A Father Is Every Daughter’s First Love

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I remember that.

I remember saying I wanted to marry my Daddy when I grew up. I literally remember at least one of the times as I’m sure I said it more than once. I was about 3 or 4 at the time and he was sitting in an armchair while I was crawling all over him like little kids do.

That seems so long ago now. Well, I guess it really is but in a way, it doesn’t really seem so long ago.

Time is like that.

We lost my sweet Dad on April 30th.

I feel blessed to have been there with him when he took his last breath. As hard as it was, and it was heartbreakingly so, I wouldn’t have been anywhere else. As a matter of fact, I didn’t leave the hospital for days because I could not bring myself to leave his side.

He was 88 and would’ve been 89 in just a short month and a half.

Most would say oh, what a lovely long life he had! And yes, I agree but it’s never long enough is it?? And we are never quite as prepared as we think we are. Even when we know the end is very near.

Because you can never fully prepare for such a profound loss as this. It was the same with my Mom when she passed. Hers was also “expected” as she had terminal cancer. But I still was in no way prepared. I wrote about her also in 2013 when she left us. You can read that here.

It’s hard to lose a parent. So so hard to lose a Mother. I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to move past it. Yes, it’s true, it does get “easier” but it never ever goes away.
I thought it’d be easier to lose my Dad as we had been through the immense shock and loss of losing a parent already. I thought it would prepare me better. And also because we were blessed to have him for almost ten years more. He was older. He lived a long life, right?

But I was wrong. 

It is in no way easier. In a way, it is harder as there is an indescribable feeling when you lose both parents.
Those 2 who were constants in your life. Always there.
And are no longer.
It’s a very strange feeling. A very different world to live in.

The memories are beautiful and painful all at the same time. Memories of times past flood my mind. They offer some peace and sometimes smiles but also sadness.
Bittersweet.

My dad was an amazing man. He did SO much in his lifetime. And he was the smartest person I know! I mean that. I’m not sure I know anyone who knew as many things about so many different things as he.

It’s something special to read what others thought of him after his passing. And the thoughtful kindness of those who shared.

Some of the things said or written:

…. a wonderful person, an amazing man, always making people laugh, always having treats/candy for the kids, always talking about the old days, loved hearing his stories, always had a camera around his neck, sweetest man, very special person, kind and caring, kind loving man, lovely person, all his photos and stories, gentleman, kind soul, soft-spoken and wise, pretty handsome too, always smiling, loved by the entire family, will be greatly missed.

(my daughter snapped this shot of him with her stuffed doggy when she was young)

See, my dad always, always had a camera around his neck. He was always snapping photos my entire life. As we gathered photos for his service we gazed at all the wonderful memories he captured. So so so many. What an incredible blessing to have them all. And our extended family feels the same as he always got photos of all of our important family events and shared with them (either in photos or when times changed, CDs he made for them).
Such a blessing to so many.

My dad had hobbies, so many hobbies. And when he went into them he went head first and learned as much as he could about it. He is where I got my creativity (and curiosity about everything) from. Over the years, he made beautiful jewelry for his girls (my mom, sister, and I), as well as gifting other family members with his beautiful creations. He built computers/laptops for many years and gave them away to family members. I blogged right here for over 10 years from one he built and then rebuilt for me at the age of 80+! It still runs great but I filled it to the brim. I still use one of the many laptops he built for me over the years.

He as well as my Mom were Master Gardeners. They had many friends and many adventures in that. He had a gorgeous yard that folks from all over came to visit over the years. He created his own varieties of blooms that are still in circulation today.

I don’t know where the term “Dad jokes” came from but it fits my Dad for sure. He was always telling super goofy jokes. Always.
And always super silly. Sometimes only he thought they were funny! As you can imagine, we girls were like, okay Dad. lol
He would write funny things on photos and send them to us in emails too. I miss his emails.

One example of a service photo of him and a funny comment he wrote on it. Which is pretty funny actually. :)

My dad was so proud of his Polish ancestry and could tell you anything you wanted to know about Poland. (and I do mean anything!) He was also very proud of his military service with the USAF. (21 years and served in both the Korean and Vietnam wars)
And he loved all things history. He could reel off historical events like a walking encyclopedia!
His extensive and interesting military career, Polish ancestry, and historical knowledge are some of the stories so many loved to hear about.

Dad brought his old Air Force shirt to a family gathering (I think it was Father’s Day 2021) and wanted to snap a photo of it with one of us in it. I obliged. So glad to have this shot of him…which ironically is not his photo but one of him taking the photo of me.

Sweet, sweet memories. Sadly he started to more noticeably decline soon after.

I can find some solace in the fact that Mom and Dad are reunited.


But I will miss you both always.
And I will love you both forever.

