An American Father

The other day Jake heard a song on the radio, one of the two times a year he listens to country, and he was thrilled to discover a thoughtful song about parenting.  It was spot on.  Until that is he really listened to the chorus and learned it was about a soldier.  That ticked him off.  So, we're rewriting the lyrics to Toby Keith's song:
I'm just trying to be a father,
Raise a daughter and a son,
Be a lover to their mother,
Everything to everyone.
Up and at 'em bright and early,
I'm all business in my suit,
Yeah, I'm dressed for success from my head down to my shoes,
I don't do it for money, there's still bills that I can't pay,
I don't do it for the glory, I just do it anyway,
Providing for our future's my responsibility,
Yeah I'm real good under pressure, being all that I can be,
And I can't call in sick on Mondays when the weekends been too strong,
I just work straight through the holidays,
And sometimes all night long.
You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door,
Hey, I'm solid, hey I'm steady, hey I'm true down to the core,
And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price,
I've counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice,
Oh, and I don't want to die for you,
But if dying's asked of me,
I'll bear that title honor,
'Cause I’m a father, yeah that’s me.
I'm an American father, an American father,
Beside my brothers and my sisters I will proudly take a stand,
When my family is in jeopardy I will always do what's right,
I'm out here on the front lines, so sleep in peace tonight.
American father, I'm an American,
An American,
An American father
if a picture is worth a thousand words... I see "I love you"
When Jake told me about this song revelation, I immediately said... "I want to blog about that".  I probably say that sentence at least 4 times a week and, well, since I haven't blogged in a month... we all know that rarely happens!

This morning Hazel said, "Mama, your daddy died and Llama's (Grandma) daddy died.  Why didn't my daddy die?".  Ugh.  That pretty well sums up the hardest year of my life.  Fortunately, Hazel's daddy, my husband, isn't really really old or really really sick.  He is however shouldering some heavy responsibilities these days as well as looking for a new job.  This is a difficult time for us, prayers are still requested!

Many of you have complemented me on how I am handling my grief.  That blows me away as I didn't realize I was grieving publicly or notably.  But I appreciate the sentiments and recognition for what I'm grappling with.  As a counselor, my grief over losing my dad and the trauma of his illness has been eye opening.  Grief is so much harder, sneakier and meaner than I ever realized.  It blows me away that something as normal as death is so hard for the living.  And this is part of the reason I've been MIA on my blog.  This blog has always been a journal for me and just sitting down to type opens the reservoir of pain and sadness that I try so hard to keep at bay.

Here's a great pic my mom recently sent me... my dad holding Heidi just hours (probably 3 or 4) after she was born :)  That's a look of pure contentment on his proud face!

On a lighter note, August has been a really nice month for us!  Nearly every day we've done something FUN!  Visits to area parks, pools, Presque Isle State Park (the beach), a weekend with many  beloved Kosker relatives at Idlewild Amusment Park, and more.  All of the pictures in the collage above were taken in August.  It's a testament to how well the above (adapted) song fits Jake...I didn't take any of those pictures with this post in mind... they were just on the camera card when I uploaded my pics today!  What a guy :)


  1. Awesome post. I love the pics of Jake with the girls, Dad's grin while holding Heidi, and your thoughts about grief. It really is sneaky and mean. You put it well there.
    Love you,

  2. Sending you prayers and hugs.

    I think that's the hardest part about grief... we all expect it to gradually taper off as we go on living life. But it's a sneaky lil jerk that pops up unexpectedly. You will feel like you are starting to recover and suddenly you will find yourself feeling angry and hurt all over again. It's a roller coaster, not a gradual little hill.

    The "trick" is to understand that those feelings are grief. To let yourself FEEL them and recognize that it's an important part of the process. It's OK to be mad. To be upset. At least for a day or two. Then to find some coping mechanisms to rediscover your joy again. Cry? Workout? Spend some time playing with your little ones? Go do something that your dad enjoyed that brings you joy as well?

    There is no timeline. No one can promise that "on this date, you will be happy again". But take the grief as it comes, do not ignore it. Do not "just get over it". Grieving is an important part of healing.

    Big hugs and lots of love to all of you and yours.

  3. He is a wonderful dad! I love how patient he is with the girls, teaching them so many different things. They will grow up to be more confident and capable than their peers, thanks to the influence you both have on them.


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