Remembering Dad

Two years ago, I lost my Dad.

It was unexpected. He was only sixty-three years old.

I am not one to question the timing of anything. I know there is a time and a season for everything…even our loved ones – as hard as that is.

I don’t want to be sad (there have been a few tears). I just want to commemorate his life, and the time I had with him.

I found this poem online, and it couldn’t be more perfect.


    A Perfect World
    by Ron Tranmer ©

    In a perfect world,
    death would never be.
    Love would be forever,
    and last eternally.

    In a perfect world,
    you’d still be by our side,
    lighting up our happy lives.
    You never would have died.

    In a perfect world,
    sadness would not be found.
    Love and life, and happiness
    forever would abound.

    Dad's OU blanket and Christmas fern.

    Perhaps that perfect world
    awaits us when we die.
    A world where eternal bliss
    is found in heaven’s sky.


    We’ll cling to faith and hope,
    for God is a God of love,
    and in His time we’ll join you
    in a perfect world above.


I miss laughing with you Dad. I can’t believe two years have passed. I think of you often, and know you are in my heart always.

“What the heart has once known, it shall never forget.” — Author unknown

Grandma at the Graveside

Driving to graveside with my heart crushed, I didn’t feel the after effects of the tears, but sniffled and wiped my nose. Silent and disbelieving, through the window, I watched the long line of cars proceed ahead. The lead car (the hearse) a few car lengths away. In my mind, I vividly recall every detail. The little blue casket dwarfed inside the giant Baptist Church. Flowers with blue bows, little stuffed lambs, and plastic rattles. A pastor trying to comfort a family stunned by the loss of an infant only a week old. It just couldn’t be, but it was.

He was an angel, here for a short time, but why?….. why?….. It seemed so cruel to watch my sister hold him, rock him, and then cry by his casket. Not just cry, but – rip-your-heart-out and die – despair. A grief that was palpable. The ache I felt is nothing compared to what she feels. I can’t imagine, nor would I want to. Is he in a better place? Well, sure. But why? Why him? Why us? Why do babies have to die? Tears well up and drop because…. I don’t know the answer to that, and I never will. All I can do is be there for her, and be as brave as she is.

We reach the graveyard. Tires crunch on gravel. The day is overcast – of course. There is a tent set up over the grave. It has a green covering to resemble grass – to cover the hole. The chairs face the “grass” covered in velvet cloth. It is the most depressing place I have ever seen. My sister is still with the family car waiting for the casket and has not yet arrived. It is only my brothers and I, with a few friends strolling up. I see Grandma Owens being led to a chair under the tent awning on the first row. It’s hard to look at anyone. I can’t bear to see the bloodshot eyes, and the red noses. The pain, all the more real, when you look in the face of your family. All of us hurting.

Grandma is holding up very well. She sees the flowers set delicately around the graveside. Beautiful sprays of baby’s breath with delicate blooms unfolding love for a little boy we knew for such a short time. I watch as she moves toward the flower spray near the back, to touch, and to feel, and check the tag to see if it’s hers. One second she is there, shuffling toward the buds, the next she is gone. Gone! It all happened so fast, and it took a collective gasp of horror around me to realize……Grandma fell into the baby’s grave! Oh my GOD!

My brother reacted immediately. He jumped up and ran to her. Fearing the worst, a broke hip or arm. He struggled and yanked her tangled legs from the fake green carpet that was now dipped into the grave hole. He tugs her up, shaking his head in disbelief. As shocked and horrified as she is, we quickly realize Grandma is fine. She is not hurt, only embarrassed.

My brother exclaims loudly as he leads her back to her chair, “Grandma! What are you doing? Stay out of that grave! It’s not your time yet.”

Chuckles blow from hands clasped over mouths. Heads, and shoulders shake, because really? Really! That just happened. Grandma took a dive into the grave.

We laughed that day seventeen years ago, a sad day, but we laughed. We still laugh about it. Beneath the tears and the loss, we will always have that memory of Grandma at the graveside.

**This is a true story**

This post brought to you by…

This week’s prompt was to write a short piece in which a character told a joke and a character cried. The piece has to be maximum 600 words and must be able to be read aloud in no more than 3 minutes.

****I have a BUNCH of pictures from today. We had about six inches of snow, plus we had the little girls, and boy did we play. I will post pics this weekend. Happy Friday!****

A Blink After Birth

When I was a little, my favorite story my mom would tell me, was about the day I was born.


