blessings of comfort to you on this father-less Father’s day.

    • Thank you so much, Virginia. ‘Tis hard, isn’t it? But they’d want us to go forth with confidence, and so we must. Hugs right back to you — thanks for stopping by and letting me meet you! I’ll hop on over to your place, too.

  5. Despite the fact it’s something we nearly all go through, the loss of a parent still leaves a huge hole. My Dad died many years ago, also cancer, when I was in my early twenties, but I still carry on imaginary conversations with him on a regular basis – usually when I need advice, and can “hear” him telling me what to do. My mother died more recently, just a few years ago, and I miss her every day. But again, knowing her so well means I still know what she’d say or do in a given situation, so in that sense I feel she’s still around. I don’t think we ever get over the loss of a parent, but I’m not sure we’d really want to anyway… 🙂

    • FF, I’m so sorry to learn you’ve lost both parents. I had a friend who told me, upon the death of her last parent, “Now I’m an orphan.” I don’t know what that feels like, but it makes me all teary-eyed. The usual course of events has parents predeceasing their kids — I imagine it would be way worse reversed. You’re fortunate to still be able to glean advice from them!! Maybe as we get older we appreciate more the time we had with them.

  6. Oh Debbie, such great memories you have of your dad. He sounds like a wonderful father. I lost my dad really early, I was only thirteen. Nothing can ever take the place of a parent, and in many ways, I don’t think we ever get over it, but we do get through it, and we have those beautiful memories to treasure for the rest of our lives. Thanks for sharing about your dad on this special day.

  7. What a beautiful, heartfelt tribute to a wonderful father. I could especially relate to those “doozies of arguments” when you didn’t see eye to eye, but knew he had your back anyway. You must miss him so deeply, but take comfort in knowing I can see his spirit lives on in you.

  8. Beautiful. And even though I’m reading this well past Father’s Day – I am in Utah today traveling with my Dad on our way to Canada. Also my husband, youngest son and his wife. We’re taking time today (4th of July) to go boating with other extended family up at a lake near Park City, Utah. As you know, my mom (his wife of 64 years) just passed this last winter and this is his first voyage without her (a lot of why we’re accompanying him). They used to love to road trip and I’m so happy he’s putting on his brave shoes and staying at it. Time moves on and so must we. Things change – but life is always such an exquisite gift. Hugs to you as you think of your father with such obvious love and affection.

    • Hugs to your dad for strapping on his brave shoes … and to his family for surrounding him with love and support. Hope your travels are safe and enjoyable!

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