Father’s Day Without My Father – A Year of “Firsts”

A year ago, my father suddenly passed away.  He went for a walk that Saturday morning.  No one knew it would be his last walk. I saw him the day before.  He drove me to the bus station, assuring me that he was just fine.  He wasn’t.

As I reflect on the past year, it was filled with firsts.  The first Thanksgiving without my dad.  The first turkey, not carved by him.  The first Thanksgiving prayer without his cough.  He always coughed during his lengthy prayers.  I used to think it was kind of annoying.  Now, I think it was charming.

The first Christmas without Daddy.  Gifts were rather sparse, as his income was the largest contributor to our family’s gifts.  He always made a handmade card.  There was always a misspelled word.

My first birthday without my father.  No Colonial Fannie May’s.  No Mom and Dad coming for a day or two.

His first birthday without himself…:).

Today, June 17th, is my parent’s 44th wedding anniversary.  He wasn’t here to celebrate.  He never really celebrated anyway, except for a another beautiful handmade card with another misspelled word in it.

There are days when I am sure that there must be a special telephone I can use in order to talk to him.  I’d like to ask him what it was like.  To die.  What Heaven is like.  I wanted to ask his advice for my son and what college he should attend.  I still want to ask his advice about my Prodigal.

He was a holy man.  A quiet man.  If you woke up early enough, you’d find him reading his Bible every morning.  He and my mother prayed together. Every. morning.  A man of discipline.  A man of wisdom.

This Father’s Day will be the second without him, as he died the night before Father’s Day last year. I miss him much more today than I did last Father’s Day.  Last Father’s Day, I was dreaming a horrible nightmare.  Now, I’m awake.  I hear the birds again and I’m allowed to cry.

Joining the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood Tuesday linky.

58 thoughts on “Father’s Day Without My Father – A Year of “Firsts”

  1. A beautiful tribute to your father Kimberly. My mother died last May 20th, so I have just passed my year of firsts without her. (I wrote a piece about it May 18th on my blog.) So many of my friends have lost a parent this past year. I guess it is the age we all are – in our forties. Still it seems too soon. I’m so glad to hear that your Dad was a Godly man. We know where he is now.

  2. My heart weeps with you and for you my dearest friend. He was a precious man – so much of him in you…So precious… both of you…

  3. Thank you for sharing about this wonderful man. The first year is the hardest. I felt your pain when you wrote about dreaming the nightmare last year, but now you are awake. Praying for comfort as you celebrate your father’s memory this weekend.

  4. It is truly a tragedy to lose a loved one. My father passed away last year too.
    Please accept my condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  5. *completely understands*

    Mother’s Day is always a little rough for me, even 6 years later.

    I think it’s harder when you aren’t sure of the family member’s final destination. But neither is fun.


  6. I could feel your pain as I read your post. I’ve not experienced the the emptiness of losing a parent, so I can’t imagine how difficult it is for you. I pray your heart finds peace in the fond memories you have of your father.

  7. What a wonderful tribute to your dad! The bond between a father and his “little girl” is amazingly strong- death can’t destroy it. But you obviously already know that. I’ll include you in my prayers, tomorrow, on Father’s Day.

  8. What a beautiful tribute. I love that he hand made cards. Such a simple gesture, but such profound meaning in the time spent creating. My Dad is also a phonetic speller so I giggle at the thought of his misspelled words. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  9. Lovely tribute to your father — I lost my dad nearly three years ago and I know exactly how you feel. In fact, it was so much on my mind that I, too, posted about it before I visited here! My dad liked handmade cards, poems, letters, etc. the best, too — he always thought they meant more than just going to the store and picking out something that a stranger had written. Blessings to you!

    • Debbie-
      I have always tried to encourage home made cards with my children. I remember a long time ago, a family member through marriage received one of my home made cards, and they remarked, “Couldn’t you even afford a card?” I wasn’t hurt, just shocked at the different perspective.

  10. It has been said that time heals all wounds. I don’t know who originated that saying, but they couldn’t be more wrong, as you yourself expressed. I feel for you on this Father’s Day. My father died six years ago, and I miss him every day. Very nice expression of your love.

