Hey Lindsay Girl

Hey Lindsay Girl

Hey Lindsay Girl,

Here we go again, year number three of the day before tomorrow. The day before I watched you laugh like no one was watching, the day before you made laugh the same way. The day before we  spent some valuable father/daughter time together, which was a rarity, due to your busy social life. The day you made fun of my old man gang signs, even though I thought, they were somewhat awesome. The day you made my heart so happy when you said, “I am not going to date until I am thirty-five.” The day you lied about all the people at the pool and I didn’t even care. The day I could not believe I was so blessed to have you and Jarrett in my life. Tomorrow, the day I heard your laugh for the last time. The day we spent our last moments together as father and daughter. The day that smile would never be seen again, the day your hair flowed in the wind one last time. The day I heard you say, “Love you too dad” for the final time here on this earth. The day my world came crashing down.  The day I walked into an emergency room and felt like I was in a movie, because I could not believe this was happening. The day your mother and I stood in front of a surgeon and listened to him tell us the next 48 hours were crucial to your survival. The day I walked into STICU room number nine and saw all your dreams, all your plans, all your tomorrows fading away.

Tomorrow is a pretty tough day for me Lindsay Lou. I need to hear your laugh, I need to see your smile, I need you to finish teaching me how to “Nea Nea.” I still can’t believe you said I had no rhythm. I need you. So tomorrow, if I talk to you a little more than usual, please don’t roll your eyes, like I have seen so many times before. Cut the old man a break. Tomorrow, I will go to work and I will spend a little more time at that stop sign, I will drive a little slower as I pass that spot, and I will try to make it through the day. When I head home I will turn in to our neighborhood,  stop at the entrance and sit in the lanai for a while. I will sit there and go over all the scenario’s that would have prevented my tomorrow from happening. A tomorrow that started a week that crushed my soul. Tomorrow I will think about the next seven days that ended with the worst day of my life, the day you left me. I know not willingly, but so peacefully and a hero to so many.

You will always be my princess without a crown, my cheerleader without monograms, and my little girl sucking her thumb dragging that raggedy pink baby around. As much as I hate tomorrow, tomorrows are all I have to look forward to. Tomorrows gives me one more day with Kelli, one more day to be Jarrett’s dad, one more day to be a son, a brother, a stepdad, and a uncle. All the things that help heal the wound, but will never fill the hole in my heart. Tomorrow puts me one day closer to seeing you one again. Tomorrow, I hope you take a look down and wrap your arms around all of us to ease the heartache of our tomorrow.

Love you girl,


Precious Time

Precious Time

With every dawn that breaks the eastern sky, a grieving parent somewhere in this world starts “their day.”  They wake up knowing today is the day, today is the day I lost my child. There is not a day that begins nor a day that ends that a parent who has lost a child is not grieving their child. Whether it be one year, five years, twenty years or fifty years a parent never forgets that day. The day their world crumbled, the day their soul emptied, the day their heart was, in every sense of the word, broken. Broken to a point that you never think it will work again. This day, no matter where you are, is the most difficult day of the year for a grieving parent. Whether you stay curled up in bed to try and sleep the day away or go to work to try and keep your mind occupied. Every moment you check the time thinking has it passed. Has the hour, the minute, the second your child slipped from this world passed. Is it behind me for another year, is this one moment in time gone for now. Because in your mind you think if you can make it passed that moment in time you will be okay, but your heart knows different. Two days from today will be my “day,” August 28. For me it has been two years, a sliver of time in the large, expansive realm of life, but feels like an eternity. An anniversary that no one wants to celebrate. This day becomes part of a grieving parents life just as birthday’s and holiday’s. A day no one truly wants to remember, but a day that will never be forgotten.  For those of you that did not know about Lindsay and what happened I what to give you a brief synopsis before I go on to my next thought. On August 21, 2016 Lindsay was in a horrible traffic accident that caused a traumatic brain injury. After emergency surgery she was still in very critical condition and remained unconscious for the remainder of the week, we lost her August 28, 2016. After a week of hoping, praying and spending every moment we could with Lindsay, she in her own way told us it was time, as her broken body began to let go. You see, Lindsay had a dream to be a surgeon, a saver of lives. By being an organ donor she was about to do just that, save lives. She knew her mother and I could never make the devastating decision’s we had to make so she made them for us.

So now, not only do I have the day of August 21, and the day of August 28,  I also have the night of August 27. Imagine knowing tomorrow would be the last time you would ever see your son or daughter. The last day to hold their hand, the last day to kiss their forehead, the last day to just sit and look at them. Imagine the thoughts that would go through your mind. Imagine the love, the anger, the sadness, the memories, the what if’s, the why’s, the guilt, the remorse, imagine the pain that would almost cripple your body. Imagine being so exhausted but fighting to stay awake because you do not want tomorrow to come. Imagine already knowing, without a miracle from God, what tomorrow will bring. 

I have heard it my entire life and I have said the very words myself when it comes to someone passing away that has been sick or on life support, “At least the family had time to say goodbye.” Not even close to being true. There is never enough time, there are never enough minutes in the day, hours in a week or days in a year for a parent to say goodbye to a child, forever. To stand beside a young woman only seventeen years old lying in a hospital bed, holding her hand and feeling her last heartbeat. I never thought as I stood in the very same hospital seventeen years earlier, and watched Lindsay come into this world, that I would be holding her hand as I watched her leave this world.  Believe me there is never enough time.

On the other hand was I thankful for the time, the week we had with Lindsay, yes, more than anyone will ever know, more than I have the vocabulary to express. Thankful for every second I stood in that room holding her hand, talking to her, praying that she would wake up and answer me. Thankful for the doctors, the nurses, the chaplain, the janitor, everyone that walked that long hall with me, shook my hand, hugged my neck, and said a prayer for Lindsay. Time with your children is a very precious thing, and no matter if they are leaving for kindergarten, leaving for college, leaving for love and marriage, or leaving you forever, take the time, make the time, embrace the time. Time with your children will start to flee very fast as they grow older, but time for a grieving parent now stands still.

When you lay down Monday night August 27th, don’t think of my family or Lindsay, think of your son, your daughter. Think about the love you have for them, think about the last time you told them you love them, think about the last time you gave them a hug. Think about what life would be like without them, it will make your life and time with them more precious. Realize the time you have is never enough, it can be stolen from you like a thief in the night.  Be thankful for the time and memories you have because when the memory makers are gone, memories are all you have.

On my day, August 28th, if you think of my family or say a prayer for us, please also remember Lindsay’s extended family and her countless friends. Remember somewhere in this world there are probably other parents who share this day with us, and say a prayer for them as well. My day will be long and it will be difficult, but what will keep me going is remembering all the precious time.