Monday, March 29, 2010

Memorial page

There is now a memorial page up of my dad at the Kidney Cancer Konnection. Please visit and sign the guestbook for my dad!

The Goose

Yesterday we were at my mom's celebrating her birthday - but we got a sign from my dad, which was the greatest gift of all. My dad loved watching geese, and loved goose hunting in the fall. We were standing outside on the back patio, when a goose flew over us. The goose was no more than five feet over our head, and was noisly honking as it flew over us. We could almost literally have touched it! My mom said - "that was dad!" And we all knew that it was.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dear Dad

I miss you so much today that I can literally feel my heart breaking. My morning started off with me dreaming about you. I swear I could hear your voice. I thought I heard you say - "Soon you'll wake up." And then my alarm went off. All day I have been crying and thinking about you. I wish you would send me another sign, maybe a rainbow, so I know you are watching over me.

I am trying my best to take care of mom for you. This weekend is her birthday...I know it will be hard for her not having you there. Easter is next weekend, the first holiday without you here. Everyone says that this grieving thing gets easier with time, and I hope it does. Just when I think I am doing good, it hits me harder than the last time.

I have been dealing with your death by reading a lot of books. I am reading one right now called "Glimpses of Heaven". It's wrote by a hospice nurse. It is hard to read because it brings me back to you dying and your last breaths, but it is wonderful to read about peoples glimpses of heaven, and what they experienced that proves there is life after death. The one thing that caught my attention, was the nurse said sometimes God makes the dying person see things that comfort them, and lets them die in peace. I remember when Pastor Jason asked you what you saw, and you said "A cornfield". I really think you did see a cornfield, with tons of geese in it, and that comforted you. I also remember the morning you died - you reaching into the sky like you were trying to grab someone's hand. Who did you see? An angel? Nevaeh or Jerry? Or perhaps God himself? I wish I knew.

It has only been a month since you passed away, but it already feels like a lifetime. I don't want to forget your incredible laugh, or every wrinkle in your face, or that wonderful smile. I wish I would have taken more videos of you throught the years.

I visited mom on Saturday night. It really hit me going to the house and not having you there. I sat in your new recliner, the one you bought yourself for your birthday, and it was very weird. I felt very sad. I was so use to seeing you in that chair. It didn't seem right that I was sitting in it. When I walk into the house, I smell you yet....

McKenna misses you. Last weekend she kept asking to go to Papa Ma-asses house. I kept reminding her that you were in heaven, and we can't see you anymore. Sometimes when I get her pajamas on, she'll say "Papa is in his jammies too. Papa is sleeping." It breaks my heart everytime. But I am glad that you made such an impact on her life that she hasn't forgotten you yet.

It seems so weird to think that I will never see you again in this lifetime. When I think of it, my heart hurts, and I start to panic. I keep reminding myself that you are in Heaven, and someday we will be together again. I pray for the Lord to wrap his arms around me and mom and Mandy, and comfort us and help us know you are in a better place, and we will all be together someday.

I love you so much dad. I am grateful I got to tell you that so many times the last year. And I know you loved me too and were proud of me. I was and will always be proud of you too.



Here are the words I spoke about my dad at his funeral:

My dad was the funniest guy that I knew. He taught me that when times get really bad, laughter can be the best medicine. And although he knows how sad we are, he would want us all to be laughing instead of crying right now. That is why I would like to share some of the funniest things I can remember about my dad.
I’ll always remember him dancing. I called him twinkle toes. After he would have a few drinks and get on the dance floor, he was such a riot to watch. Everyone would kind of stop dancing and just watch him.

He developed his own dictionary of words over the years. Some words included: bunky, a rande grande, shower back, and a shot of attitude.

When I was little, I was a naughty kid. But I was fast. And when my dad would try to spank me, I would take off running. He could never catch me. I would be running around the block just screaming and crying, and my dad would be running behind me as fast as he could huffing and puffing. I always beat him, but I always knew what was waiting for me when I got home. Most of the time, I would get home and he was cooled off enough that I would just get a good talking too.

