Joy in Remembering

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Today marks the 4 year anniversary of when my Dad breathed his last breath.

For several days I’ve been anticipating the coming of this day. Anniversaries and holidays and such can be filled with so many emotions. I decided that instead of being sad today I was going to be happy and thankful and think about all the good memories I had the privilege of sharing with my Dad.

Well, before I even turned the bedroom light on this morning, I was already shedding tears. (Maybe I don’t always get to choose my emotions, but that’s a whole other topic.) Not so much because I was feeling sad, although there was some of that, but because my sweet husband hugged me and spoke encouraging words into a day that he knew would be hard. It was because without me saying anything he remembered.

Several years ago a close friend of mine lost her child. One of the things I remember so much about that were her words expressing how much it means when someone tells her of a memory of him or brings him up in conversation. It’s the remembering that can mean so much! We can’t fix the pain or take away the grief, but we can remember!

So today I wanted to take some time to remember too! Of course, I remember in my head, but I want to remember and write it down. I hope I never loose these memories I treasure in my heart, but I also want my children to remember too. I want them one day to read these words and have it spark a memory of a story I have told them or a time they shared with their Grandaddy.

Although many of you won’t really understand my list, that’s okay. It’s really for me and my children and close family.

“Foot in pocket”
Sharing birthdays in the park
Dangerous moves on the jungle gym
Lots of used cars
Grandaddy’s biscuits
Fixing cars
Cooking questions
Walking me down the aisle
When I got engaged, my Dad said, “This is one of the happiest days of my life!” He loved Brad. Cafe du Monde mug
Silly songs made up on the spot
Teaching me to make bread
Green Jeep
Helping me financially in rough times
Rubbing my back and neck when I was sick
Coffee
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Coke Truck
Taking me to school
Singing Happy Trails to me
Playing Tiptoe Through the Tulips on the ukulele
Holding my children for the first time
Love for his grandchildren
Caring for his terminally ill mother
Visiting me in Abilene
Auto auctions
Driving to Arkansas in the middle of the night
Big Brown Bear
Little Red Bear
Cheering me on at sporting events
Helping me feel safe during storms
eBay
His laugh
His smile
His hands
Being able to fix anything
McKinley
Taxidermy Shop
Mallard Used Cars
Orange VW camper
Red tool box
Many other tools
Audio Bible tapes
Jalapeños
Our last (both engaged) hug
Thanksgiving
Pleading with God for his life in 2008
“Here’s Mom” when I would call on the phone
Loving our family
Being with family gathered around his bedside
Natural remedies
Vinegar
The gift of life so I could be with him one last time
Being so concerned when Annie was born with complications and testing that followed Comanche
Happy Day Cakes
Peach filled cookies

So many memories fill my heart!

Many of you knew my Dad as well. Just as my friend taught me, there is so much joy in remembering!

I’d like to ask if you knew my Dad if you would be willing to share a memory in the comments section. It would be a fun way to remember the life my Dad lived and the way he touched others through his time on this earth.

I’m sad today because I miss my Dad, but I’m so thankful for all he taught me and they ways he loved and supported me through the years. I’m thankful he knew my children and they knew him and still talk about him. He was generous and loved well! I’m so glad I get to call him Dad!

Today also happens to be my Dad’s half birthday. We acknowledge half birthdays in our family. No gifts or anything. Just a way to say “hey, you are special and you’ve made it half of another year”. When my children were born my Dad made a Happy Day Cake for each of them to celebrate. So today, in honor of my Dad and and in an effort to choose the joy in remembering, we’re off to make a Happy Day Cake to celebrate a life well lived!

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10 responses »

  1. When I think of your dad I can’t help but smile! He loved to joke around and always had a smile on his face. He used to tell me that I reminded him of you. Maybe that’s why he was so sweet to me! He was also such an incredible encourager for Robert and his ministry. He traveled with Robert and my son, Anthony, on a few mission trips and was also a loving encourager to Anthony. I miss your dad and I hope you have a wonderful day of remembering! ❤️

    • Ginney, thanks for sharing. He did love spending time with Robert. I had forgotten your son went too. Thanks for your kind words.

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  2. There are many things I remember about your Dad, but most of all I think back on his resilience, and the fact he did not complain during the time he was so sick. I remember one day, after he had had a particularly difficult time in hospital, and had a long time when he had no energy to do anything. I called him and asked him if he wanted to go out for the day, have coffee and some lunch.

    I set some ground rules when I collected him from the house. We would not talk about sickness.

    We spent the day like two guys without a care in the world. We ate at a Greek restaurant, enjoyed coffee together, and talked about nothing in particular. I have such fond memories of that day. I hope he enjoyed it as much as he said he did.

    Your Dad was a good man, and I counted him as a friend.

    • Colin, I know he enjoyed it! Thanks for taking that time to spend enjoying life with him. He thought so much of you. I know he would be honored to read these words you wrote. Thank you!

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  3. Didn’t know your dad personally of course, but I love how you’ve remembered and honored him here. Such sweet words. May you feel blanketed in God’s comfort today, Rachael.

  4. When I remember your dad, I immediately think of his smile! He always made me feel special. Your parents have both been so kind to me. I’ll always remember that they came to my wedding!

    Thank you for sharing your sweet memories.

    • Amy, my dad wouldn’t have missed your special day! I’m glad you had a chance to know my dad and that he knew you! Miss you, friend.

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