Thank you for reading and allowing me to share, my sweet friends.
If you are blessed to still have your parents with you, go hug them tight for me!

xoxo

 

63 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed reading about your Dad, mom and devoted love for each other and the family they created. A beautiful tribute from his loving daughter.

    1. On May 5th, my parents were married 60 years, it’s so hard to believe. Both are still alive, each day is a blessing by God. Unfortunately, they live 5 hours away, but I call them regularly and visit a few times a year. Thank you for sharing your memories and story, it was so very sweet.

  2. My deepest condolences. You and I and many others were gifted with wonderful, generous, loving parents who shaped our lives. What a precious gift. To you, our mothers and all moms, “Happy Mothers Day” and to our wonderful fathers next month, “Happy Father’s Day” sweet ones. Rest easy.

    1. Thank you for sharing. I loved reading about your sweet dad. My dad and yours seem similar in many ways. Mine passed away in the early 80s before computers were a thing, so at that time, he built TVs, as he could build anything, too! I know he would have enjoyed all the wonderful things concerning computers. When I read stories such as yours, it makes me so sad for girls and boys who do not know the love of loving parents. We are so blessed!

  3. What a beautiful and loving tribute. You are blessed to have such wonderful memories.
    Barbara Murphey

  4. You were so blessed to have such a wonderful dad! Thank you for sharing with us.
    Julie Laidlaw

  5. I’m so very sorry to read about your dads passing. From this wonderful tribute, you have told us all that you have an abundance of cherished memories of your beloved father. Hopefully, on the days when your grief will wash over you, you can take out these out and let the happiness of them restore your heart. 💕💕💕

  6. I am sorry for the loss of your dad. Having lost both of my parents, also, I understand that feeling. May the memories carry you through this difficult journey.

  7. Thank you for sharing your beautiful tribute to your dad. Grief is hard, but I know you know both your parents are with you forever, in your heart. Not the same, just something to hold onto. God bless.

  8. I will miss my “Big Brother” tremendously. Even though we lived many miles apart, we spoke with each other frequently! We talked about our childhood, which was very happy, events from our present life and also past events. He also told me many stories of his Air Force life. When he was still able to, he and your Mom visited us at least twice a year. We also visited them often. I will never forget his kindness and generosity! His “Little Sister”.

  9. Sincerest condolences. I lost my Mom in Nov 2021 and am fortunate enough to now have my Dad with my family under the same roof. I, too feel so fortunate to be able to “spoil” him as much as I can, as he is a person who expects nothing and appreciates everything. Your tribute was beautiful to read. My Dad was also in Korea. My Dad became a US citizen in Korea fighting for our country. He is from Slovakia and also proud of his heritage. May God give you strength and grace as you go through this difficult time.

  10. Nancy ..what a lovely tribute to your Father. ❤ My Father passed away in 1985 and I still miss him. Seeing pictures of make me smile and think of the good times we had. You were blessed with a Wonderful Father and think you did have him for a long time..but it is never enough is it? Think of all the fun times and look at all your lovely pictures and say Dad…I love you always! Know that your Mother and Father are together and that is a comforting thought.😍

  11. I am so sorry for your immense loss and your heartache. What a journey your dad, and both your parents had filled with love.xx

  12. Oh Nancy, I am so sorry to hear about your dad’s passing. But thank you for sharing something so personal and beautiful, and for reminding us to cherish any time we may have left with our parent/s. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  13. Nancy,
    What a beautiful tribute you wrote for you Father. I know how you feel, my lose was my Dad first then my Mom. I was blessed with my parents and they both taught me how important family is and good friends. All the golden rules. Your memories will become so precious as time passes and sharing those memories like you did with this tribute. Grief is a sign that you loved and were loved. I miss both of my parents, but I know they are always with me and watching over me along with my Son, who I also lost in between them. Right now the song “Memories” is playing in my head. So many precious memories. Sending comfort, hugs and love.

  14. Beautiful tribute to your Dad. So sorry for your loss. Super hard to lose a parent, lost my own Mom a year and a half ago…still treasure days with my Dad. Thanks for sharing your tribute.

  15. I’m so, so sorry you lost your Dad. You’re right, it’s hard at anytime. We lost our Dad at 57 and he missed out on so much! Our Mom was “only” 78 when she passed. So glad you have such wonderful memories! Thank you for sharing them! God Bless 😔🙏

  16. So very sorry, Nancy, and what a beautiful tribute. It’s clear he was an amazing husband, father, family member and friend.🙏🏼💙

  17. My deepest condolences for your loss. Pictures and memories are bitter sweet, know both parents are always with you in your heart. Thank you for sharing wonderful memories of your father.

