Copyright Joanne Kidd

August 25th
Do we ever stop reminding ourselves of the "anniversary" of losing someone special in our lives? Their birthdays? The date they passed? Even their special moments? 
Today marks the 5th year of my sister's losing her battle with breast cancer, and even without a mark on the calendar or an email reminder, my heart becomes heavy on August the 25th.  I’m one of those annoying people, though, that can usually find the “little blessings” in any given situation and losing my sister on August the 25th is no exception. I am grateful that her DOD was not one day past this date because that would’ve meant that she would have spent that extra time suffering five years ago. My sister was diagnosed only one year prior to her death and even one week before she passed, she thought she would be able to go home if she just get up and use the bathroom on her own. (I don't really know where she got that, but I figured it had something to do with the morphine.) She spent only two weeks in Hospice care, did not spend weeks or months suffering in pain, and for that I am grateful. It is counted as a blessing – just as my sister being in my life for 49 years was a blessing.

I will naturally always remember my sister on what would’ve been her birthday, because it is also my birthday, and a date we had in common. (Actually, we had our first wedding anniversaries on the same date and were twice given the same due dates when expecting our children. OH, and once that date was ALSO our birth date, but that's another story.) I'm trying now to adjust my "remembering" of August 25th to reflect the joy my sister brought to my life and not my selfish feelings of not having her here. For now, though, I think I will do something special today and find a positive way to reflect on August the 25.

At the Beach:
Just relaxing...

Remembering My Dad on Father's Day:
Because my father was larger than life!

Copyright Joanne Kidd

I went to a 50th church reunion a few weeks ago and when one person burst into tears at the sight of my mother being there without my father, I was reminded that my father had not only been special to me, but he had been a special person to many others, as well.  My parents were charter members of this church and did not miss a week of attendance unless they were out of town or in the hospital. My father became known as the man who handed out fireballs, and was described by several generations of members as being “larger than life.” Yep, that was MY dad!  He was not only larger than life in personality, but he also gave my sister and me the upper edge of being able to say, “My dad is bigger than your dad!”  That one was hard to trump! 

Because my father worked shift work, for several weeks out of every month he was home in the afternoons. Almost every kid in the neighborhood kept track of his schedule and would gather at our house daily during those weeks.  Our afternoons were filled with kickball, softball, go-cart building, bicycle fixing, fishing, and swimming.  I cannot even begin to count how many kids my father taught how to swim! 

Even when I was in my late teens, I was never too "mature" to enjoy spending a day with my dad fishing, or working on a building project, or just sitting and talking.  Maybe that's because my dad was never too busy for me.  Throughout my life, he was someone I could count on, and someone who was always there for me.  I won't be able to spend the day with my dad this Father's Day because my father, and my hero, is no longer alive. Instead, I am celebrating and remembering all the years I was able to spend with my invincible father, and I'm feeling pretty lucky to have had that time with him.

To all dads ~ Happy Father's Day!  Stay invincible, and be a hero! 
(Just know that you will never be as big, as strong, or as smart as my dad was!)


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You are invited to read my sister's story, where she shared her thoughts and feelings while facing the challenges of breast cancer.


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