Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Watching the Packers this season makes me miss my dad. I am the huge Packer fan that I am because of my dad. I really miss watching the games with him. I just miss him all around right now. It must be the time of year, because lately I have been having a really hard time. Right now I am in the angry stage. I am very angry that Cancer happened to him and to our family. I am very angry I had to see my dad like that. I am angry that my kids won't remember what a wonderful man he was. I am angry that I am planning Macey's first birthday party and my dad won't be there. I am angry that death has to be part of life. I am just angry. And I know it's okay to be angry. I know it's part of the grieving process.

Friday, September 24, 2010


The last two nights I've had some pretty intense dreams of my dad. The reason this is very weird, is because this is the first time since he has passed, that I have had any dreams about him. I use to wish I would have some dreams with him, just so I could see his face again in some sense.

This weekend marks a year ago that my dad went into the hospital with his perforated colon. A year ago is when my personal hell really started. I am not sure if that is why all of the sudden I am dreaming about my dad.

I dreamt last night that he had the chemo hooked up to his port and he was saying to me "If I do this one last chemo, I really think it is going to literally kill me this time." So I reached over and yanked the chemo out of his port as fast as I could.

The dream Wednesday night I saw his healthy smiling face, and he was telling a joke. He was always really good at telling jokes. He was so animated, and would really get you going so the punchline was extra funny.

Although I am happy that I saw his smiling face in some sense again, it also makes me sad. I miss him so much. And even when I have happy moments, I am fully not completly happy, as there will always be a part of me sad and dead. It is true what they say - when a loved one dies, a peice of you dies too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Random Memory


This picture makes me smile for two reasons. It reminds me of all of the "family game nights" we had as a family growing up. This game day was on Christmas morning. We would usually get a new board game every Christmas, and then we would play that game as a family on Christmas day. This game was Guesstures - like Charades, and my dad was so good at it!! We kept the game day tradition up to just a few years ago. Once my kids were born, it was to hard to play games and entertain kids. The second reason this picture makes me smile is because of my dad's red sweat pants. He must have had those pants for ten years, because I have so many memories with him wearing those pants!! He'd wear them camping, lounging, fishing, but thankfully never in public!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Random Memory


Some of my best memories of my dad include fishing and camping. Our family vacations were always camping for a week during the summer. My dad is the one who taught me to fish. I know my dad was frustrated by my fishing skills. I never wanted to actually touch the fish and take them off my line. I eventually learned how to bait my hook (only worms, I left the minnows and leeches to my dad). I even would buy fishing tackle and lures on vacation, and started my very own tackle box.

My dad would not have a lot of patience for me in the fishing boat. A lot of times it was our whole family in the boat, so there wasn't a lot of room. I would always get snagged. I also lost patience very fast if the fish were not biting. I would get bored and sprawl out in the boat and try to catch some rays from the sun, or read a book.

My best fishing memory is when we were on vacation at Kentuck Lake in Eagle River. The crappies were biting phenomenally. The were actually boiling to the surface. You could throw a bare hook in, and get a bite. That will always remain the funnest fishing trip to me. Even though my dad had to take like 100 fish off my line that night, I know he still had loads of fun too.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Random Memory

The Sweatshirt

I bought my dad this sweatshirt for Christmas one year. I was young and in high school, and when they didn't have my dad's size of XL, well I thought - "3-XL can't be that much bigger, right?" So I bought the sweatshirt and when my dad opened it, he immediately laughed and was flabbergasted at how big it was!! In fact, it was so large, that me and him could fit in it together. Which is what we exactly did for this photo opportunity!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Random Memory

Playing Doctor

This picture makes me laugh!! My dad was the best dad growing up and was always very involved. I think what made him such a great dad was sense of humor and his willingness to act like a kid again! I was very young when this picture was taken, but I still do remember him letting us do this to him several times.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Random Memory

Every once and awhile I feel compelled to go through old photos of my dad. It brings me both joy and sorrow. I love remembering how he looked and the memories we had, but then the ache shoots through my heart as I remember just how much I miss him. For some reason photos make me sad and bring me back to the reality that he is really gone an never coming back.

I want these memories to live on, and the photos to be shared, no matter how much it hurts. So I am going to share some random photos and the memories I have about them. It's my way of keeping my dad's spirit and memory living.