    • I am so humbled that you stopped by. The first stages of healing are rather odd. For me, I experienced a numbness for quite some time. This is such a grace from God, because there are so many things to take care of when someone passes, especially unexpectedly. I am now beginning to feel, and that’s a good thing. Again, thanks for coming by…

  11. This is a sweet and touching tribute to your Father. He was clearly loved, what a blessing that you got to share such a special relationship. That love lives forever within you.

  12. My dear friend what a awesome tribute to such a wonderful dad that you had. This was my 2nd Fathers day without my dad and it hurt more this year than the 1st for some reason. I did not really want to celebrate Fathers Day this year I kind of just wanted to sleep the day away and wake up the next day and the day would be over with. But than I thought even though he was not here to celebrate Father’s Day we need to celebrate these awesome men that God blessed us with as fathers. Sending prayres and huggs to you my friend.

    • Thanks for the prayers and the hugs. Life does go on, and we need to celebrate the remaining men in our lives along with the memory of those who have passed on before us. I’m sorry that this year was hard for you. Aren’t you glad we know the Comforter?

  13. A beautifully written tribute to your wonderful father. Seems humble, yet led by example. My father passed away in September, so it was my first without him. It seemed a bit odd, but we had my in-laws over. Keep remembering the positive moments!

  14. The firsts are so hard. Oh, I empathize and feel your pain, as I lost my grandmother last year. It is so good that you are writing about it — I found such release in writing about her on my blog. Please know that I appreciate your vulnerability here and I will be praying for you.

    • Jen,
      You are always so encouraging! Your blog is among my favorites. Thanks for all you do for the sisterhood, your church, and your family. You’re an amazing woman. Your prayers are very much appreciated.

  15. Sometimes it is difficult for me to put myself out there and share what I’m really feeling. However, you did just that.

    I am so not ready for the loss of my parents. Your words are beautiful, and I’m sure many people can relate to your feelings and your loss.

  16. I can “feel” the emotion in this post and relate to it. We lost my grandpap in October of 2010 and had many firsts this year. He was an active man and had been cutting wood the day before his sudden death. Although we know he is more alive than those of us who are living on Earth, we miss him deeply. We hurt. The loss of his presence is deep but our peace comes in knowing where he is and that he lives on! Someday we will meet again.

  17. What a beautiful story! Those cards are such treasures. Your Father may be in Heaven but the Lord is close to you, the brokenhearted. I just read “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo. If you haven’t read it, rush to your nearest Christian Bookstore, Target, Wal-Mart or Amazon. It is a must read for anyone who has lost a loved one. 🙂

    • Yes, my cards from dad are now in a scrapbook that my mother made for me for Christmas, they are some of my most treasured items. I love “Your Father may be in Heaven but the Lord is close to you, the brokenhearted.” Lovely line, and definitely something I’ve held on ton. Thanks for the book suggestion!

  18. This post is so beautiful! How wonderful it would be to have such a telephone to call those loved ones that have passed through the veil…but you WILL see him again and his influence surrounds you each and every day. Of that I am sure.

    Chloe xx

  19. It will be two years this September since I lost my mother. While we’ve been physically apart since my wife and I moved to Ohio in 2001, she has always been in my thoughts. While my father was a great mentor in doing things right, my mother steered me on doing the right things. Last year was strange – it was a year of hollow dates, telling myself that this was my first “whatever” without my mother. This year, like yours, has been harder and easier, truly feeling the loss yet also being able to mourn.
    A friend of mine recently lost his father, after a long period of Alzheimer’s. You might want to check out his blog, and his commentary on, as he puts it, the banality of Father’s Day:
    If it makes it any easier, remember this. Every time you talk or write about your father, you not only remember him, but you pass a bit of him onto whomever hears or reads your words. So while it’s hard, please continue to tell stories about your father, as I try to share tales of my mother and her beneficial effects on me.
    That way, your special phone comes a little closer to being. And two hearts benefit.

  20. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet dad. I know everyone’s grief journey is individual, but our family has all felt the first year was the hardest. Thank you for sharing your heart about your dad and your grief in such a sweet way.


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