Thursday, February 2, 2012

An Everyday Presence

Talking about my Dad is a tricky thing.  I want to share, but I do not want pity or sympathy or comforting words, and when I start off with the key part of our relationship, kind and lovely people tend to say they are sorry, as any normal person would.

I was four years old when my dad died. 

This single event shaped me into who I am as a woman, wife and mother.  My memories do not have a point to start from without the knowledge that my dad was gone.  I grew up with the extreme awareness that life is uncertain and time is not something you always have.  It instilled a driving need to imprint myself on my children, so they would know me and remember me.  I desperately wanted to be a presence in their everyday moments.

I know that my Dad was handsome and smart.  He loved music and on family bike rides, my baby seat was on his bike and he rocked an awesome 1970's mustache.  He was in the Navy (briefly), he was a fisherman off the coast of Alaska, and he was a volunteer fireman.  I know there is so much more that makes up him, the guy that is my Dad, but I really only need to know one thing. 

He loved me and he told me and my sister every day.  I treasure that knowledge, albeit gleaned second hand from my Mom, but it is very good knowledge to own.  I, in turn, have daily told my children I love them.  It's so common at our house, their friends expect to hear me say it every morning as they all walk out the door.

"Bye!  Have a good day!  I love you!"

And their very expectations mean that I have succeeded.  I am present in my children's daily life.  I am so very blessed!

This post is inspired by the prompt of the day at NaBloPoMo and prompt number 1 at Mama's Losin' It!


  1. Love this. You know your dad, even though he left this earth when you were only four. I believe in life after death, and I believe that we'll be together again with our loved ones. In our family we also tell each other every single day, many times a day, that we love each other. so, if our children know nothing else, they will know that!!

  2. what a sweet post. It is important to be present in our kids lives everyday. kaye—the road goes ever ever on

  3. Aw, how sweet. You have great memories to hold on to.
    The same happens in our home- the every day I love you. Mom tucks us in every night with an I love you. I don't think I'll ever outgrow it.

  4. Great post! My dad also told me every day that he loved me, and though he struggled with alcoholism until I was 17, that one thing made him a great dad. I always knew I was loved, and that is a very important thing.

    Glad you are carrying on the tradition to always tell your kids you love them. Thanks for the reminder - excuse me, I have to go text my kids right now!

  5. A very moving portrayal, both of your father, and of your own personal resolve. I will take something special away from this post.

  6. I completely agree that saying "I love you" everyday is so important. You can't say it enough, if you ask me. (As long as you say it and mean it, of course.) When I say, "I love you" to my daughter, sometimes she says, "I know." Other times she says, "I love you too."

  7. There are so many people who lose a parent at a young age and what they are left with is an unfillable hole. What a great gift your father's continued presence in your life (with the help of your mom) must be--not just to you but your children, too. As you said, truly a blessing.

  8. Thanks! I have been blessed. The greatest gift my Mom ever gave me: love letters from my Dad to her (censored a bit! thank goodness) and I treasure them. A book of his thoughts, hopes, dreams! It is awesome.

  9. This was a beautiful post. And I second Masked Mom's comment.