Posted by: Kathy | June 21, 2010

My Father

I realize that I am a day late for a Father’s Day post. This blog site has been about the loss of my mom and my struggle to deal with her illness and death. But it’s the two fathers in my life, my dad and my husband, who have been there for me during the past year and a half and who have helped me to keep moving forward with my life as I slowly heal from the loss of my mom. As Father’s Day has just passed, the focus of this post will be on my father.

When my mom died, she and my dad had been married for 43 years and had known each other for about 47 years. I knew that my parents had met in college, but it wasn’t until after my mom’s death that I learned just how they met and fell in love. My mom went to Bryn Mawr, an all girls college, and my dad went to Franklin & Marshall. My dad told me that one night he took a break from studying and went to check out a dance being held at his college. I believe it was a Valentine’s Day dance. It was there that he met his wife, who was visiting friends from a nearby college and they all decided to go to this dance. My dad told me that he considered this to be the luckiest night of his life. My parents were married shortly after they graduated in 1965, in a church in North Philadelphia.

They had a good marriage, a strong one. Shortly before my mom died, I was working at their house. I was in another room, but could see my mom sitting in the chair. I believe my dad came into the room to check on my mom. She got up and leaned into him for a hug. And there they stood, arms wrapped around each other. I could feel their love for one another. My dad keeps my mom’s memory alive in many ways. I think the biggest is tending to her collection of orchids. My mom had over 300 orchids when she died. My dad has lost a few and added to the collection since then. The greenhouse looks beautiful and my dad is very proud of their orchids. He swears that my mom is helping him to know what to do.

My dad called me his rock several times after my mom died. But no matter how hard I’ve tried to be strong for him, I’ve depended on him as much as he’s depended on me. I always said to him that his loss is greater, as he lost his love, his partner, his best friend, and his soulmate. But my dad has never diminished my loss, telling me that we both lost someone in our lives who meant a lot to each of us in different ways.

The relationship I share with my dad has become stronger since my mom died and I love him dearly. One of my biggest fears is losing him too, and I’m sure this is natural, especially given the horrors I went through with my mom’s fight against pancreatic cancer and the way this disease took her life. I recently received an e-mail from someone who has lost both her parents, and she ended her e-mail with the words “treasure your Dad”. That I do.

I love you, Dad. Thank you for all that you do for me and my family.



  1. So precious to read of your relationship with your Dad. My Dad has died and I am struggling so hard in this journey without him. I have my mum still but we have never been close and grief doesnt seem to have drawn us closer.
    Thanks for your openess …

    Conversations with my Dad

  2. Kathy, I have had a very similar experience since my mother died. My relationship with my father has become much stronger. Before mom was gone, when I called home, a majority of the phone conversation was with my mom. Now, when I call, it is my dad who answers the phone. I have learned so much about my dad over the last 6 years. Despite, the deep sadness over losing mom, I cherish the new relationship that I have with my father. If only I could have both….my mom and my dad…………

  3. Hi Kathy,

    Your writing never fails to GREATLY move me & teach such a valuable lesson….cherish your loved ones ALWAYS. I thank you not only for your WONDERFUL friendship, but for also sharing your life with me. I hope & pray that your pain of the loss of your Mom will minimize over time.

    Love You My Friend,


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