Letters to Dad

Saturday, July 31st 2010

Dear Dad,
Today the Army Man and I took our kids to Chuck E. Cheeses. The Army Man loathes it. Only the guilt of an imminent deployment could induce him to go. Afterward we met the in-laws at Outback Steakhouse for dinner. The Army Man thinks steak is better than any other substance on the planet.
At 8:30 pm I received a call from Papa (My Grandfather).  He said, “I’ve got bad news for you TK. You’re Dad was killed today in a glider accident.”


I told Papa that he was wrong and it couldn’t be true. I couldn’t perceive how my world had changed so suddenly and irreparably. I knew what I had to do next Dad. I knew I had to call my siblings. I had a hard time convincing all of them that I was telling the truth. None of them wanted to believe either. I spent the rest of the night crying and trying to sleep.

Sunday, August 1st 2010

Dear Dad,
This morning the Army Man left for Afghanistan. The mighty wheels of the Army can’t stop turning. Not even in the wake of my shock and grief. The Army Man hugged me and said,” I’m sorry I have to leave and I’m so sorry about your Dad.” I spend the rest of the day talking to my siblings and doing laundry. No matter what we’ll always have each other, laundry.

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Dear Dad,
It’s a miracle. I got the VIN on my car verified, I got the oil changed and I got new license plates. All in one day. Perhaps it was the manic gleam in my eye but people were really helpful today. Imagine that if you will. DMV and the word HELPFUL all in the same sentence. Later that night I sat down with Dude and Princess. Dad I finally had to tell them. I explained to them that you went to Heaven. I explained that a funeral is where we say goodbye to someone who we love. I asked them if they understood. They both said yes. I asked them, “So where is Grandpa?” Dude pumps his fist in the air and yells, “IN UTAH!”

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Dear Dad,
Today Dad everything in the Universe reminds me of you. From the color of my nail polish on my toes, to the lightening storm I can see on the horizon. I have a long drive ahead of me. I’m trying unsuccessfully not to think about you. I’ve been on the verge of crying all day. I want to wallow in my sorrow. I simply don’t have time. I arrive late at my sister Jennie’s house. I asked Jennie for details of your accident. How foolish of me. I wasn’t ready to hear that. I wasn’t ready to see the pictures of the wreck. Your beautiful sailplane is almost unrecognizable.

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Today is your viewing Dad. I don’t realize how difficult the next few hours are going to be. Jennie tried to warn me. I had no clue how reality was about to club me on the head. I met many of your friends and co-workers. I was hugged and cried on. I cried too. I comforted and was comforted by many people. I met the other couple that was flying with you that day Dad. They asked me if I was your daughter. I was paralyzed. I didn’t know my name. This is the couple that had last seen you alive. This is the couple who guided Emergency Services to the site of your crash. Jennie saw my distress and answered for me. Thank goodness for Jennie.

Thursday, August 5th 2010

Dear Dad,
The funeral service was beautiful. The choir sang ‘Going Home’ and ‘Precious Lord Take My Hand.’ Jennie and I spoke at the end of the service. We told funny and lighthearted stories about you. I know you don’t like the story about when you fell off of your bike, head first, in front of the Army Man. But we were all in need of some comic relief.

August 9th, 2010

Dear Dad,
I miss you. I hope to see you again one day in the eternities.

Love you always,

22 thoughts on “Letters to Dad

  1. Dearest Tobi
    We are so sorry for your lose. Nothing ever heals that heart but it does fade to bearable after awhile. We think of you often and keep you in our prayers.

    Shelia and Jim

  2. Oh Tobi! I am so sorry for the loss of you dad. I immediately swelled up in tears for you! I am so so sorry for your loss! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! Hugs!!!

  3. Tobi,
    Your love for your father emanates from this series of letters. I am so sorry for your loss. I am so happy that you WILL see your dad again.

  4. Tobi,
    We don’t ever get over the loss of someone who nurtured and loved us. With time I pray this will not sting so bad. You are not alone, I’m still here. And though I am scared to fly, I will try to drive fast or something so you won’t miss your dad so much.
    Loving you

  5. I’m speechless. To experience deployment, then death, one day after another is mind boggling. I sure would like to give you a big hug.

    I keep thinking of Mindy’s post on HWHL. You can do hard things. God expects you to do hard things. He will give you the power to do hard things. And His Spirit will sustain you as you do hard things.

    Your whole family is in my prayers.

  6. Tobi, my heart is still just breaking for you. I cried through this entire post; it was so sweet and heart wrenching at the same time. I’m so sorry for your loss and can’t imagine how hard it must be right now, especially with the Army Man gone through it. Thank goodness for the gospel and for the peace that it can bring. Know that you’re in my prayers. Love you!

  7. Tobi, you are a gifted writer and you’ve used your gift beautifully on this heartfelt meaningly post. We are told to mourn with those who mourn and so I mourn with you. This earth life is precious and sometimes far too short and often we are called to sorrow over those who leave us without saying good-bye or those who just leave too early. Sorrowing and mourning are actually good things, with time though the remembering will not be so painful but just a sweet gift and reminder of what’s to come….Reunion!

  8. Tobi, we are wishing we could be nearer to you, to wrap arms around you and the children, to hold your hand and be a shoulder to cry on. We are missing you and praying that others will be there to comfort you.

  9. Sweet Tobi~ Phil and I are so sorry for your loss. You have an amazing ability to keep things in order even when everything around you seems to be changing. Your father seemed like a good man. After all…he is your dad! You illustrated so beautifully your sentiments of him. Please know that we are thinking of you and praying for peace and understanding to be your constant companion. You are loved by many. Kiss and hug those little ones a little extra longer tonight. Love you Lori

  10. Tobi, this was a beautiful post. I am so sorry … So very sorry and there are no words … You have my deepest sypathy.
    I hope you are surrounded by people you love.

  11. TOBI! I had no idea! Heartbroken over here in Texas. What a beautiful picture you have of your dad at the top there. I stink at checking blogs lately…its not because I don’t care…

  12. A beautiful tribute full of love. I only have words I’m sure you’ve heard so many times, and read just as many, I’m so sorry for your loss. They are full of meaning, and I wish I had more to give.

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