    Christina

  18. Please accept my sincere condolences on your Fathers passing. It looks like he had a wonderful life and I loved his smile. ❤️

  19. Such a beautiful tribute to an obviously amazing man you were lucky to call Dad. I am so sorry for this loss and understand how hard it is, especially when both have moved on. Soon all those photos will still be bittersweet, but hopefully will bring comfort to you and remind you of so many happy times. Grieving is a process and can be a lengthy one. Take care of yourself. Wishing you a happy Mother’s Day.

  20. Thank you for this post. My Dad came with his sister and parents from Sweden, an immigrant family like most Americans. I am sorry for your loss but know he will always be alive in you. Please post this again on Father’s Day for those of us without Fathers. Many thanks, friend.

  21. So sorry for your loss Nancy. I will be praying for you and your family. Jesus understand that you are hurting. He will comfort you if you ask him. Love ya

  22. My deepest and most profound condolences, Nancy! Such a lovely tribute to your beloved Father, as well as, to your Mother back in 2013. You represent the best of them; you are part of their legacy. Thank you for sharing them with us all!

  23. I just lost my mom of 85years old last year. And my dad six years ago. I feel all you described in you post. I had great parents also much like you. Praying for you now.

  24. I’m so sorry for your loss. You’re dad and mom sound like the best of the best parents. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. It’s so hard to loose a good dad as you have so well explained. May your heart mend as you remember the wonderful times you have spent with him and your mom. Hugs and more hugs.

  25. Nancy, I am so sad for you. Prayers are being sent your way. You wrote a lovely tribute to your Dad. He sounds like he was a wonderful father and person. xoxoxoxo

  26. So sorry for your loss. My Mom left us two years ago and my Dad about ten years earlier. You are right about both of them being gone. The finality is a knawing in the pit of your stomach. Forever.

  27. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute about your dad. He sounds like a wonderful person and dad. Even at 88 yrs. it still seems too short. Both of my parents died young…very young…38 and 44, 4 years apart. And I know what you mean by it seems like a long time ago but it doesn’t.
    The picture of them sitting on the sofa is ADORABLE and speaks of great love. AND he was so handsome in his army picture!!! I can see you in both of them.
    Take care, remember the good times and find peace in knowing they are now together.
    xoxo.

  28. I understand your grief. I also had two wonderful parents, who both passed in 2020, 6 months of each other. Unfortunately it was COVID and they both died alone. My heart still breaks but I am happy you were able to spend those final moments with your dad. I talked to them everyday and still feel like I need to call them about things happening in my life. We should consider ourselves blessed and lucky as so many don’t have these kind of relationships with their parents. Take good care and always remember they are with you.

    1. Thank you for sharing. So sorry for the loss of your father. My father will be 89 in September. He came to the US from Dublin, Ireland at age 16. He is very much like your dear father. A wealth of information on any subject, always tinkering with computers/electronics and he also served in the USAF. I have recently noticed a decline in his computer skills. It is very hard to witness this new/final chapter of his life but I’m so very blessed to still have him. My mother is 84 and still, in spite of physical challenges, is very spunky. She is having a very difficult time with the changes in her sweet man. They celebrated 65 years of wedded bliss this past January. They are both adorable. ❤️❤️
      I can’t imagine what life will be like without them. I lost both of my siblings in 2021 within seven months of each other. I cherish every day on this precious earth.

  29. So sorry for your loss Nancy. You can tell what a wonderful person your dad was by the the amazing daughter he raised. What a beautiful tribute 💜💜

  30. Such a beautiful tribute. I am so sorry for your loss.
    It is wonderful that you have so many wonderful memories – and the pictures to prove it !!
    I lost each of my parents long ago – but all the memories and shared moments will live on forever. I wish you the best as you work through your grief.
    You are truly blessed to have been raised by such wonderful parents.

  31. So sorry for your loss, it’s a big one I know all too well…
    Such a lovely tribute to a wonderful dad from a loving daughter who looks just like him!

  32. So sorry Nancy. I lost my dad in 1989 and the pain is still very real. He was almost 62. My mom has been a widow for nearly 34 years. We all miss him terribly but can laugh and cry together about those wonderful memories.
    Everyone believes that their dad is the best and I am no exception. Your dad sounds like someone I would have loved to know.

  33. What a beautiful tribute! I, too, have lost both parents. Some of the things you shared felt so familiar. My dad was a WWII veteran and my mom was a devoted wife and mother of five. Sending love and hugs!

  34. l’m so sorry Nancy, for your loss. You wrote a beautiful tribute of your Dad, that was very touching. Remember all the good times and stay strong. Take care of yourself.
    Hugs xoxo

  35. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your dad was obviously an amazing man who has left you with wonderfully sweet memories. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  36. Oh, Nancy! I am so truly sorry for this huge loss. Both of my parents died before they went grey – mom before 60 and dad at 66 – many years ago – and it still hurts. It will always hurt. And you are so right about losing the second parent. It’s devastating.

