"Life always offers you a second chance, it's called tomorrow...the past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited, or can only be accepted."

Friday, August 9, 2013


“Trying to figure out what to say today was a major struggle for me. Many times I rewrote what I wanted to say, and it all seemed fake. I wanted to say something that would honor my father and leave a positive message. I’m a writer by nature, but every story I thought of didn’t seem to fit. I found myself embellishing things, and on occasion, changing the story to make it sound better.
                You all know that my father and I had a very strained and complicated relationship. It was hard for me to explain it through any of the stories without saying horrible things about him. And despite it all…there was one lesson my father taught me that really stood out as I thought about all this. He taught me very clearly over the years, that I was never to lie. So in honor of him…I will not sit here today and lie to all of you.
                There are some things my father taught me and showed me that can never be replicated. He loved the outdoors, and 95% of my childhood memories are outside. Whether it was swinging on the swing he made me out of a tree branch, or sucking the honey out of honeysuckle flowers…there are some things that will never leave my memory…and that I hope to pass on to my own children. He gave me an appreciation for simple beauty, the kind of beauty you can only see as the sun sets over the lake, or as a river cascades over a cliff in the woods.
                He showed me how music can shape your life, and change your mood no matter the situation you find yourself in. To this day, any James Taylor song or the sound of an acoustic guitar can calm me down in an instant. It helps me think, it helps me remember, and it helps me heal. I still remember falling asleep to the sounds of bands practicing in our basement, or him playing his guitar in the kitchen. He would write songs for me like “Ant Highway” or “Down By the Bayou” that I wish I still remembered the words to.
                He also taught me some important lessons though, whether he meant to or not. Some of which were incredibly hard to learn. My father taught me that no matter how hard you try, you can not change other people. He taught me that you can’t always count on those close to you, and sometimes you have to be your own strength. He showed me first hand, that I can make it through anything with enough faith in myself…even if it seems like an impossible heartbreaking situation. But most of all, he taught me that it’s alright to make mistakes…and that no one…even parents…are perfect.
                Overall, my father gave me a lot. Experiences, appreciation for certain aspects of life, and a lifetime of memories. But by far the most important…my father gave me 3 of the most amazing gifts I could have ever received. He gave me my siblings, who alone have inspired me to be a better person and a role model. Because of my father…I became a big sister, an experience which has easily been the most impactful on my life…and has been the biggest miracle I’ve ever witnessed.
                I will be the first to admit that my father and I had some major differences in opinion. I rarely agreed with things he did, and he wasn’t always a good dad. But one thing that can be said about my father…was that he tried. He wasn’t ideal…but he truly loved being a dad. For many years, I was his passion. To this day, I’m still in contact with many of his friends…and the one thing they always say…is how much my father loved being my dad.
                I truly believe he passed that appreciation and love for parenthood on to me. I look forward to having my own children, and teaching them all of the things he taught me. It won’t be easy and there will be struggles…but I look forward to the day I can show them everything that he showed me. The hidden springs tucked away in the woods, the swimming holes under huge waterfalls…and the private beaches along the lakeside. Just a few days ago, my boyfriend and I took his daughter to a spot my father showed me when I was her age. Watching the joy in her face as she swam in the water and caught frogs reminded me of the days there with my father years ago. He would slowly lift up rocks and show me how to catch crayfish without them snapping at my fingers. It’s those memories that I try to remember and want to pass on.
                When my dad passed away it caught us all remarkably off guard. It happened too soon and brought on emotions that I didn’t even know I had. I wrote him a letter a few days after he passed and left him with a few promises:
                Dear Dad,
                                These are the hardest words I’ve ever had to write. I pray that you heard the words I said to you over the phone on Tuesday. I hope you are in peace now, and I hope you can look down and be proud of the people your children are becoming. I hope you know that despite all we’ve been through, I love you. And when I say that, I mean it to the deepest ends possible. I pray that in your head I will always be the bouncy, blue eyes, blonde haired, little girl with crazy curls.
                                I promise to see you in every sunset. I promise to show my kids and your kids the waterfalls, creeks, and horse barns we used to go to. I promise to use the good, and the bad I learned from you, to be a better parent to the children I hope to someday have. I promise to think of you every time I hear a guitar, and promise to never stop finding comfort in music. But most of all, I promise to never stop loving you. Even when I’m mad and hurt, I will never forget how much I loved you. “


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I was raised by my dad. While he always did his best, he didn't always do the right things. I love him with all my heart and appreciate and respect the sacrifices and efforts he made, but often wonder how I'll feel when his time comes. I have many things I used to resent him for. I've since gotten through that. But, my life is very different for some of the things he did or didn't do in my life. Your post inspired me and reminded me of the good times we did have when I was a little girl. I parent three children now the way I do, in part, because he made mistakes I learned from. I also pass on those little things like you are. I appreciate your courage and talent to be able to share this painful time and want to tell you how much I thank you. You said many things I think about my dad. While we love our parents always, it's a hard marriage between focusing on the good with the resentment. Over time I do hope your pain from the loss heals. You seem very talented in how you write and how you share with the world. I was very touched by your post and thank you for sharing. On the parenting end, you will make a great mother because you are strong, caring, want to share, love and focus on the good. Because you have experienced what you have, it will make you a better mother (it did for me). -Amber ( News Herald Blogger

  2. Amber thank you so much. I just saw this post, because unfortunately I neglect the blog a lot now. But I appreciate your input, and thank you for the thoughts.

  3. Kat thank you so much for this blog post. It came up in a search for me. My father just passed away on Tuesday and we had a very strained relationship. This is great inspiration for a eulogy for him.

    1. Lauren I'm sorry that I'm just seeing this. I hope you were able to write something that made YOU feel good. It's so important to allow yourself healing...despite what other people might "think."

      Lots of love to you...and I'm glad this gave you some comfort knowing that other people are going through it too!