The first photo is from my graduation from the Tech. I remember the day vividly. There was a huge snowstorm, and I was due to graduate at 11 a.m. I was also delivering the commencement speech so I had to be early. My dad was so nervous for me to drive by myself in the storm. Like it was the first time I had drove in snow!

I made it just fine, and the ceremony and my speech went just great. I remembering looking out and seeing my mom and dad's faces, and seeing the look of pride on their faces. I guess I never fully understood the feeling, until I became a parent myself. But there is something to be said about watching your child accomplish something.

After graduation my dad came up to me and hugged me with tears in his eyes. He was so proud of me. And I was so happy to have two loving parents that supported me and helped me in any way possible get through school. If I close my eyes really hard, I can still smell his leather jacket that he has on in this picture.

Friday, September 10, 2010

It’s hard to believe that in the blink of an eye, with the exhale of breath, in a heartbeat so much can change. In just one split second everyone who knew and loved my dad experienced major change. Just as he transitioned from one life to another, so did we – from a life with him in it to a new life without him.

In the months since he died so much has happened to all of us – new milestones are being reached every day. For me, my new normal is filled with happiness that is colored by memories of my life with my dad.

I let these memories of him inspire and push me forward smiling when I encounter little reminders of him like songs, smells or places. This time of year was his all time favorite - goose hunting season. I think that is why I miss him so much right now. I know he would be sitting in his goose blind, the wind on his back, smiling in the beaming sun. All of these memories and thoughts remind me that moving on isn’t about leaving anything behind, but about integrating those things we have lost into our new way of living. And letting them empower us to do more, be more and hope for more than we ever thought possible without regretting a single thing.

Monday, September 6, 2010

So yesterday my sister and I decided to clean out all of my dad's clothes. My mom wanted the space, but she couldn't bring herself to do it, so she asked us. I wanted to take the t-shirts and make a quilt out of them. My sister is making some pillows.

So we started digging through all of his stuff, and it was way harder than I ever thought it would be. We cried the entire time as we dug through all of his familiar clothes. You could still smell him on the clothes.

We made three piles - one for me, one for my sister, and one for Good Will. My good friend Mel helped us bag everything up. It was so hard. It was almost like getting rid of his clothes made it real that he was gone. Like we were finalizing it. It felt so wrong to get rid of so many years of clothes.

I tried reminding myself that his clothes are just material things. Getting rid of them does not mean we are getting rid of his memory. It was just so hard. Especially when I found a pair of jeans with his belt still in them. I couldn't bear to throw the belt away. I have no idea what I'll do with it, but I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it.

Now I can start the daunting task of cutting everything up for my quilt. I think that will be so hard to. But I guess I can make this into a very theraputic thing.

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Love

So I've been debating about posting this for awhile now. But I think most people know now. A couple of months ago my mom started dating again. She is dating an old friend whose wife died two years ago. Jerry and his wife Lynn hung out with my mom and dad. My mom ran into Jerry at a bar when we went away on Mother's day. It was a sign I think that it was meant to be. They went to dinner to catch up, and ever since have been inseparable.

At first my mom said she felt like she was cheating on dad. And I can imagine after spending 34 years with your husband, you would feel that way. And I have to admit, at first it was really hard to see my mom dating again. Just because it was weird. But no matter what, I want my mom happy. That is all that matters to me. And I am mature and grown up enough to know that just because my mom is dating another man, it doesn't mean that she loved my dad any less, or isn't hurting anymore. I get it all. She is just looking for a little slice of happiness again. And I am so happy she has found it.

Me and my sister couldn't be more thankful for Jerry. He is a wonderful, caring man. He leaves my mom loves notes and cards, takes care of her lawn, cleans her house when she is at work, and loves spending time with her. He even likes spending time with us! He loves my kiddos. McKenna calls him "Jury".

In no shape or form, I know Jerry is not trying to take the place of my dad. No one EVER could. I think about my dad daily. Sometimes I smile, and sometimes I cry. But I am happy that my mom is not alone, and that she has such a stellar guy in her life again. I look forward to developing my own relationship with Jerry. I know even though he is not my dad, he loves my mom, and he is still older and wiser and can provide the type of advice I miss getting from my dad.

I picture my dad and Lynn up in heaven, looking down on my mom and Jerry smiling. Like this was meant to be. Like they were put together to help each other and comfort each other. Perhaps, a match made in heaven.