Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Today is a hard day for me. I have been dreading this day for quite some time.

Today is my dad's birthday.

For some reason today has been harder than the holidays were without him. Maybe because it's the day he came into this world, and it's such a stark reminder that he is no longer with us. Today would have marked 51 years. Instead he had 50 years, 3 months, and 11 days.

I miss him SO much. I can remember as I was growing up we didn't have a whole lot of money. My dad would pull my sister and I around the yard in the snow on garbage sacks, just so we could ride on a sled.

He taught us how to get the rocks out of our horse's hooves, how to put the bridle on him.

He taught us how to ride our bikes. When we fell off he made us get back on, even though we didn't want to.

He was there when I got married, looking SO proud, yet so uncomfortable in his dress clothes.

He was ecstatic to have a grandson when Nolen was born. He loved all of his grandkids so much. He was beyond thrilled when Kendra was born and named after him.

Right after he passed away, we saw "signs" everywhere. Looking back, they were probably nothing, but at the time they helped us with our grief and our pain. About a month or so after his funeral, my mother and I had a yard sale to help defray some of the costs of his funeral expenses. At the very beginning of the yard sale, a blue dragonfly came into the garage and sat there the whole day. It never moved. I had to shoo it away when we closed the garage doors because I didn't want it to die overnight in the garage. At the time, we thought it was maybe the spirit of my dad bringing us luck. My dad had blue eyes.

Some weeks after that, we were on our way to see my aunt, who lived about 50 miles away. On the way to her house we looked up into the sky and saw a horse in the clouds. My dad LOVED horses...they were as much a part of him as his boots and Stetson hats were.

I miss him so much. SO much. I miss having him come over to my house just to talk, going thru the cabinets to find a cup for a drink of water. I miss him knocking on the door, then opening it and walking in saying "Hellooo...." I miss him coming and saying "I need you to cut my hair, Sissy." Even though I couldn't , I didn't know how...he didn't mind.

I miss him coming to help with yard work because he liked to work in the yard. I miss sitting on the porch and just talking to him. Helping him do stuff on the computer because he didn't know how. I miss how he would get a cup of coffee and fill it only halfway and fill the rest with water. How everytime he sat down in the recliner he went to sleep, with his feet up in the air and the recliner all the way back, his boots on the floor beside him. Inevitably, football was on the t.v. If we would change it he ALWAYS woke up and said "I was watching that. Turn it back."

I miss my daddy...I wish he were still here. I wish he had NEVER bought that damn motorcycle. I wish he had taken the car instead. I wish he could have been ok, because he always WAS ok.

Most of all, I wish I could hear his to him one more time. But it wouldn't be never is. I wish I had something with his voice on it so I don't forget what he sounded like. I wish I had a shirt of his that still smelled like him, so I don't forget what he smelled like.

Right after he passed away, the kids were angry, understandably. They were hurting and looking for answers. One of the kids asked why Heavenly Father had to take Papo, why he had to die. I said Heavenly Father needed Papo to change the lightbulbs in Heaven because He couldn't reach them. (My dad was 6 ft 6 in tall.) One of the kids, being kids, said "Why couldn't Heavenly Father stand on a chair?" I wonder too.

I KNOW that there is a life after this one. I believe that whole heartedly. I know that when I die, my dad will be there, along with other loved ones I have lost, to welcome me with open arms. I look forward to the day when I can see them again. And I am going to give my dad a BIG hug, and I hope he sits down and tells me he needs a haircut.

Kenneth John Nielson
March 26, 1957-July 6, 2007
Loved and Missed Everyday

3 Totally cool people said::

Marci Knecht said...

I'm a firm believer in signs, so I don't think they were nothing, I think they were your Dad's way of letting you know that he was okay. We're kind of bound by dates in a wierd way, and I'll always remember the day your Dad died because it was my husbands birthday. I'll forever remember your Dad on that day, even though I didn't know him.

Kathy said...

My heart goes out to you. My daddy died when I was just 7 years old but it doesn't matter what age you are he is still your daddy....know that with time things do get easier. I think honestly you just learn how to live with will always miss him. {{hugs}} to you.

Dettao said...

Hugs to you from someone else who understands.