Memorial Day

The flags were flying high and proud at Ft. Gibson National Cemetary this past Monday.

I took a solitary road trip to visit my dad’s grave.

This trip was a journey of healing for me. 

Not complete healing, only partial.  But I’ll take partial.

My dad’s death hasn’t seemed real to me.  He lived in another town and although we facebooked regularly, we only saw each other about every 4-6 months.  He would call me up or send a message saying “I’ll be out that way about Tuesday.”  Just out of the blue like that.  Whenever he’d take the notion.  I’ve been expecting to hear from him anyday now.

Driving into the cemetery, searching for section 24, site 146 and seeing his gravestone made  it real for me.  Realizing that I would be driving into his town, see the stores, see the family, see the memories but not see him, made it real for me.  Not feeling his hug and his sloppy kiss on my cheek made it real for me.

Whenever we’d leave town, he’d stand on the porch on Cedar Street, lean on the railing and wave us good-bye for as long as we could see him.  That too didn’t happen this trip.  It won’t ever happen again.

It was good for me to face it all.  A tiny piece of my broken heart was sewn together this past weekend.  And as time passes, more stitches will be added.  The void won’t be so vast.  The hole won’t feel so empty.

The stages of grief are:






Today, I accept it. 

Tomorrow may be a different story. 

But today I’m okay.



  1. Jolea says:

    I’m glad the trip helped. Some days I don’t know how I’m feeling. When I grounded H&Z the other day I heard him telling me “Jo, you’re too hard on those girls”, it was something he told me once a long time ago when he was visiting. I wonder what he would say about the things happening in their lives? I know he would be so proud of them. I’m getting sad thinking about this so I won’t. Maybe that’s part of my coping mechanism. I do know we had a great dad and he will be missed… probably forever.


  2. Donna H says:

    Angel (and Jolea), I can assure you from personal experience of losing loved ones (a child, a father, a mother and many other very close family) that they WILL Always be missed FOREVER! The stages of grieving you describe are normal, but not always easy to deal with. The one saving grace I hold onto each and every day is that I am assured that we will be together again! Some days it seems it can not be too soon …other days like when I’m going to see my grandkids and great G.babies, I want to be here forever! By the way, thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures of the cemetary and Bob’s final resting place… it is a touching and lovely photo. Until next time … Donna H.


  3. Lenore Diane says:

    Angel, as I write, a friend of mine is prepping for her brother’s funeral. She’ll be reading the eulogy. She is currently dealing with the anger, you mentioned.

    My heart goes out to you. This post was beautiful. Hold on to the vision of your Dad waiving to you from the front porch. What a sweet and special moment – full of love.

    Baby steps, my friend. Keep taking baby steps. ~ Lenore


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