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Friday I received a text from my brother Shane.  I had been sharing some old posts about Dad, and he saw them on facebook.  He asked me to post our conversation here.

Shane:  Look at this sunset!  I took this in the back yard last night.  I took it for Dad!  He loved sunsets so much!  I miss him so bad lately.  It’s been really hard for me emotionally.  I cry for almost no reason.  I try to grieve very slowly so it doesn’t disrupt my life too much.  But lately it’s been affecting me big time.  I’m usually so calm, cool and collected, but lately I am a crybaby.  I have no idea if I should just cry, if it’s healthy or unhealthy.  I’m really confused.

I miss Mom so bad.  I think of her beautiful smile every day of my life.  I hated to leave her when she was so close to dying.  That was the single most heartbreaking event of my life.  I feel like it’s my fault and I’m still trying to forgive me.

I am proud of you for who you are becoming and who you have always been.  I look up to you!  I am glad you were part of Dad’s last days too!  I love you so much.

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For those of you are new here, we lost Dad in February of 2010.  Dad was retired Navy, then retired coal miner.  He was a biker.  He always had a joke and was hilarious.  He was a very colorful man.  And so full of life.  28 days later, his wife passed away suddenly.  At the end of September of 2010, our other brother, Tony’s wife passed away without notice.

Each and every time this family started to bounce back just a little, we were struck down again.  Each time we stayed down a bit further.

I’m so proud of Shane for reaching out.  And I’d love if you would help me to give him advice.

What I’ve said so far is:  Grieving is hard, and  the stronger you are, the longer it takes.  But real men cry.  You are teaching your daughters that there is strength in showing emotions.  We honor Dad by remembering him every day, with laughter, with tears.  But we also honor him by living our lives and making the most out of every single day.

Please add your advice or thoughts in the comments.

I plan to run several posts this week with Dad-isms.  I can’t put them all on my blog because they are a bit too colorful.  But let me tell you in Shane’s words a little more about Dad.

“Every time we would go riding, Dad would say ‘let’s just follow the front tire’.  Dad loved riding together so much.”

“He would call me every day before I’d go in to work at the mine and tell me to be careful”

“He never said goodbye to me.  It was ‘see you later, adios, okay son’, or if on the phone he would just hang up.  He always said “I love you son”  that’s why I say “I love you” and not “I love you too”.

Dad’s dating advice:  Don’t get anything on you that you can’t wash off.

Dad called my sister in law brown sugar… she smiles each time she thinks of that.

Shane’s oldest daughter wanted to add:  Grandpa said “see you later.  We don’t say goodbye because goodbye is forever”

This bottom pic was from a family trip to a water park.  And also my children’s first experience with Dad saying “everyone say shit” right before the photo was snapped.

We have so many amazing memories… and there’s such a hole left in our lives.  Dad, you were the best!  We love you and miss you every day.  See ya later.

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