Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Another Father’s Day

When your dad dies you’re in the moment of loss and you don’t really consider how permanent it is. But dead is forever and that’s a very long time.

In the beginning you get through each day, each moment really, one moment at a time and you try to accomplish all the things you have to do, from arranging a funeral to cancelling his next doctor appointment, and you don’t think about what it will be like sixteen Father’s Days later.

But I can tell you what it’s like. It’s like the first one, just a little softer around the edges. Less the slice of a knife, more the dull ache of a bruise.

Dad would have turned 91 last February. There’s no guarantee he’d still be alive today, but I know for certain that a sleepy truck driver took several years from him — and us — sixteen years ago when he failed to see dad stopped on the freeway ahead.

A young man with big dreams

I wonder if that driver ever thinks of dad. Or us. I think of him often; he’s a father too, and I am sure there will be some Father’s Day thing happening for him this weekend. I don’t begrudge him that. I just wish…I wish he had pulled over when he got sleepy that morning.

I know you all expected some sort of uplifting Father’s Day post, but that’s not where I am this year. Grief ebbs and flows, but the work remains.

In fact I’m working on some truck safety stuff over the weekend. In some ways that’s in honor of my dad. I guess, for me, just about every day is Father’s Day as we fight to improve safety on our roads. Can’t give up, though sometimes it feels futile.

I like to think of him up in heaven sitting with some of your folks who have gone on too, sitting around in easy chairs telling stories about all of us, sharing experiences. Smiling a lot. Don’t see why this isn’t possible, after all, most of us met over the internet, just as unlikely as our folks meeting in the afterlife, right?

Anyway, now I’m rambling. I hope those of you that still have your dad here get the chance to give him a hug or a call or a card. Sometimes dads get lost in our busy worlds, but time is not infinite. Don’t waste any of it.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. No matter where you are.

A new dad.


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Giving Tuesday

Dad at my wedding in 1990

Dad at my wedding in 1990

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day to remind people to donate to charitable organizations. I’d like to plead the case for donating to the Truck Safety Coalition.

Many of you already know this organization because of all my posts about Dad who was killed by a tired trucker December 23, 2004. We’re coming up on the anniversary again, and though it’s twelve years now, it seems like yesterday that my family’s world was turned upside down.

Back then we weren’t sure what had happened to us, or why, but we knew it wasn’t right. And the more we learned, about the long hours truck drivers work, the conditions they work under, the more we realized it was something we wanted to help fix.

Just like Dad always fixed stuff for us.

TSC is the only organization singularly devoted to supporting victims of truck crashes as well as the families and friends who have lost a loved one in a truck crash. I encourage you to go to their website to learn more about all the supportive programs and advocacy in which the Truck Safety Coalition is involved.

Please donate to TSC this Giving Tuesday by clicking here (http://trucksafety.org/get-involved/donate/) to help make a difference in the lives of people dealing with tragic crashes and to help save lives by improving highway safety for everyone, including those driving commercial trucks.

If you were to talk to any of the families volunteering for TSC they’d tell you that they work for safety to honor their loved ones and to keep other families from suffering the same tragedy they cope with every day.

Please join us as we stand for safety.

And thank you very much for all the emotional support you’ve provided my own family over the years. We couldn’t have made it through without all of you.

Grew up to be my Dad.

Grew up to be my Dad.


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Nothing left to add this Father’s Day

Imported Photos 00068For days I’ve felt Father’s Day coming. And I’ve tried to conjure up a Father’s Day post, something sweet and reminiscent like I wrote last year. But for some reason I just don’t have anything profound to say. Nor anything less stirring. This year my mind can’t get around the fact that he’s not here.

He should be.

I should be able to give him a call, send him a card, even go for a visit. A couple weeks ago I did an interview and at the end the reporter asked me to send her pictures of me and dad. I realized I didn’t really have any of him and me together, just the two of us. I thought to myself that I should get a few taken next time I was home.

And then I remembered. Again. I have to keep remembering over and over and it’s just as painful each time.

Imported Photos 00095

I can’t make any more pictures. Can’t make any more memories. What I have is all there will be. All there will ever be.

I know I’m lucky that I have the vast number of memories and life experiences that our family created over the decades. Some people don’t have any memories at all. But I’m feeling greedy and wish there could be more.

1987 Dad skiing 4

He was a good man, a good provider, a good dad. He was doing the best he could to adjust to the loss of his life partner, my mom, when he was taken from us.

He should still be here.

This Father’s Day seems harder for me than most of the last twelve that our family has managed to get through. I don’t know why. But I know that tomorrow will be better. And I know we were lucky to have had him at all.

Still, I wish he was here today.

1985 Dad laughing at the lake