Thirty Years Ago Today…

album daddy and friends

My Dad is the one squatting with all his friends surrounding him It is crazy how much my son looks like him here.


My dad used to always play the guitar and sing to me…. I think he knew all of five songs! One of them was: “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should” from the commerical. He used to tease me all the time.

daddyMy dad and me 50 years ago ~

He never felt comfortable going to church or getting his pictures taken… You can tell he wasn’t too thrilled here.

I do remember he came to church when I got Baptized. After he died I prayed for God to give me a peace about knowing he was indeed saved and with The Lord… and at that very moment I found the sweetest letter my dad had written in the Air Force about God to my mom. Isn’t God great?!


My dad and I at the County Fair

WEDDING DAY WITH MY MOM & DADDYI was so happy here… little did I know I’d lose my dad only five years later…

I remember getting the phone call  on the day that my dad died. It was that kind of surreal unexpected horrific “Kennedy moment” that I will never forget. Heart attacks are like that. They are filled with unsaid goodbyes and conversations that ache to be finished even three decades later. The one thing that I will always have is the way that my Daddy loved my writing. He always encouraged it and believed in me. One of his last letters to me mentioned it and in the end, written words from me were my last connection with him.

My dad died July 9, 1983. My son had just turned 3 and barely had a chance to know his papa but I remember how tickled my dad was when he taught him to play pacman and his 3 year old grandson got to BABY PACMAN! And I am so that he never got to meet my daughter who was not yet born, though I do have an inkling that he might have hand chosen her in heaven if God lets dads do that kind of thing! There was just so many things I still wanted to say to my dad but it was too late. Today it is funny to think that I am now older than my dad was when he died. You’d think I would have learned the life lesson about goodbyes and always doing it in love. I guess that may be the reason that I tend to try to say “I love you” every time I say goodbye now.

I’d been a Daddy’s girl as I was growing up.  He was the one who used to take me shopping for school clothes every year. It is strange now but I don’t remember my mom ever going clothes shopping with me. I guess because it was OUR thing, my daddy’s and mine. We had a great relationship.  He was the one I’d talk to about boys and the one in my life that I cared most about  not disappointing or always wanting to make him proud. He had the kind of quiet integrity that in the end, filled up the chapel to standing room only where his services were held.

When our Pastor asked us if there was something I’d like him to talk about regarding my dad, I remembered that I’d written him a Father’s Day card a few weeks earlier. So I ran up to see if I could find it. Sure enough he’d saved it in the drawer by his bedside. I will always be grateful that I had the chance to give him this last message….  I know he didn’t just read it once. It still comforts me that I know he knew even without a poem. But in memory of today and him I wanted to share it with “YOU”  my friends here today. This one is for you Daddy!

No one could ever fill the shoes I once put over mine,

lost within your slippers, my feet were hard to find.

Yes, your overwhelming presence was felt within your shoes…

A feeling so great, though I’m grown, I know I’ll never lose.

Each night when you’d walk in the door from working hard all day,

a security would fill me up and push all my cares away.

And though I’m now a mother with a small one of my own

I’ll always look back upon the days before I was fully grown…

And when I’m with him on the beach, sometimes it brings to mind

stepping within your footprints as I’d follow close behind

I pray that now that I’m the one followed by little feet

I’ll leave half the footprints I found within your feet.

Diane Griffin


41 thoughts on “Thirty Years Ago Today…

  1. I discovered your site from LinkedIn. You’ve left me kind comments there about my writing – thank you! I enjoyed your posts about your best friend Terri (my best friend growing up was “Terry”) and your father. I adore my dad like you did (do) yours. He’s now eighty-one-years-old and I cherish my time with him more than ever.

    1. I know you would have!
      Thank you for reading. I am sitting here till I read all my lost comments. I know that I am a little late saying this but thank you for reading my blog! I hope you come back often!

  2. Oh my dear, dear Diane, this is just beautiful!!!! I can’t believe it will be 4 years this November for my dad’s passing, and I know that no matter how much time passes, I will always wish we’d had more time together and cherish our wonderful memories. From one daddy’s girl to another, he took me school shopping too and was my closest confidante!! God bless our daddy’s in heaven!!

    Love you friend!!

  3. Oh goodness. This touched to the soul! Fathers are such blessings, working hard from day to night, caring beyond we can find. Thank God you gave him that last lovely token on father’s day. Because there is nothing painful than things left unsaid.
    “Heart attacks are like that. They are filled with unsaid goodbyes and conversations that ache to be finished even three decades later.”
    I loved this line: ‘I do have an inkling that he might have hand chosen her in heaven if God lets dads do that kind of thing!’
    Thankyou for sharing this.
    May his soul rest in peace.

    1. Maria,
      It said that I had seven messages I hadn’t replied to when I came on today so thought I’d better check them out! Thank you for reading! You have grown to be one of my favorite little commenters!❤

  4. Awww lovely! It’s great that you see your son in him. He can live in on so many ways. I lost my dad in 1980 when I was 14 from a heart attack and he was the same age as I am now – 47. How young it seems. When I run and get my heart rate up, I always think it’s for him, taking care of my heart. Your dad looks super tall. Mine was 6’4″ and used to swing me through his legs. Memories…..

  5. Be ever thankful for that warm, loving relationship you had with him, Di. Memories of that relationship are flowers for the garden of your mind and soul that will always be fragrant and in bloom. Hugs,

    1. I am not sure why some of these have to be approved and some just show up on my comments as they come in but glad I took the time to go find yours and bring it to life because I always say that tears are the best complimemts of all! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

  6. Diane – having a daughter of my own, I know how it makes me feel, just knowing, when I read her cards, that I have given her more than money cold buy. I am sure, there were tears in his eyes reading these words from you, and I am sure he crossed over gently knowing the love he had so close to his heart …

    1. I always love what you have to say! I know that your daughter also must feel the love I felt when I would write or try to find the perfect words for my Daddy! Enjoy every minute with her… knowing you… I have no doubt that she will treasure each one!

  7. Diane, what a beautiful poem and tribute to your Dad. My Dad died in 1977. My brother and I are very close and every time we talk (by phone because he lives over 700miles away), before I hang up I always say “I love you.”

    1. Ann,
      So sorry about your Daddy! It is an amazing tribute to him that you and your brother carry on his love through you guys!!
      It’s not always the way….not all siblings share that same kind of love! Cherish it!
      Thank you for sharing.

    1. So sorry. I understand how the loss still hurts! The great thing is… the more we miss em…. just goes to show how blessed we were to have such great men in our lives that still leave holes where they were.
      Thanks for reading!

  8. Diane such beautiful and touching words all over this post. I know your dad is smiling down on you. This one hit home for me! As you know, I was a daddy’s girl as well and miss mine every day. Thank you for sharing your loving relationship with the rest of us. You make him proud.

  9. I feel sorry for you….really made me sad ! I hope you find peace. We sometimes realize how much a person means to us when we have lost him… I am missing my own dad after reading this…

    1. You are right. Sometimes we take each other for granted. It was weird… my dad used to give me directions in case he died… where papers were etc… I think he expected to die young.
      Thank you for reading and helping to remind us all about appreciating our loved ones!

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