Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Dear Dad

27 Comments

Dear Dad,

I’m looking at all the tributes to dads on this Father’s Day. They’re all over Facebook; lots and lots of pretty terrific dads out there. Of course you probably don’t know what Facebook is, I don’t think it was a thing back when you were on the computer. But I think you would have enjoyed it, kept in touch with a lot of your forward thinking friends. And your kids of course.

Speaking of which, we’re all doing pretty good lately. A couple of them are coming up to visit me next week, and I’ll be going south next month. Hopefully we’ll all be together at your lake house for at least a few days. I know you like it when we’re all there, just like the old days. I think the house likes it too.

And you should see our house and garden now. The remodeling is finally finished, you didn’t get to see the fireplace or the built-ins. The kitchen that was so new when you were here last is probably outdated now. I watch those television shows and wonder what a buyer would say when they walked in here. It’s certainly not a gut job, but it’s not white either. Buyers are so fickle! You’d laugh at the thought of someone ripping out perfectly good stuff and starting over because it wasn’t their taste. I think the same way, probably got it from you.

The kousa dogwood tree out front that you helped plant so many years ago is beautiful this year. It’s such a delicate pink and cream. And so many blossoms. I guess that’s because we had a warm winter. Or a wet spring. Or maybe both. You and mom would love it.

You’d both love the birds here too. You should see the huge woodpecker on the oriole feeder right now, stealing all the oranges I just put out. He’s really pretty. So are the orioles, of course, who often share the feeder with other hungry birds. Sometimes I go out to Kensington, one of your favorite parks, and let the birds land on my hand. I often think about how you would enjoy doing that. Mom too.

Hey! Have you noticed that Katie and I camped a lot last summer? We’re planning on doing some this summer too. Can’t believe it’s already the middle of June. I guess if we’re going we should get to it. Katie says she’s glad you taught me all about camping, because she just loves to be out there in the woods, and she sure loves sleeping in her tent. Remember the old heavy green army tent the whole family used to sleep in? Well, tents today are a lot different! And they don’t smell so much either, which is a good thing.

Speaking of Katie, you didn’t get to meet her. You remember Bonnie, right? The sheltie-girl without the tail? Well, Katie is sort of like her but on steroids. She’s wound like a top, and definitely over the top, but I bet you’d enjoy her antics.

And did you see that your third child has grandchildren now? You would have loved these little kids, they’re so cute! And fun in small doses, you know? You could have played with them on weekends and then enjoyed the peace of the lake after they went back home. I’m sorry you didn’t get to experience that. But I figure you’re smiling now anyway.

There’s not a lot of news, dad. We’re all doing fine, partly because of the way you and mom raised us. We’re thankful for what we have, but we sure do miss the two of you.

I was thinking about what picture of you to use for this Father’s Day post, realizing that I don’t have any recent ones, that there won’t be any new photos ever again and that made me sad. So I guess I’ll just use a few of those I’ve already posted, sort of a celebration of your life.

But gee, I wish I could take a photo with you today.

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

27 thoughts on “Dear Dad

  1. (((hugs))) to you as you remember. I lost my Dad 16 years ago, so I totally understand. Your Dad looks and sounds like he was an incredible man.

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    • Hugs back to you. No amount of time makes it better….just somewhat easier. Dad was pretty amazing now that I look back at him. Of course growing up I just thought he was too strict with too many rules. Like every other dad I suppose!

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  2. I’m reading this one through tears, Dawn. What a lovely tribute to your dad!

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    • Thank you. This one didn’t make me cry, like other years, just left me sort of melancholy. It’s been 13 Father’s Days without him. You’d think I’d get used to it and I guess I have. But I still don’t like it.

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  3. I too am reading through tears, knowing how you lost your Dad- thank you for sharing him with us, so we could know him a bit, and know the influence he had on your life Dawn. Sending a hug ❤ ❤

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    • Sending a hug back to you too. I guess I should be grateful I had him, and I am, but I sure wish we had more years. Then I meet other people whose dads were killed by semi trucks when they were just kids and I realize I got to have him for 48 years, and that’s a whole lot longer than some people had their dads around. So I was lucky.

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  4. That is just beautiful Dawn.

