Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hit By a Wave

I think about my dad everyday. It would be hard not to with all his equipment, projects, and dreams around staring me in the face. I wonder what he would think about some family situations happening now. I try figure out his opinion about different plans we have for the animals. I remember all the work he did here every day, and occasionally remember how we would often butt heads on certain things. I think about how he died, and still find it hard to believe.

Hardly a day passes that one of the kids don't mention Papaw. They talk about running errands with him and getting treats. They remember stories like how he talked Lydia into going to Bob Evans instead of Mc Donalds by calling it Mc Bobs. They remember all the the things he did here. Sometimes they ask to stop by his grave, and we do for a few minutes.

Most days those memories and thoughts are just part of the day. They are normal, and don't cause a great deal of emotion. Then other days, for reasons I don't understand, I am hit by a huge wave of emotion. These waves seem to be triggered by the most unlikely things.

Last weekend we attended a local farm and food conference. One of the classes I took during the conference was farm record keeping. Seems an unlikely topic to illicit much emotion doesn't it? And it didn't until the end. The last topic was "Who Feeds the Cows when the Farmer is Gone?" The instructor briefly talked about having a will and a plan for the farm in case something should happen to the farmer. Honestly, I can't remember what all he said. I was too busy trying to keep myself from sobbing.

Yesterday, on my way to work, I was writing in my head. I was thinking about a local history story that involved our property. I was trying to remember the details, and work out the wording. Then I remembered when Tammy of the Unusually Usual Farm Chick was here in the spring making a video of our farm and sheep shearing. While shearing, dad shared a bunch of stories about this area. Most of the stories I had never heard before. Sadly, they could not be heard on video over the clippers. As I was driving, I remembered that Tammy mentioned she'd just have to come down and get those stories on tape later. And it hit me; that will never happen now.

I can't remember the stories either. Certainly, I could hear them from John, the same place Dad heard them. I'll never get to hear Dad tell those stories again, or the gazillion stories that we all heard a gazillion times about him growing up Amish. How many times did we hear about his first pizza or his first ice cream cone? Then I realized that many of the important details about his early life are fuzzy to me. I'll never get to hear him explain exactly why and how he left, and what happened in those years.

I don't understand why these seemingly innocent topics hit me out of the blue and turn me into an emotional wreck. It really is frustrating to me. Why can't these waves of emotion hit when I am home and free to throw myself on my bed and cry?! I don't understand it, but I do know I miss my dad.


  1. I'm so sorry you don't have your Dad Steph....Even though I still have my Dad, I am still caught off guard with my emotions from time to time, when I think about how close we were to loosing him. It can be the silliest thing, like seeing a helicopter....or hearing his little four wheeler in the woods. I would have loved to have gotten to know your Dad, and to have heard his stories!

  2. I just lost my Papaw in April. These same emotions are still following all of us around too. We have a huge extended family that was very close and we miss our family patriarch too! Things will never be the same, but how thankful we are to have had such good examples of fatherhood for our children.

  3. Stephanie,
    your writing has brought tears to my eyes. My grandfather was 82 when he passed away 12 years ago and I still wish he would have put his stories of growing up in nyc on tape. I sat and listened to stories for hours for years but still didn't retain much.
    It's very difficult what you all are going through, you are in my prayers.
    Hugs .......heidi

  4. Darlin'... it's been 30 years for me. I must be honest with you. It continues to feel as if it happened only yesterday.

    Going on with my life has become a little easier. BUT - it took many years of asking to feel his presence - followed by keeping my eyes and ears open. A song would play on the radio or somewhere else. Out of the blue - his laughter would come into my mind. But most of all - when I took time to be alone and allow myself to cry for him - and ask for him to be with me... when I allowed myself to feel his presence - without failure it came in the form of great comfort.

    To go on living with a heart that would make him proud. To go on living with that confidence in knowing how much he loved me while he was here - enough to love me from the other side - eternally.

    Our Dads replicate the example of being a father - given as a gift from God, Himself.

    It is okay to cry. I cry - still.

  5. He gave of himself to build a place in your hearts. May he always be remembered with love and gratefulness for who he was. So glad the kids keep his memory fresh by talking about him. May they never forget him and his love for all of you. It's OK to cry, both now and in years to come.
    Aunt N.

  6. Good morning:

    I don't know you and you don't know me however I have been reading your posts for some time now and enjoy them very much.

    Having said that you will realize that I am unqualified to say anything about your particular family dynamics.

    But I would think that the very fact that you are mourning your Dad is a good indication of the fine way you were brought up.

    So don't be afraid to cry. Tears are a gift and they come in a never ending supply.

    Your Dad sounds like quite a wonderful man.

  7. My thoughts are with you and your family...*hugs*

  8. Bless your heart! I still have days like that and my Daddy has been gone for years...

    Blessings and Peace be with you...

  9. God bless you and your wonderful Dad. It is at times like these that we realize just how much our families mean to us. I live on the other side of the world from my Dad, and I found your post touching, made me remember my childhood and how important he still is in my life.
    It is so sad you have lost your Dad.
    Tears are a way of releasing built-up grief.
    Never be afraid to cry.

  10. this post is a beautiful testimony to your dad! Your post reminds me that I've been meaning to somehow record my dad's stories while I still can. thanks for sharing your heart in this post.