On August 22, 2021 my dad passed away. On July 18th we were over for dinner, played games and we visited and that was the last time - the last time I hugged my dad and heard his voice say, “I love you sweetheart.” He lost consciousness before I was able to go to the hospital and see him so July 18th was the last time he and I talked in person.
Throughout the funeral and afterwards I was blessed with cards, words of kindness, hugs from family and friends, special gifts like pictures of Christ, sayings of remembrance of my dad, beautiful plants and other sweet things. I’m super awful at keeping plants alive, but gratefully many have stayed alive and I enjoy them everyday. I wanted a memory wall and corner of my dad, so I printed pictures and have a wall that has pictures of each of us with my dad and my dad’s picture framed in a white frame with Christ pictures around him. The corner has a plant, statue, sayings, train and is a very treasured corner. I have a cherished tree ornament that won’t be put away with Christmas, it will stay out all year.
I’ve had people ask me if it’s hard to have so many reminders of my dad around me and yes, yes, it is. I super wish he wasn’t gone, but he is and whether I had the reminders or not I would think of him and seeing his smile, cherished memories, feeling of his love and reminders of who he is are a huge blessing for me. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Some days I look at these reminders and smile and talk to my dad and other days I look at them and cry and either way, it’s alright. It’s good.
About a month after my dad passed away a couple of my friends and I went to lunch. I had needed some time from everything and really everyone after my dad passed away so it took some time for me to go out to lunch and get with friends. One of my friends had a gift for me. My dad’s funeral had been on my birthday and we usually go out for lunch for our birthday’s so I wasn’t sure if it was for my birthday or because of my dad passing away.
I opened the gift and it was something I’ve never received before, but honestly it’s something I’ve always found magical. The gift was wind chimes. I loved the gift!!! I loved the gift before she said anything. And then she said, “I got you this gift so that anytime you hear them you can think of your dad.” I had never thought about that, something like this. When I got home my husband hung them out on our porch.
From inside my home I can hear them whenever they chime. Sometimes they are more loud and the wind is strong blowing them around and other times there’s really no wind, but when in my heart I say a little prayer saying dad I need to hear from you, I need a reminder, the chimes do a small quiet chime and brings me great peace and I say thank you dad. I know that was from you.
At times I wonder if I can breathe at the pain of missing my dad, thinking there’s no way he can be gone. But he is. Except for in the little reminders I have all around me and when I think I can’t breathe because I miss him so much I know there will be wind in the chimes to remind me he’s all around me. He’s in the wind, in the sounds, in the details of my life. Maybe even more than he could be when he was alive. I’m so grateful for the gifts in my life, for the reminders, and hope that I can be the wind in others lives to give them hope, peace and help them know they are not alone.
A wife and mother of 4 boys and 2 daughter-in-law, I have spent my entire adult life devoted to my family. I have been busy in their schools, supporting them in all of their school work, sporting events, activities, etc. I spent years heavily involved in the PTA, church callings, etc Life for me has always been overwhelmingly busy. While I thought this was my sanity, the truth is it masked issues - real issues - that I needed to work on to gain true sanity. I am sharing my story in this blog. I do this so that I might be able to help other women find their true sanity