Tag Archives: father

10 Posts for 10 Years: #10

January 31, 2014

Today, only a few words are needed. Words like . . .

I miss you. I honor you. I realize you are proud of me. I will see you again. I am so lucky to know you. I respect all you gave. I could not ask for a better father. I love you. I hope to be like you.

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God bless and keep you.

Always your Ace,
Sara

10 Posts for 10 Years: #9

January 30, 2014

Oh a smile has so many stories to tell. My dad’s grin was, by far, full of tales and light.

My father’s smile . . . remarkable but humble. His teeth were oddly strong, but weathered by time and chewing tobacco. His eyes always twinkled in unison with his grin—a mischievous, dancing smirk. When more serene, he merely let the creases gather at the edges and cast a friendly glow of inviting grace.

In league with his smile was his wit. It ebbed forth like the steady percussion of feet on a hardwood floor. It lashed in banter—never too harsh or too scathing. It elicited groans of, “Ooooh dad,” and playful eye rolls from us kids more times than I can count. In awe at the stealthy backdoor approaches and barrage of jest, I listened. I laughed. I often replayed it in my mind . . . as I do now.

Look around to your friends, family and even yourself. Make note of that smile, and see how you can make it do somersaults with giggles and witty exercise.

10 Posts for 10 Years: #7

January 28, 2014

In the world of grief recovery and the journey to healing, there is an awareness: the loss of one person is not a singular loss but the loss of many roles one person plays in your life.

Now, I do not want to frame this as a melancholy or morose statement. Instead, I prefer to celebrate the many facets and blessings that one person can shine on your life.

For instance, when I think of my dad, here are just a dozen of the “hats” he wore:

  1. Highly competitive Yahtzee champion with a knack for rolling the perfect dice
  2. Small engine aircraft pilot who took me flying in my carseat . . . in a doorless plane
  3. Car whisperer who could decipher clangs, thunks, whirs and screeches
  4. One-handed baseball hitting machine who helped me practice my outfield skills
  5. Dollhouse master architect with floor plans, wall angles and space for vehicles
  6. Swoop and cast fishing dynamo with the ability to bait fish . . . and me with jokes
  7. Smorgasbord master chef with an art for crafting dinner from random ingredients
  8. Spiritual seeker who welcomed questions, challenges and Biblical banter
  9. Last-minute Christmas shopping faux Scrooge who pretended to despise holidays
  10. Copy and laminating crafter who shrank, sealed and created memorable tokens
  11. Bestest and most timely voicemail offender with hilarious messages
  12. Loudest and proudest cheering section in both small and large venues

I invite you to write down the roles of those you love, or loved and lost. And if you knew Big Mike (my father), feel free to share other memories of him in the Comments below.

10 Posts for 10 Years: #6

January 27, 2014

Today, I feel called to share a deep and flowing tribute that I wrote not long after my father’s passing. See if you can find the heart and hope tucked in between the words.

A Titan of Humble Scale

My father is the summer breeze
warmly cradling my cheek,
brushing back my hair.

My dad is my humble confidant
keeping me racing forward,
readying a dreamsicle parachute.

My daddy is beyond compare
offering airplane rides,
stealing good-night kisses.

My friend is keeper of smiles
teasing me into smirks,
laughing at his own jokes.

My mentor is a steady rock
guiding me on an upward climb,
holding me as I search for stability.

My world is built from him
meshing man with hero,
giving all to his princess.

10 Posts for 10 Years: #3

January 24, 2014

Hands clap, they hold, they pull, they reach. My father’s hands were one of his signature traits. I could rely on those hands for mechanical miracles, challenged them to creative building projects and watched them sign one of the most picturesque signatures I have ever seen.

My father’s hands . . . a larger than life, careworn pair. Calluses aplenty dotted his hands, with little grease-marred tendrils flowing from his palms up to his cuticles. Lava soap, Gojo and pumice stones all failed to work complete magical feats, yet small gaps of unreal youth wedged themselves into the mix.

The tops of his hands hand a trace, nearly imperceptible scattering of blond hair and a permanent watch imprint at the intersection of his left wrist. They found a way to peel apples in one continuous swoop—a tradition I now proudly uphold.

They moderated sibling confrontation, wielded a twisted old strip of leather, and ever-so-playfully clicked back and forth on the mouse to play Spider Solitaire. His nails were always cut painstakingly short.

When striking up a conversation or consulting with a client at his desk, he always leaned forward and crossed his arms—looping his hands over each forearm like an ancient guardian.

When sleeping in his chair in front of the TV at night, he would have them resting at first on his chest . . . and then later they would slip to the sides as he snored like a hibernating grizzly through the details of PBS, Discover or History, which I swear he absorbed in his sleep.

I will miss them walking me down the aisle someday. However, I smile at the memory of them playing banjo or cradling a rambunctious harmonica. This is for you, dad:

10 Posts for 10 Years: #2

January 23, 2014

If the eyes are windows to the soul, then my father’s eyes told epic tales.

I “focus” on the eyes now because of the pivotal importance eyes play in empathy, in hope, in knowing a person and in loving unconditionally. The eyes show purity of emotion, they reveal attention, they help us to connect and they transform experiences into memories.

Dad's EyesMy father’s eyes . . . although damaged by pressure and the bombardment of strenuous work, still gleamed when he spoke. No, they danced.

By some uncanny knowledge (or, perhaps, a kindred innocence), his eyes caught us kids in our hijinks. It’s all about the way he knew to raise a brow, sneak in a wink, pinch them shut during allergy season or roll them at one of my notoriously bad jokes.

No eyes will ever see me for exactly who/what I am or love his family just the same. His eyes were accepting, stern, playful, tired and ever watchful. They were hazel, like mine, but with different stars circling the center . . . more feisty brown flecks. The crinkly creases at the edge deepened but never aged him.

I miss how his eyes looked to me with the responsibility of being his eldest child, to me as his goofy sarcastic buddy and to me as his spiritual student.

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,” Ephesians 1:18

10 Posts for 10 Years: #1

January 22, 2014

On January 31, my father will have been gone for 10 years. Gone but not absent. Gone but not forgotten. Gone but not a day goes by that I don’t miss his hands, his hugs and his humor.

I will spend the next 10 days sharing thoughts, demonstrating hope in the grief journey and celebrating a man—Michael Dean McClellan. To many “Big Mike” and to six lucky kids, dad.

There will be tears, laughs, ah ha’s, pauses and reflections. Honoring someone is never one dimensional. So, I hope to successfully reveal the dimensions that keep his memory vivid in my mind and cross over the dimensions of time.

My father was, is and will always be the best man in my life. He was a remarkable human being. Imperfect? Undeniably. Loving? Nearly to a fault. Funny? Heck yeah! Best of all, he was my friend, one of the truest and most forthright I will ever be lucky enough to know. If faced with a choice to have more time but lose the memories I have, I would decline. I wouldn’t trade a moment, a smile, a tear or a contradiction.

I look forward to telling you more tomorrow, my friends.

With hope,
Sara (Ace to him)