family life

Remembering My Dad

A week ago today, my dad passed on.

We knew the end was near but, stubborn as ever, my dad went on his own time. He’d had a horrible night. I am forever grateful to his longtime friend for staying overnight with him at the hospice center; I don’t know how I would’ve dealt with what his friend had to deal with. After that, we had to keep Dad heavily sedated. There were numerous times throughout the day when we thought he was gone, but then he’d start breathing again.

Most of his family and a few close friends spent the day there with him, in and out of the room, but always nearby. Even his littlest great-grandbaby was there, bringing her contagious smiles to everyone there.

My niece and I were sitting with him when he took his last breath, and the others came in immediately after. Knowing how bad his night had been, I’m tremendously thankful his passing was peaceful. And I’m thankful I was there.

And after watching him suffer the indignities of ALS, I am thankful he is finally free.

Grampa and Kathryn

On Saturday, we’ll have a party to remember my dad.

Dad gave very clear instructions that he did not want a funeral. Instead, he wanted “laughter and stories.” So that’s what we’re doing. A party with BBQ and music and lots of stories — which, if you knew my dad, will most definitely include laughter. He was a funny guy. For years, I though he spoke Spanish — but he was just good at imitating cartoon mouse Speedy Gonzales. He always watched Saturday morning cartoons with me, and I laughed more at him laughing than I did at the cartoons. I look forward to hearing stories, the familiar, and the ones I haven’t heard yet.

Dad most often wore jeans, a Harley-Davidson shirt, and boots. I’ve worn boots for years, but my sister, not a particularly cowboy-boot kind of gal, bought boots to wear to the party in honor of Dad. I don’t know how much she’ll wear them after this, but I think that’s fun. I bet Dad would’ve gotten a kick out of seeing her wearing boots.

I could say so many things about my dad, but the BIGGEST thing is this: I always knew he loved me. Dad and I had a few really big arguments (I think I inherited his stubborn streak), and we didn’t see eye-to-eye on some things, but I never doubted his love.

I pray my own children and grand-children will be able to say the same about me.

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Leanne Penny

I’m so sorry for your loss, I understand, 8 years ago this month I suddenly lost my Dad.
May God give you grace and peace and never ending hope as you move through this season.

Erin - The Usual Mayhem

Jamie, I’m so sorry for your loss.

I love the idea of a party – my Mum always says that when she goes we should wait a year and then hold a proper party-style wake.

Lindsay @ Bytes of Memory

Prayers coming for your family for this weekend! I love that you guys are honoring his personality and having a BBQ and stories and laughter! That is just how my Dad would want it as well! (((HUGS)))


I am terribly sorry for your great loss. You have many people praying for you. I pray your celebration is memorable and comforting as I’m sure it will be!
Blessings to you.


I’m so sorry for you loss. I’m glad you were able to be there to say goodbye.
You, and your family, will be in my prayers.
I think a celebration of his life through family, friends, and fellowship is a wonderful idea.

My thoughts and prayers are with you!

Karen@Candid Diversions

Praying for you today. May your family’s time together be sweet and comforting to everyone who participates.


Sorry for your loss.
I loss my dad 2 years ago.
There are many times since my dad passed that my kids have done something and I think to myself how my dad would have laughed and gotten a kick out of them. My dad would say very few words when he was over, but he would always call me the next day and tell me this or that that the kids did that he thought was funny. I miss that.

I think the BBQ is a wonderful remembrance of your dad.

Ruth Duncan

Sorry for your loss Jamie. What a lovely tribute. Prayers for you and yours.

Michelle C.

I’m so sorry for your loss. I haven’t lost my dad yet (I dread the day) but can only imagine. My thoughts are with your family.


I’m so sorry, Jamie. I can tell how much you love your dad – it shines through in your writing. A party sounds fantastic, I hope you have a great time remembering him.


I am so sorry. It is so hard to lose a parent. May the God of all comfort be near you, and I pray the BBQ will be a wonderful start to your healing.

Praying for you all, Jamie.

Tricia @ Hodgepodge

How fitting to have a party and wear cowboy boots. And what a beautiful tribute you have shared! Praying for all these life changes going on with you my friend!


Praying for you, Jamie! What a sweet way to honor your dad!


Zephyr Hill

That’s a truly lovely tribute. I’m so glad you have that knowledge of his love! I don’t have that from my father (who is still living), but the Lord gave me a wonderful father-in-law whom I had in my life for 3 years. I knew that he loved me very much, and 34 years after losing him, I am still warmed by the memory of his love. I’m working on typing up his hand-written memoirs and letters he wrote during WWII so his grandchildren and great-grands, who never knew him, will know what a special person he was. I hope… Read more »

Nicole M

What a wonderful way to remember your dad’s life….to share stories, love and a meal together in remembrance of him. So sorry for your loss…praying for you and your family.


Jamie, I am so sorry. I lost my dad this past November after he battled a long illness. I know your heart is heavy, yet you are relieved to know that he is whole and free from pain. I love the idea of a party…a celebration of his life:) The best thing we did is have some of my dad’s friends and families record their stories in writing too, so we would have a copy to pass on to the grandchildren one day. Some of the stories we heard in the days after Dad’s passing were new to me and… Read more »

Lamar Wadsworth

Jamie, very sorry to hear the news of your dad’s death, didn’t know that he had been battling ALS. Praying for God’s comfort for you and your family. It’s been over 10 years since my father’s death and 4 years since my mother’s, still miss both of them but have great memories and a wonderful hope.


I am so sorry for your loss and your dad’s suffering. I can only imagine how difficult that was. This is a beautiful tribute to your father- blessings to your family as you mourn his passing and celebrate his life.


I come here to read 25 prayers for my husband. Thanks so much for a very informative and powerful prayer site! and my deepest condolences to you and yours. Remember God is in control and he will see you through. Blessings.