The Loss That Is Forever

I was getting dressed this morning and on my dresser is this picture.


I see this picture all the time. I love having it.  It is amazing to be able to see a wedding  picture of your parents.  But today?  Today, I looked at it and cried. I surprised myself. I wondered why.  Why today?  Is it because the holidays are coming?  And before you think this is about my mom, it is about my dad today.

I started to think about all kinds of things.  I have another picture sitting by my shelves that my cousin gave me.  It is an 8 x 10 picture, probably a graduation picture.  It has some water damage, but I don’t care.  I treasure it.  It is one of few pictures I have of him.  I used to have none.  Through the years, I have obtained a few more from a cousin, got ahold of yearbooks from when he was in school, got my mom’s wedding book.  It is damaged from water also and wavy and bent, but I also treasure it.  Where else would I get to see a few pages of pictures like these?


I have sat and looked at pictures of him for a long time.  I try to look into his eyes, trying to know him just a little bit. But I don’t. I have heard few stories and those I have heard I treasure.  I love to hear how caring he was, but also about the sense of humor he had. I have little to no memories of him.  I was only 4 years old when he died. Four.

I envy those who have their parents. Those who have got to know them.  Girls who had their dads to scare their dates, to teach them about guys.  Girls who got daddy hugs.  Fatherly advice. Girls who had their dad to walk them down the aisle. Girls who got to have their dad and daughter dance at their wedding. I went to my cousin’s wedding many years back and her dad and her got that dance.  The song?  Daddy’s Little Girl.  I sobbed. SOBBED.  My big brother was there.  He put his arm around me and said.  “Sometimes, you just can’t listen to the words.”  Sometimes, I can’t help it.

I wonder. Who would I have been?  I think I would be more sure of myself.  I would be less scared of the world. I wouldn’t always have been second guessing my choices.  I would have been more brave.

I read a book once called The Loss That Is Forever-The Lifelong Impact of an Early Death of a Father or Mother by Maxine Harris.  Anyone that has lived this, or knows someone that has, should read it.  It is still available on Amazon.  It was amazing to see what I lived and still do on the pages of a book.

I was thrilled to find his yearbooks. Not HIS, but the years and the school of his.  I was amazed to see him in them so often and to see that his extracurricular activities were not only similar to mine, but to my children. From art and choir to drama and writing.  Amazed.


I got to find and scan this picture of him out of one of those books! I yearn for a color picture of him.  You can tell he had dark hair and light eyes.  I was told once they were sky blue.  I imagine that was a stunning combination!  I now know where Jamie got his sky blue eyes!

What else have I missed?  The most. The very most of all?  That not only my kids did not have a grandfather and did not get to know (either) of them, but most of all, that HE did not get to know THEM.  I know he would have been proud of them. I know when they were little he would have adored them.  I know as adults he would be amazed by them!


  1. What beautiful pictures! So sorry for your loss. Maybe you would enjoy recreating your father for your children with an age-appropriate book about his life? These photos are a wonderful start and you can learn a tremendous amount from friends and relatives when you start digging.

    • Thanks! My children are all adults now…we do share these and more. I was lucky also that my grandmother, his mom, did a lot of geneology so long ago…the interest in all of us continues! And as for relatives, sadly, from my dad’s side, most are gone. I have some cousins left and that is all!

  2. It is very hard to not have your parents but to not have any memories is so sad and I’m very sorry. My dad died when I was 15 but I do have those though not nearly enough. My father became an orphan at 4 and I remember how sad he would get about it sometimes. I would have loved to meet my grandmother she was only 23 when she passed away.

    • That is still too young! My husband lost his father when he was 12 and that was too young too! I never even met my grandfather-my father’s dad died on Christmas day in 1956-before I was born. It is funny, even after all these years, how sometimes the hurt of not knowing a parent can still surface! thank you!

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