Angelia Elizabeth – born August 23, 1971 – 420pm

As often as I could, I would beg her to tell it to me, again and again. Maybe, it was for the closeness we shared. Maybe, it was because my mom told it with such heart, and soul. Maybe, it was because I got to snuggle with her under the covers in her big brass bed. She would wrap me up and stroke my hair as she began to quietly speak. Transfixed, I would listen as she recounted the day with perfect clarity.

My mom, your Grandma Dorothy, died while I was pregnant with you. I was only 29 years old. We were very close and I loved her so much. It was devastating to me. But I had your two brothers, and sister to take care of. I could not grieve forever. As much as I would miss her, I had to do the best I could for my family. You were five months in my tummy when I said good-bye for the last time.

The months went by as slow and hard as I thought they would be. The emptiness and loss were a hole I could not fill. The boys were a handful, but thankfully your sister, age eight, was a BIG help. She wished and wished for a baby sister and not a brother. I told her how sorry I was but I didn’t think I could have any more girls. I wanted a girl more than anything but just couldn’t get my hopes up. It seemed the last possible thing in the world. But in my dreams, I couldn’t help but picture a big brown-eyed baby girl.

Two weeks from your due date the doctor informed me that he would go ahead and induce labor. He felt it was time. I had not gained much weight. I was too thin and too unhealthy. In my harrowing days, I had not taken very good care of myself. It was losing my mom. It was raising three children. It was so many things.

I couldn’t believe after laboring all day the moment of your arrival came, and the doctor announced, “It’s a girl!” I told him, “It can’t be! I can’t have any more girls.” The doctor just laughed. “Of course you can have more girls and you did. Just look at her.”

And there you were….a girl. What I wanted for so long. You were so pretty. You had BIG brown eyes that peered up at me like an Owl. And you were tiny too, only 5lbs 12oz, the smallest baby I ever had. Your thin blond downy fuzz on your head was so soft, and how I loved to count your precious little fingers and toes. Oh, I was amazed and in love. I only wished my mom could be there to meet you.

Back in those days, the babies would lay in the nursery while the mom recovered in her room from the medicines and birth. I was laying there in my hospital bed thinking of you, when I sensed movement at the door. And there she stood. My mom. She was standing there looking at me with such love and adoration shining from her face. She looked me right in my eyes and said, “Oh Sharon, you did it again. She is beautiful and just like you dreamed she would be with big brown-eyes. I’m so happy you got your girl.”

I was startled. My heart jolted at the sight of her. I did what any normal person would do, I closed my eyes, and I shook my head. When I opened them, she was gone.

Oh how I wished I had not closed my eyes. I wish I would have kept them open and talked to her. I wish…I wish…I wish….but I didn’t and just like that, she wasn’t there. But she WAS there. Really there. It wasn’t a dream. It was a moment, I will never forget, for the rest of my life.

Her story is both heart-wrenching and joyful. I am usually crying with her, and for her, at the end. In my heart of hearts, I know my Grandma met me. She gazed at me through the glass. She lovingly reached for my downy head and stared into my big eyes. Oh Grandma, I heard so much about you. What you must have done to visit your daughter in a gesture of comfort, a gesture of reassurance, and a gesture of compassion that you were still there in her deepest period of loss. How much you loved us all. I know one day we will meet in heaven, all of us, and no blink will take that moment.

In loving memory of my mom’s mom, Grandma Dorotha Marie.
Grandma holding my sister, 1963

Time goes on

Two years go by, but I’ll never forget. I still remember like it was yesterday. The day we held your service and placed you to rest.

I look back on this day, as if it were crystallized in my mind. The hot August sun. The crispy graveyard grass. The beautiful spray of flowers across your handsome gray casket. I try to be strong for my mom. I know she needs me, but when Charley Pride’s, I’ll fly away, plays at the service. I lose my composure a bit. I have memories of riding in your big yellow Lincoln town car listening to Charley Pride sing, Mountain of Love. The first song I ever heard by him. It was one of those I could hear over and over, as you did when you were seven. You really got a kick out of that. To hear his voice again brought such happy tears, and sad ones.

You flew away – oh glory – to a home on God’s celestial shore. A piece of my heart flew with you – is still with you. Always.

The comfort of today is that you are free, just as your beautiful gravestone says.


    I’m free
    Be not burdened with times of sorrow
    I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
    My life’s been full, I’ve savored much,
    good friends, good times,
    a loved ones touch.
    Lift up your hearts and share with me,
    God wanted me now;
    He set me free.

Father, confidant, supporter, encourager, most patient man in the world – stepfather and treasure. Times goes on….but your memories are alive in my beating heart.

I see the sun and you are in it.