When we were kids, he would put out a dummy on the front porch weeks before Halloween. When Halloween would come, he would put the clothes on, and sit very still until a trick or treater rang the door bell. Then he would jump up and scare the crap out of them. We would sit inside the house and just watch and laugh.

When I was about ten, he decided he was going to wax the car. He had a navy blue Grand Prix. He put all of the wax on the car, and when he went to wipe it off, it would’t come off. He looked at the wax, and realized he had used furniture polish instead of car wax. He had to drive all the way through town with big wax swirls on his car, and have Gustman’s buff it out for him.

When the Packers went to the Superbowl, my mom sent him to the store for something. 15 minutes later the phone rang, and it was my dad saying he was at the store, and someone stole the car. He was all in a panic, and said the cops were on their way. He was asking my mom what the license plates on the car were. Just then my dad looked down at his keys and realized he had the Blazer and not the car. He found the Blazer sitting in the parking lot, and booked it out of there before the police arrived.

Through my dad’s illness, I was fortunate enough that his friends and family would sit and share funny and touching stories of him growing up. Like how he use to outrun the cops on his snowmobile, or how he wore a leopard print shirt and he thought he was such a stud, or how he would give his brothers a kick in the butt when they needed it and a pat on their backs when they didn’t deserve it.

My dad never lost his sense of humor. And even though there were a lot of tears at times, he was my dad right up to the very end and had all of us in stitches laughing. I can only hope that when families have to deal with this dreadful disease that they can smile and laugh as much as we did through it all.

His outlook on death was just amazing. Even the hospice workers said it was very rare to have a patient like him. He would call and tell people that “he just found out he wasn’t going to be in this world much longer.” Or when he would swear he would say “he better stop swearing because he was going to heaven soon.” And when he would start crying, he assured us that he was crying for us, and not for him – that he knew he was going to a better place.

I know I am going to miss him like crazy, but I find so much peace knowing that he is up in heaven with so many great people that he hasn’t seen for so long. And he doesn’t have any more tubes or drains, and he is Cancer free. The world is a poorer place without my dad in it - but heaven is all the richer.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I am doing okay. I can't believe this Sunday will be one month ago my dad died. In some regards, it seems like forever that I haven't heard his voice.

The other night I was getting McKenna's pajamas on, and she said "Papa's got his jammies on too. Papa sleeping." Then I asked her, "Where does Papa live?" She answered "in heaven." Then I pointed to her heart, and I said "Papa lives right here too. He lives in your heart." Well she pulled out her pajamas and looked down her shirt in amazement, hoping to find papa.

It's sad, every time my mom is around she asks where papa is. In some ways I am glad that she hasn't forgotten him yet, but everytime she asks, it breaks my heart. I always think how simple the life of a two year old is. They don't know about sickness or death, have any responibilities, and the worst part of their day is when thier sippy cup runs empty. It would be great to have that simplicity in life.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Well I've had my first breakdown, and several after. This week has been very tough. And not just for me. I know my mom and Mandy are having rough weeks also. I think it is finally setting in. I think I am finally realizing what an angel on earth my dad really was. He gave us so many gifts and life lessons. I miss him so much. I miss his smile, and his laugh, and his voice on the phone. I just wish there was a pill you could take to make the hurt go away. Sometimes my heart feels like it is literally breaking.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sometime I feel so guilty that I can't cry. I want to cry for my dad, I know I need too, but the tears just aren't there. It's not that I am stronger then my mom or sister, I think it is just we all grieve different. I never understood people at funerals who didn't cry, but now I do. I think I am learning that is how I grieve. I think I cried so much in the months leading up to my dad's death, that sometimes I am so cried out. Plus I know he is in a way better place, and he is not suffering anymore. I don't want this to sound weird or bad, but sometimes I think the thoughts of him dying were actually worse then him being gone. I can't explain that, but I think it was somewhat of a blessing to know he was going to die. It has actually helped me. If he would have died suddenly, I don't think I would be doing so good. But I know I got the opportunity to tell him everything I wanted, and he told me everything I wanted to hear. I promised him I would take care of Mom and Mandy, and I am really trying. I think he knew my personality, and he knew that I would be the glue that holds the all of us together, and that I would be there for my mom and sister at a drop of a hat. But sometimes it feels kind of lonely too. I don't have anyone I can call and talk to, because I am trying so hard to be there for them and protect them. I've been through this whole grieving process before, and I know it takes time. I just hope that I don't hold everything in for so long, that I eventally crumble at the worse time.

this song reminds me of my dad....

