Saturday, August 4, 2012

Remembering, One Year Later

Time moves on,
People move on,
Pain lingers...

One year ago today my dad passed away.

Last month when Karsten, Diana and I were visiting my mom we went out to the Washington State Veterans Cemetery. It was July 8th, my dad's birthday. Last year my dad turned 80, and we had plans to celebrate together after Rebekah and Anton's wedding in August. It was a celebration that never happened.

The military cemetery is a hauntingly beautiful place, set in the midst of the rolling grain fields of Eastern Washington. My dad was so proud of his country, and his military service. It is the perfect resting place for him.

Even worse than having postponed celebrating my dad's birthday was my decision to not go down to Spokane the minute he went into the hospital. But none of us had any idea he was so sick, including the doctors. I made the decision to finish the baking for Rebekah's wedding, then go down. If I could go back and change just one moment in my life, reverse a single thought or action, this would be the one. He died in the early morning hours of the day I was planning to drive down to see him.

Special Man
Kind Man
Loved The Farm
His Children &


  1. oh, such a haunting and sad post. I'm so sorry, Kristie, even though you know your dad knew how much you loved him. Still, more than anyone, I know the comfort that comes from having said the proper last thing to someone, how you can hold onto that like a blanket. What a beautiful resting place for him, and such beautiful words on his headstone. What more could a person ask for than to be remembered like that? I hope you find comfort today, on this difficult anniversary. Sending a hug.

  2. That is a beautiful place to rest after a life well lived. And such a beautiful tribute to a good man in those few words. Hugs from across oceans my friend x

  3. I'm so sorry about your loss. Birthdays and anniversaries are difficult days. Sending you lots of positive energy on this day.

  4. I'm so sorry, Kristie. {{{hugs}}}

  5. So sorry for your loss. I still miss my Dad 7 years after his death. Even though he was 82 years old I still didn't really believe he would ever die. It is so difficult to bear. Please think of all the happy family times you had with him. Sending hugs.

  6. I can only imagine the pain and emptiness. My Dad is still alive (he is 87 years old) and a very proud WW2 veteran. I don't go home enough and the guilt eats at my heart .......

  7. A wonderful man like your dad will always be missed and remembered fondly, that's the best legacy we can have. That, and him knowing what a terrific daughter he raised.

    We make decisions based on our experiences and what we think the likely outcome will be. You knew you had work to finish and no reason to think your dad wouldn't be waiting to greet you (and tell you he didn't need to be in the hospital) when you arrived. Had you been there, you'd still miss him just as much today. This something I've thought about a lot and need to remind myself of once in a while, especially on certain days, like 8/8 (my mom's birthday).

  8. I have goosebumps reading your post, I am so sorry that you didnt' get to see your Dad one last time, and even more, that he is no longer with you all. One year is such a strange anniversary, in some ways it seems like so long, and in others, like only yesterday. Big hugs for you.

  9. keep the memory of how he was when you last saw him, rather than how he would have been when you didn't. A year of firsts has been and gone, today and tomorrow is the rest of your life, no regrets

  10. So sorryto hear you so sad...but you know, this happens more often than we think. I lost my mom about 10 years ago, and I didn't go to see him one day becaue I had to finish an order but went the next one... and she died at early morning a few hours before I got there...
    A decade wasn't enough to convince me that I could not know...

  11. Beautiful post. It does get easier, but you will always miss him. It is appropriate and right to feel everything you are feeling. It is part of the process. So sorry for your loss.

  12. Kristie, what a beautiful remembrance of your father. I had much the same experience as you, with my dad. I came home from work one day, made a quick phone call to my mother to ask her a question, and my dad answered the phone. He chit-chatted with me about something, and I cut the conversation short so that I could talk to my mother and leave to go somewhere. I got the phone call the next morning at 9:00 a.m. that Dad had just passed away unexpectedly of a massive heart attack. Oh, how I have wished over the years that I could just have a "do-over" on that phone conversation.....

    I have come to the conclusion that the way to honor our family members who are no longer with us is to carry on the stories of their lives with our children and our grandchildren, and my grandchildren love to hear the stories. When my granddaughter (my oldest grandchild) was 2, I took her with me to put flowers on my parents' grave. When we drove into the cemetery, she said, "Oh, what a beautiful park with all those flowers. Do they have a playground?". My dad would have loved that.

    Mary G. in Texas

  13. Kristie, I hope you made it through the anniversary (seems the wrong word for something so sad, doesn't it?). As someone above wrote, it seems like so long ago and yet like yesterday. I just went back and read your post from last year and want to say again, it's clear your dad was well-loved and that he knew how much you loved him.

    In a few weeks my family will mark a year since my sister's husband died. The grief is still very painful, and I can only imagine how it must be for a parent. Your post has prompted me to plan a quick trip to visit my parents in the next few weeks. Thank you for that reminder of how precious they are. Hugs to you.