A Father’s Day Challenge

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A HUGE “thank you” to grammy-b/Bren on the AMR MESSAGE BOARD for hosting the FATHER’s DAY CHALLENGE. I was very scared to scrap about my dad, who died almost 15 years ago. Thanks to the challenge, and encouragement I received from my AMR friends {who truly ARE my friends!}, I did it.

WARNING: If extremely personal journaling makes you uncomfortable, don’t read this, LOL!

ETA: I see that when I enlarged the photo, it made it too blurry to read so here’s the journaling:

Daddy,

It’s Father’s Day 2008…almost a full 15 years since you passed away in July 1993. I’ve been scrapbooking for 7 years and yet this is the first time I’ve scrapped anything about you, such a huge part of my life. I finally did it because I was “challenged” to. And because it was time. Tears are streaming down my face as I scan this old photo to use on my layout, and as I write this journaling. This is SO hard! THIS is why I haven’t done this before. I don’t want to feel this pain. I want to go on with my happy life. And all I can think and feel as I remember you is…WHY AREN’T YOU HERE??

This photo of us at my wedding hangs on the hallway wall outside my bedroom door. I see you every single day, in the photo and in my mind. Sometimes, when no one is looking,I place a kiss on my finger, reach up and touch it to your mouth. When you died, I heard from others that “time heals.” I thought this would get easier. I thought, after 15 years without you, it wouldn’t still be so painful, hurt so much. But everyone lied. It does not get easier. In most ways it gets harder.

When I graduated from college after 13 years of part-time school/full-time jobs, you were not in the audience with your quiet smile. When I had my children, you were not there to touch a newborn’s cheek. When I’ve struggled through illnesses and hard times, you weren’t here to hug me, wipe my tears, and tell me I am the best and I’ll be okay. When my kids have done things that made me so proud I wanted to burst, you were not here to burst with me.

After you died, and some other things happened in my life, I became a Christian. That’s helped make sense of some things. That’s helped provide comfort and perspective. My relationship with Jesus Christ has helped me see things in a new light, and I know you are okay. But the fact is, you as a physical being, you as the Daddy that can hug and hold and speak in words that reach my ears…YOU are not here. There is nothing that will ever make that easy or fair or less painful. So, 15 years after you died, I just wanted you to know that I still love you and miss you with all of my heart, all of my soul.

And I wish you were here.

At first, I thought I’d just post it over at AMR because those girls make me feel so secure. I know they won’t take it lightly, won’t criticize or see the imperfections. But then I figured, what the hey, let’s post it to the blog too. Scrappers are nice people and it’s OKAY to share parts of yourself, right? So thanks for looking and maybe I can Pay It Forward by inspiring YOU to scrap about something you’ve been avoiding because it’s too painful…

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10 Comments on A Father’s Day Challenge

  1. christina
    June 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm (6 years ago)

    that is a beautiful, touching layout. My dad died when I was 16, so I know what you mean about all the moments that he missed and will continue to miss.

    Reply
  2. CKReader
    June 15, 2008 at 10:29 am (6 years ago)

    I don’t know what to say. I’m so totally blown away by this. I know how hard this was for you to make, and how hard it was for you to post it. You really poured your soul into this one, girl, and you pulled my heart strings at the same time.

    I really kind of hate it when people post TFS….it takes all the meaning away,,,,as if it didn’t mean enough to actually take the time to type the words. So, Erika, THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS VERY PERSONAL AND PRIVATE SIDE OF YOU.

    {{{{{hugs}}}}}

    Reply
  3. amanda
    June 15, 2008 at 3:10 pm (6 years ago)

    how beautiful. i know how hard it is to pour yourself out on pages sometimes, so YAY for you!! thanks for the inspiration – there’s a lot that i should be scrapping but have been avoiding because it’s too painful, i haven’t accepted it yet, etc. etc. amazing job on the touching layout. xoxo

    Reply
  4. Korie B.
    June 16, 2008 at 4:06 am (6 years ago)

    Oh, how beautiful. We don’t know eachother at all, but your touching LO just made me cry.
    I love this!

    Reply
  5. heather
    June 16, 2008 at 5:52 am (6 years ago)

    It is just beautiful Erika

    Reply
  6. Jacki
    June 16, 2008 at 9:38 am (6 years ago)

    That was so beautiful! It made me cry! Thank you for sharing such a touching, heartfelt layout with us. I have been wanting to do layouts about my loved ones who have passed on – my Mom and my first two babies. I will do it soon…..

    Reply
  7. Dee
    June 16, 2008 at 12:57 pm (6 years ago)

    stunning, erika — on so many levels! thank you for sharing . . .

    Reply
  8. Amanda
    June 16, 2008 at 2:15 pm (6 years ago)

    A friend over on the CKMB pointed me this way and I just have to say that this is beautiful! I love that you have this photo from your wedding with just the two of you…makes me think I should go look through mine again to see if I have a photo with just my dad and I. Thanks so much for sharing and putting this out there!

    Reply
  9. Lisa Hodge
    June 18, 2008 at 7:28 am (6 years ago)

    Wow, that was a tear jerker. I completely understand what you are going through. I lost my dad 8 years ago. I have a story about mine on my blog if you would like to read it…
    http://happyscrapper72.blogspot.com

    There are several of us that share that same story and it is sad. It hurts to lose a loved one and there are no words to give you… just hold on to the fact that we will see our daddy’s again one day. That brings me comfort.
    I cried like a baby writing all that about daddy, but really it helped me to get it all out. To look at those words and pictures now… it kind of helps me in a way.
    Have a wonderful day!
    God Bless,
    Lisa H. in Arkansas

    Reply
  10. Deanne
    July 1, 2008 at 2:47 pm (6 years ago)

    This is such a beautiful layout! The journalling is very emotional. It’ll be 10 years since my dad died and it still is painful, just as you explained in your journal. Girls need their daddies so much and it hurst so much when you can’t turn to them.

    Reply

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