Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'll Always Remember The 3rd Of September

The past week or so I've had to work really hard to overcome some sad feelings. When they first started I'd shake the feeling and move on. Yesterday it dawned on me, September 3rd is the day my daddy died so it took a while longer to get-myself-together. Today wasn't so bad as I spent time riding with Jordyn running errands. Back at home I realized what my problem was...thoughts of Daddy.

Last year I posted the following. I am re-posting it in its entirety -- just because.

I'll Always Remember the 3rd Of September

"It was the third of September. That day I'll always remember, yes I will. 'Cause that was the day that my daddy died."

"That is as far as the similarities of Daddy and the lyrics of the song go. Beyond that, nothing else in the song applies. The music is - the hook.

September 3, 1988 was the day my daddy died. The phone rang about 9 p.m. and a family friend informed me that Daddy was "gone". Not understanding or not wanting to understand, I question, "Gone? Gone where?"

She answers, "Your mom asked me to call and tell you that your daddy passed away. He's gone."

Suddenly a dark cloud covers me like a blanket. I can't cry like I want to. My nine year old is right here, I have to keep it all together for him. Hubby hovers characteristically close, waiting for my reaction. He asks if I'm okay or if I want to go outside with him.

"I'm okay," I reassure him.

The older two kids are at a football game. Jordyn is a cheerleader, oldest son is on the team. I want to go home - now -but, I have to wait for the kids to get here. I excuse myself with "I need to go and pack so everything will be ready."

In the privacy of the bedroom my tears flow unchecked, but only momentarily, the baby is at the door wanting in. I quickly dry my tears shake myself together and get on with the business of packing.

With a million and one thoughts crowding my numb brain, I silently occupy my self and wait. Finally, the older kids are home, hubby has the car packed and I gather them around to tell them about Papa. They react as expected, tearfully, grief-stricken and full of questions.

Among explanations and reassurances I head them toward the car for the long painful ride home. All is quiet in the backseat after a few miles and I am thankful for the darkness that conceals the anguish that now consumes me.

The journey through the thick East Texas woods is quiet, the silence broken only occasionally by a question from hubby about how I am doing. We arrive at Mama's about 2 or 2:30 a.m. Rousing the kids from their sleep we gather our luggage and start for the front door, for the beginning of a life without Daddy. At the steps I stifle the threatening tears, catch my breath, grit my teeth and prepare to go inside.

I have no idea what lies ahead or what it is like to lose someone this close. I do know that a special light has gone out, a era has come and gone. And with it, the love of my life - my daddy.
* * * * * * * * * *

Today, September 3, 2009 I am left with Daddy's . . ."Legacy of Love".

© 2008 by Leona G. Shankle - All Rights Reserved ▪ Dell Girl Publishing


  1. I love that old song .. it was actually part of the inspiration for my manuscript that is currently on submission.

    So sorry for your loss. My daddy died a year ago April. I understand that kind of sorrow. They'd want us to be happy. No wasting time on the loss, only remembering the joy. Easier said than done.

  2. we all loose loved ones. that's part of life, some are easier to let go. my daddy died was I was just five so I never really knew him. a touching piece of helps sometimes to heal to write a letter to a lost loved one and then write a letter back to your self from them. I did that and it helped bring closure for me.

  3. I never imagined that I'd lose a parent so young....and the impact of that on me has been huge. It's heartbreaking, but God has gotten me through. I understand those days....and discovering it's an anniv of sorts.........hugs from me!

  4. I'm so sorry, Leona. Your handsome dad was obviously a truly loving and caring father. Your beautifully written post clearly showed your shock and pain on that sad day. I'm sending you a hug across the cyber miles.

  5. Oh, those times are always so hard. I'll be thinking of you!

  6. The tears flowed unchecked as my heart absorbed the words you had set so tenderly before me. They wrapped around me. At times I felt as if the breath was being strangled out of me as I was carried back in time to my own phone call. Wayne and I and our three babies were headed to California to spend the Christmas Holidays with my parents. We had stopped at my husband's grandma's home for a party with his family. That was where the call from my sister came. "You better hurry down, Caryn. Daddy's in the hospital and we're afraid he may not be here when you arrive") How could that be? I had just talked with my mom the day before. Daddy's presents had been bought and wrapped and placed in the back of the car.

    I walked through the rooms of your house with you feeling the dull confusion, the foggy disbelief, the suffocating ache in your throat as you held tears at bay.

    But there were other moments I felt as if your pain was caressing me with an odd sort of comfort. You understand. You've been there.
    You carried on when darkness shrouded your life so may times thrughout the following days when "his" special light was snuffed out.

    And you had also walked into a room of waiting relatives not knowing what to expect...trying to shuffle through your emotions and place the one that would offer solace to your mother, siblings, and your children on your face.

    Platitudes don't help. Not then... not now. Understanding helps. Thank you for sharing this with us, Leona. Thank you for finding a way to release some of the heartache that I still carry.
    I'm reasonably sure that wasn't your purpose. But know that in telling your story, you have passed on your father's legacy of love to those of us who have had similar experiences. You are your daddy's daughter!

    Much love and many blessings are being sent your way and wished for you this very minute!

  7. Enjoyed reading these touching words sharing your loss and emotions. Glad you had a good man for a father, and not like the one described in the rest of the song!

  8. Just checking in to see if you're up to running speed. I don't be able to shake the beauty of your words...or the beauty of your spirit. Probably because I don't want to. I like carrying them with me.

    Take care of you... you remain in my thoughts.

  9. Leona:) My heart was drawn in immediately when I read this piece about your dad. Despite the years, the pain of losing someone so close and loved never seems to fade. You describe your feelings so beautifully. From sadness to the warmness that emanates from your relationship. That is what you can always hold onto- the memories and the even the sadness. I have found in my personal experience of losing my great grandmother almost 3 years ago in November, that's it's ok to be sad, to cry and grieve. I loved and still love that woman so deeply, the pain of her absence still stabs me. It is so weird that there are days that I look in the mirror and it's as if I am looking at her. My mom found a picture of me when I was younger and a picture of my great grandmother and the resemblance is striking. My mom told me that so much of her personality - she sees in me. I guess that's why I find myself love being an old soul. She taught so much and I truly do miss her. Your dad is a reflection of you and he will always, always be with you. Keep your head up even when you feel down:)



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