Monday, March 8, 2010


To my Dearest Family and Friends,

some things I'd like to say.
First of all to let you know that I arrived okay.
I am writing this from Heaven,
where I swell with God above,
Where there’s no more tears or sadness,
there is just eternal Love.
Please don’t be unhappy just because I am out of sight.
Remember I am with you morning, noon and night.

That day when I had to leave you,
when my life on Earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me
and said “I welcome you”
Then God said “Its good to have you back again, you were missed
while you were gone;
as for your dearest family they will be here
later on.
I need your help so badly as part of my big plan,
there is so much that we have to do to help our mortal man.”

Then, God gave me a list of things He wished for me to do,
and first thing on that list of mine is to watch and care for you.
And I will be beside you every day and week and year;
And when you’re sad I am sitting there to wipe away the tears.
And when you lie in bed at night,
the day’s cares put to flight,
God and I are closest to you in the middle of the night,
When you think of my life on earth and all those loving years,
because you are only human,
they are bound to bring some tears.

Please do not be afraid to cry, it does relieve the pain,
remember there would be no flowers unless there was some rain.
I wish that I could tell you all God has planned,
but if I were to tell you,you wouldn’t understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is over.
I am closer to you now that I ever was before.

And to my dearest friends, trust God knows what is best,
I’m still not far away from you, Im just beyond the crest.
There are rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
but together, we can do it taking one step at a time.

It was always my philosophy and I’d like it for you to,
that as you give onto the world, so the world will give to you.
If you can help someone who’s in sorrow or in pain, then you can say
to God at night “my day was not in vain.”

And now I am contented that my life it was worthwhile,
knowing as I passed along the way,
I made somebody smile.
So if you meet somebody who is down and feeling low,
just lend a hand to pick him up as on your way you go.
When you are walking down the street and you’ve got me on your mind,
I am walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.

And when you feel that gentle breeze or wind upon your face,
That’s me giving you a great big hug or just a soft embrace.
And when its time for you to go from that body to be free,
remember you are not going, you are coming here to me.

And I will always love you from that land up above.
We will be in touch again soon.
P.S. God Sends His Love.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I have a hard time looking at my dad's picture. I know someday it will make me smile, but right now - every time I see his face, my heart just hurts. It makes me sad instead of happy. I just miss him so much. I don't think it has set in that I will never see him again.

A lot of times I think I am dealing with his death better then I imagined - because of the things I witnessed in his last days alive. I think right now, I am still so traumatized over watching him die, that I can't truly feel anything about him being dead. I know soon it will catch up to me. Right now I try not to let my mind go to the places it wants to go. Every once and a while an image of my dad on his death bed pops into my head. I try to shake it out and replace it with a good image of a fond memory. But it is hard. I don't think I will truly be able to heal until I grieve. And for some reason, I am still so numb that I can't grieve. It's a very odd cycle.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I can't believe that it has been a week and a day since my dad passed. It doesn't seem like that long - but then it also seems like a lifetime ago.

I don't think reality has sunk in yet. I still feel pretty numb. I know someday soon, it is going to hit me, and then it will be very hard for me.

Right now, the best way to explain my emotions, is that I am very sad. I miss my dad. I know he is in a better place, and he has sent us several signs now, but I just miss him. I am sad knowing that I will not see him again in my lifetime. I am sad because McKenna still doesn't get it. I wonder how long it is before she forgets him?

The last week has been so hectic, and I am just trying to catch my breath now.