June 19, 2016

I don't hate Fathers Day.

I don't hate Fathers Day.


I probably should. 



People probably assume I do.

My Dad died 2 1/2 years ago and left a hole in our family the size of a crater. The mantra that runs through my mind the most are the words "He should be here" - they whisper quietly in my head all the time. In big moments like Libby Lu's first day of Kindergarten,  the kick off of my podcast, and small moments like the smell of cut grass, or when I have a question about the tires on my car.

My dad was only 62 when he passed.

He should have had so much time left. 

He should be here. 

A few weeks ago I was driving my car and a song came on the radio that stopped me in my tracks. It was like someone ripped my beating heart out of my chest, asked it questions, and then put it back in and wrote a song about it's answers.

To be fair there are alot of songs out there about death, especially in country music, and plenty of new ones have came out since my Dad passed. Sure they are sad, and hard to listen to, but none of them hit me like this one. I had to pull my car over just to get myself together. 

But I had to know about this song. Who wrote it? What is the story behind it? A quick search on my phone led me to the singer, Cole Swindell. Turns out Cole and I have some things in common. His Dad passed about 3 months short of mine.  The video starts with a beautiful phone call to his Dad, giving him the news that he just signed a record deal.

His Dad passed shortly after that phone call and just before his career skyrocketed.  The video is just gorgeous, if you'd like to watch it click here. 

Now, I might not be country super star, but man I feel like my Dad would be so proud of the last few years of my life. I feel like he is missing so much. 

He would be so proud of my podcast.  Well, first he would ask me what a podcast was, but once he learned he would be one of my biggest fans. He would be tickled to death that it's grown so big so quickly.

He would love that I work for the Cardinals and ask me to tell him stories about all the old timers I get to hang out with.

He would love that I was embarrassed on national television in such a fun way, he would think our pet pig was hysterical and tell anyone that would listen that it pooped in the Blues locker room.

He would be helping us move into our new house in a few weeks, and shaking his head when his favorite athlete Bruce Jenner became Caitlin.

He would have laughed his butt off when I sent a box of shit to Stan Kronke.  He would have proudly cheered me on while I ran around like an asshole on the local news in dinosaur costumes.

He would complain about gas prices, no matter what they were, and be thoroughly entertained with our presidential candidates.

He would have acted surprised when he opened his gifts today. Even though they were the same every year.  Home-made cards from his grand babies, his favorite coffee and aftershave. Socks and underwear of course, a big chocolate bar, and a funny Duck Dynasty or Nascar shirt.  Trust me, us buying him new socks and underwear every year was more than a gift, it was a necessity or he would be wearing the same ones from 1982.

Then he would have headed over to the recliner, tilt his ball cap down to the bridge of his nose, and taken a nap. 

He would be so proud of my mom for living every day to the fullest and being so strong.  She has carried herself through grief with grace and love and her attitude is contagious. 

So do you want to know why I don't hate Fathers Day?

My Dad would be so disappointed in me if I did.  

I have a great husband, my Dad was very fond of Jimmy and HE deserves to be celebrated, and if I moped around all day feeling sorry for myself he would be so disappointed in me. That's not the life he would want me to live. So I celebrate Fathers Day in honor of my Dad. I promised him I would make him proud and I'm not going to let him down. 

Now that our Fathers Day is over, and Jimmy enjoyed his day fullest with hand made cards from the kids, lot of presents too.  A movie with Rocky, homemade tacos for lunch and a night watching WWE wrestling with his buddies.  I wanted to take a minute to celebrate my Dad. 

Truth be told I wanted to make a video like this for a long time.  With my access to photos and videos and technology it should have been done a long time ago, but it was just too hard. I hesitated even writing this blog because how many times can I wave a flag over my head and say "Hey everyone, look at me, feel sorry for me, my Dad died".

 But I didn't make this for you, I made it for them.

And now I'm sharing it with you.  Because I'm so proud of my Dad and the time he had with us.  I know he is proud of me too. I don't want his grand babies to forget him. He was obsessed with them and every detail of their lives, I want them to carry that in their hearts forever. 

Thank you so much Cole Swindell for sharing your talent and your heart with us.  We are both part of a club that no one wants to be in, but I'm glad to have company like yours. I wish you all the success in the world. Hope our Dads are having fun together heaven and looking down on both of us. If I ever get the chance to meet you I owe you a big hug and a cold beer.