Remembering Dad

I’ve been missing from the blog lately because my father unexpectedly passed away two weeks ago. Everybody says it’s never easy to lose a parent. And they’re right; it’s not. Especially when it happens so suddenly. My dad wasn’t sick or diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. He was a healthy 57-year-old whose death was purely accidental.

Since my parents are divorced, I was Dad’s emergency contact. My phone number was in his wallet. So it was me who got the call from the police department. I had to wait at my home, with my children, already knowing what the detective was going to say when he showed up at our door. Why they can’t tell you over the phone, I don’t know.

Planning a funeral is something I never anticipated I’d be doing so soon. Although I’m 30 with two children of my own, I sometimes still feel like a kid. Luckily I had the huge support of my husband, family, and friends. My aunt and sister who live out of town jumped on a plane and flew to Cincinnati as soon as they could. My mom and mother-in-law were ready take the kids when I needed it. And my dearest and closest friends stepped up and volunteered to handle food for the wake. I can’t express how grateful I am.

I’ve been getting through this hard time by remembering the good times. Great memories of my dad and the life we shared with him. If I had to share just one thing I learned from Dad, it is to enjoy life. My dad wanted the best in life. And he went all out to enjoy every day of it.

Explaining the situation to my children wasn’t easy. My 3-year-old didn’t really understand. But my 5-year-old cried when we told him Papa went to heaven. He picked out his favorite picture of my dad and now has it in a frame by his bed.


At the memorial service, we covered the funeral home with pictures of Dad. The picture of him above was our favorite. My dad loved the water. He loved boating. And so the quote below by Henry Van Dyke was very fitting. I think it’s a nice way to think about death. And a great way to remember those who are no longer with us in the flesh, but will always be with us in spirit.

“I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says,”There she goes!” Gone where? Gone from my sight… that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port. Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says, ‘There she goes!” There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

23 thoughts on “Remembering Dad

  1. BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) says:

    I am so sorry to hear about the unexpected loss of your father. What a wonderful, happy photo of him. Sending you good thoughts.

  2. just4ofus says:

    Our prayers are with you and your family. Sorry for your loss.
    He was so young.

  3. I’m so sorry. I cannot imagine life without my father, especially not at 30.

    I’ll be thinking of you.

  4. Cara, I know you’ve heard it a million times already, but I/we are so sorry for your loss. PLEASE don’t hesitate to call if there’s anything I can do to help make things a little easier.

  5. That quote is a nice thought. The Jacksons are sending lots of those your way!

  6. Beautiful post and picture, Cara.

    Our thoughts are with you, and like Sara said, don’t hesitate to call if you need anything.

  7. selfmademom says:

    My goodness. I’m so sorry. Hang in there and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss.

    That is a great picture, he looks like he was someone who enjoyed life.

  9. That was so well written and beautiful Cara. I love you so much. I am glad we are remembering Dad in the way he would have wanted. All the fun and funny memories we have. We are so lucky to have him as our father. And to have so many great friends to support us through this time.

  10. Lillypond says:

    “That best portion of a good man’s life, His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” ~ William Wordsworth

    My deepest sympathies.

  11. So sorry to hear about your loss. My condolences to you and your family.

  12. The Spunky Mommy says:

    I’m so, so sorry. Our thoughts are with you. Your dad sounds like a wonderful person and will live on through you and your children. We are here to vent when you need us…

  13. Very nice Cara. Such a great picture of your dad. The quote is so fitting and uplifting. A wonderful thing to help you over those times of sadness. You and your family really came together and made a wonderful tribute to your dad.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have been where you are and I truly feel your pain. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  15. I am so sorry for your loss…

  16. petit elefant says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your father. There is absolutely no way to prepare for that. My condolences.

  17. I’m sorry for your loss. I think you paid such wonderful homage to him.

  18. Justice Fergie says:

    oh cara. i’m sorry to hear about your dad. my thoughts are with you.

    what a handsome guy.

  19. Thanks, everyone! I appreciate your kind words and support.

  20. Chief Family Officer says:

    I’m very sorry to learn of your father’s passing. My prayers and sympathies are with you and your family.

  21. vee packing says:

    I lost my father just last year. I still cry about it every night and badly miss him. My heart goes out for you. Hang in there.

  22. So sorry for your loss. Just be strong, you'll get through this.

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