My Dad 24

If you’re new to my blog or have been a follower for a while – I have some sad news to share about my dad so that you know why I’m out of commission for a bit.

This past Tuesday, May 7th, around 3:30 in the afternoon the world was flat – then in a millisecond, with two words, “he’s gone”, I realized the world is round.

The impossible became possible.

Dad in Islamorada
Dad in Islamorada

A man I had just seen Monday night, the picture of health, while we watched my daughter take swim lessons, was gone.

My Dad and Daughter at Little Talbot Island
My Dad and Daughter at Little Talbot Island

I had been sitting in a meeting at work Tuesday afternoon when a friend told me there had been an emergency. It didn’t register. “Are you kidding?” I looked at my phone and saw four missed calls – one from my mom; in a broken voice she told me there had been an emergency and to come quickly.  My hands were shaking as I pressed the elevator down button and I was already crying. What could it be? I thought maybe the boat fell on my dad, the ultimate fisherman and outdoors-man. I said to myself, shoot he’ll still find a way to fish, even if he doesn’t have his legs.  


I walked outside and my husband was waiting for me outside which was very odd.  He drove like a maniac to the ER. What could be wrong? As I walked in the room he was quietly lying there.  My dad. But gone.  Gone. I crumpled to the floor.

Earlier in the day he and my mom had met with a financial planner. At 67 he had finally made the decision to retire. Around lunchtime, he rode his bike up to the pool like he does every other day to lift weights and swim laps.  He greeted the staff and began his laps, about 13 minutes in he made the turn at the pool side where the lifeguard was, stopped swimming and went under.  That’s it. The lifeguard noticed immediately and reacted, they got him out in about 20 seconds but it was too late.  Even as I write this it seems surreal.

Impossible. Impossible. Impossible. I still don’t believe it.

As we left the hospital we were in shock. We are still in shock.  There is no WAY.

There is so much to be done it is overwhelming.

Now I think of all the things he will miss – my daughter’s graduation, holidays, travel, camping trips, daily life – and it makes me so, so sad.  My daughter is 4 – will she remember Papa?


We were told he had coronary heart disease and had a heart attack.  What?! I wrack my brain. Were there any signs? ANY symptoms? I think back. I continually ask myself what if he hadn’t been in that pool. What if I had pushed him even harder to stop eating meat?

There are so many reminders – his art work all over my house, his work boots in the garage – empty. Never to be worn again.  We had to retrieve his belongings from the pool.  His flip flops wrapped neatly in his towel.

Fish Caught in Time
Fish Caught in Time

My memories flash back – from both long in the past and even from a few days ago; his raised gardens in Massachusetts, where he grew beans, broccoli and raspberries, weekends at Cape Cod, all the camping trips we have taken, how he would tell me stories at bedtime and now my daughter those same stories, trekking out to the marsh to catch fiddler crabs with my daughter, swimming at blue springs state park, retiring his old flip flops in the desert in Arizona, cooking up dinner on the Big Green Egg and how proud he was on Monday to see his granddaughter swimming under water to grab the colorful rings.

Catching Fiddler Crabs at Skidway Island
Catching Fiddler Crabs at Skidway Island

 All we can do now is live and put one foot in front of the other and celebrate the life he had.

Me and Dad
Me and Dad

And celebrate the time we had with him.

Cooking up Marshmallows
Cooking up Marshmallows

And cherish each and every memory.

Wine Tasting
Wine Tasting

Daddy – you will be missed. I love you. We love you. And so many others love you.

Mom and Dad
Mom and Dad

Papa, Granddaughter and Daisy

Papa, Granddaughter and Daisy


My dad is the reason I created the Cleansing Life Diet Reset Program. 5 Steps, 21 Days to prevention. Click here for more info.

5 Step 21 Day Diet Reset


Related posts:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

24 thoughts on “My Dad

  • ashlee

    dawn, that is a beautiful tribute. i am so sorry your father was taken away so abruptly and way too young. please, let me know if you need anything at all. my heart breaks for you. sending all of my love, thoughts and prayers to your family.