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    • Thank you. I miss him and mom a lot. So many people tell me stories about them and that helps. Still….then I remember they’d be 88 or 89 now and maybe wouldn’t be here anyway. And I’m grateful for the years they were here, and that they didn’t suffer long, and I didn’t have to make health decisions for them. But still…

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  5. Heartfelt, sweet–bittersweet–well written as always.

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    • How was your day Ellen? I think about you and your family on occasion, you guys were so similar to us growing up. I bet I could have moved in and your folks wouldn’t have even noticed! Same in our family, if you had slid into place there. I suppose there were many families like ours across the country. Kind of cool that you and I happened upon each other’s.

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      • I know; it is cool. I think about you and your dad often–hard not to, when there are semis everywhere, and every time I see one swerve a bit, there it is in my thoughts. Undoubtedly not nearly as often as you think of it, but I’m so very much more aware because of your loss and your advocacy. Life is pretty good, but still days and times of intense grief. As I know you’ve experienced. Keeping the memories like you’ve set out here is, I think, one of the best ways to remember the good times.

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        • Writing makes me worry less about forgetting. It’s a big weight to try to keep everything in your mind at once, fearing that if you relax something will be lost. I’ve found once I write it down then a little bit of the weight of loss is lifted. Just like talking about it, a bit of my grief shifts to someone else and is shared which makes it easier to carry.

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  6. A beautiful post Dawn. I still talk to my Mom most every day through my journal. Just like you are talking to your Dad here.

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    • That’s probably helpful, right? I know it helps me to write stuff down, though I don’t have one place where it’s all located. I talk to them at night when I’m walking the dog, especially if the stars are out.

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      • Yes, it is helpful. I have been talking to her through journaling off and on since she died in 1987. I go through some long breaks of not doing it but I always find myself reaching out to her. I talk to her often actually. I think it’s a good thing. Oh yes, when the stars are out… 🙂

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  7. Having been raised in a broken family Lee does not think much on Father’s Day or Mother’s Day. She does not say that lightly. Her father committed suicide and her mother was questioned as perhaps contributing to his mental state at the time. But since starting on our Ancestry journey she sure wishes she could have known many of her ancestors. We wonders how her parents could have descended from a line of people who cared about doing the right thing. Lovely open letter that you wrote.
    Thanks for keeping my Sweet William in your prayers.
    Sweet William The Scot

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    • We are all pulling for Sweet William…and for you! I’m sorry you had such an upbringing, but you sure have a lot of people that care about you now! Hugs to you and your boy.

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  8. Lovely post. We had one of those heavy canvas army tents when I was young too!

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    • So you probably remember that wet canvas smell…and not touching the sides when it rains because it will leak. And how heavy it was, that it took more than one person to put it up.

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      • Yep! When I was around 8 my parents bought a basic tent trailer to replace the tent since camping in Western Washington means camping in the rain. (2 end beds and a table, no stove or cabinets, etc.) When I was 12 I got my first personal tent as a Christmas gift. It was a cheapie, had no rain fly, and leaked like a sieve, but I loved having my own little camping home.

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  9. It’s tough when our Dad’s are gone. My Dad taught me to camp too. When we started we only had a tent and sleeping bags and borrowed everything else from friends. It wasn’t an army tent but it was canvas so I remember that smell too. My Dad loved little kids and dogs. We lost him in 2010, thankfully after we were all grown, even the grandkids were all teenagers but he’s missed seeing the great-grandkids. Happy Father’s Day to our Dad’s in Heaven!

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    • It’s good to have those kind of memories. We started in a tent and moved up to a tent camper, and then a truck camper. All good memories. I’m sorry he had to move on to the next adventure, but glad you can smile about the time you had together. Maybe there’s a big Dad’s club up there where they can all sit around and tell stories to each other. That would be cool.

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  10. I think adding the pictures to this post made it really special Dawn. Memories are what keep us going. I guess no matter how long it is we will always miss our Dads. My dad taught us to camp and I remember the blue tent it was a pain in the butt to set up and we had those big heavy tarps that went under it and they had this smell that was a combination of canvas/musty/ who knows what else. I always ended up sleeping on rocks for some reason and the sleeping bag never did much good lol. We later advanced to a motor home and it was so much more comfortable.

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  11. These are certainly amazing memories

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