    May you be comforted by friends and family – and in the knowledge he was well loved and loved well. God bless you and your family and this very very sad time. Prayers for you. ♥

  37. My condolences to you. Thanks for sharing such fine memories of your Dad, it is comforting and bittersweet as you say.
    God bless and keep being creative!

  38. Thank you for sharing Nancy. I am so sorry for your loss. I too lost my Dad in 2020 to Covid. Completely unexpected. He was 88 also. You had the good fortune to be able to be with him as he passed, cherish that always. My sweet Dad was all alone when he died, thanks to the rules because of Covid. My greatest regret is not being there to hold his hand and comfort him in his last hours. It breaks my heart to think he may have been scared and wondering why we weren’t with him. It was a terrible time for us but I am happy for you that we’re there for him.
    God bless your family🙏🏻

  39. I so understand your sorrow! I lost both of my parents. My Mom while in my early 30’s to terminal cancer as well. My heart is forever broken for I dearly loved them. But I know where there is great gain there is a great loss too. Thank you for sharing your wonderful relationship with them. May you find abundant comfort knowing others will keep you in their prayers!

  40. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Dad. My Dad has been gone 28 years and my Mom 12 years…. It’s so hard. Prayers for you and your family.

  41. Heartfelt Sympathy for the loss of your Dad. The memories you have will make you laugh and cry. But no one can take the memories away from you. Your Mom and Dad will always be in your heart. My parents are in my heart. They passed a long time ago but they are still with me.

  42. Nancy,
    What a beautiful tribute to your parents! I know exactly how you feel. It was very hard for me, especially being a Nurse- sometimes we know too much and can’t stop the dominoes from falling. In 2005/2006 my parents died 6 weeks apart- I think Dad just couldn’t go on anymore without Mom. They were married for 58 years. I still feel them in my life- Mom when I’m cooking (can’t get rid of some of her pans, it makes me feel like she’s there when I’m cooking) and sewing (She really gave me divine inspiration to finish a cross-stitch quilt for my Daughter’s baby shower- I literally finished it the morning of the shower…) and Dad when I’m trying to fix things around the house, paint, or refinish wood projects. When I get frustrated, I look up and say “Come on Dad, help me out here”! I take a few minutes and he inspires me to look at it a different way and it gets done!
    It’s hard to let go, but we never forget them- they made such a difference in our lives. We go on with our lives, grateful for all the lessons they taught us and things we pass on to our children (and now Grandchildren!).
    Keep your chin up, they don’t want us to be sad. Just happy they don’t have to suffer anymore. And we will see them again someday.
    Take care of yourself. Grief counseling does help.

  43. Lovely tribute. My mother died in ’03 and my dad in ’07 and I’m 81 but eve since he died I’ve felt like an orphan.

  44. I have lost both of my parents too. It will ache your heart a while but memories are the glue to hold it together. One day those memories will bring a smile to your face and less ache. Bless you.

  45. Nancy,
    So sorry for your loss. I know where you are coming from. I lost my dad in 2015 to cancer. He would be 79 today. He was also a USAF retiree, serving from the 60’s through the 80’s. He also told goofy jokes and loved to laugh! Most of the time thinking about him makes me smile, but there are still moments of grief that pop up. Know that I am praying for you….

  46. Nancy, my deepest heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Your tribute was beautifully written. I have yet to experience this myself, but I hope when the time comes, I am able to accept it with as much compassion and strength as you have shown.

  47. So sorry for your loss 😥 ❤️. I lost my dad early (25+ years ago) and it’s still hard. My children never got to know their grandfather and I didn’t have much time to have an adult relationship with him. May your wonderful memories and photos help to ease the pain of loss. I hope they comfort you and help with all the “firsts” you never wanted to have 🥰😍

  48. What a lovely tribute to your daddy. I enjoyed reading it and looking at the photos. I still have my parents, thankfully, and I will hug them tight…..for me and you! Thanks for sharing your story with us. Sending condolences, thoughts and prayers

  49. I am reading your tribute to your dad. As I sit here in the early morning hours with a hospice vigil for my husband, I am finding comfort knowing that though home hospice is wrenching, it was the best and last gift of love. Your words have helped me during this difficult time. God bless you during your time of loss.

  50. I lost my Mum in October last year. She had been ill for a while but I wasn’t ready for her to go. Like you said, I too find some solace that she is reunited with my beloved Dad. Thank you for sharing your memories of your lovely Father. I was such a Daddy’s girl but it seems my love for my Mum was so deep too. Her loss is immense.

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