    This is very sad, and at the same time, you have filled this posting with such boundless love! The photos will be a treasure for your daughter forever…I found them to be simply beautiful. Thanks for telling us about this time of grief for you and your loved ones.

  • Beth

    Dawn, I’m so sorry for your loss. You did such a nice write up about him I feel like I know him and it makes me so sad he won’t be around for you. He sounds like he was such a wonderful person, father, grandfather and husband. It’s so hard to lose a parent and without any warning. Please know you are in my thoughts at this time of sorrow.

  • Tasha

    Dawn, my heart breaks for your unexpected loss. It’s always been obvious from your blog stories how close you and your family are, and what a special relationship you had with your dad. I’m thinking of you and am so sorry.

  • Suzanne Tonkinson

    Only love, this strong, could power a post this meaningful and beautiful! I am so very sorry for your incredible loss and deep sadness! I unfortunately relate very personally, as my Father made a graceful exit while golfing with 8 of his friends 7 months ago. It is indeed impossible and from my experience, I seem to count on my breath to keep me present or bring me back to present moment. Sending love and healing to surround you and your family. Listen for your Dad, he is with you!


  • Amy

    Dawn – I’m so sorry for your loss. Your post had me in tears remembering my dear dad I lost a little over 6 years ago to colon cancer. Not an expected death but he was only 59 when he passed and struggled with the cancer for 4 years. I can say for sure this next phase won’t be easy, but I promise it gets better. I still have days when a distant memory will come rushing back to me. I get a huge lump in my throat and my eyes start to sting and well up. But by and large, after the rawness wears off, and the sorrow subsides, you’ll see your dad in yourself when you look in the mirror and in your beautiful daughter – like I now do in my daughter. She’ll remember him, don’t worry. Thanks for sharing yourself in your blog. All you can do is take things one day at a time knowing you WILL survive this. Hugs

  • maureen kane

    God Bless..This is so beautiful..I FEEL SO BLESSED To have connected with his beautiful soul and oustanding soul…I Honor him…………..My Wish for u and Dianne and Gabby and your hubby is Peace and Comfort and to Bask in the memory of his love…I’ll always rememeber his beautiful smile…Shanti Shanti…

  • Aimee

    Dawn I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. This was a beautiful tribute to your dad.

  • admin Post author

    Thank you all so much for your thoughts, prayers and comments. We are still just beside ourselves and wonder when it will get easier and how we can go on with “normal” life. We know we will down the road – but it is still so new that it doesn’t seem real.

  • Anna

    To have had the will and capability to write such a moving tribute and put together a post…I’m in awe of your strength. Your dad was clearly an amazing man who helped raise an amazing daughter. Wishing you and your family peace.

  • Joanne

    Oh Dawn I am so so so sorry. My dad passed away earlier this year and while it wasn’t quite THIS sudden, it happened over a span of two weeks which is still just not enough time to process it. I wish I could tell you that it gets better, and I’m sure it does with time, but I’m not quite there yet. It’s just such a shame that all these wonderful people have to go so soon. If you need anyone to talk to or just vent to, I am here.

  • Gayle Fannon

    Those of us at work that knew and loved your dad are feeling the same way, that we need to move on, but something is just missing. I traveled with your dad to Iowa and I know your mom heard him talk about the “banana cream pie”.

  • Kathryn

    Just read this today…beautiful and heartwarming memories. He was like a father-in-law to me and I miss him dearly. Rest assured that Gabby will certainly always remember her Papa. My grandpa Bob (mom’s dad) passed when I was 7, and I rarely saw him since he was usually sick in bed. I still remember his face, that he always offered me gummy bears out of his huge barrel of gummies and always sneak Christopher and I money before we left (sometimes a $5!). I still remember these things twenty something years later. The relationship Gabby has with her Papa will always be remain in her heart. Trust me! Love you Dawn! 🙂