Love, A. Marcia

Dear Dad,

Yesterday marked two years since you left us.  It feels like two seconds ago.

Nothing prepared me for losing you.  Not even the deaths of Nanny and Granny Hector.  They left a huge void, yes, but I guess because I was younger and they were older (and had been ill for a while), it did not ricochet so in my spirit.

The pain of the final days

People think that because I was not at home when you took ill,  the news of your sudden sickness was not so difficult for me to bear.  I don’t think so!  I lost sleep and appetite with every day of waiting through that unending week, hoping to hear that you were improving, only to be disappointed and for my heart to drop like a 30-pound barbell to the floor.

I know I was an unrestrained hot mess when I saw you in that hospital bed.  Why couldn’t you hold out a few more minutes til I got there?  The tightness in my chest gave way to an explosion of wails and tears.  I probably freaked everyone out, but I really didn’t care.

My dad was gone.

I was catapulted into a zombielike zone in which all that seemed normal now seemed dispersed, fragmented.

The fog that was 2010

I remember Facebook chatting with Blanche, days after the funeral, confiding in her that I would not be able to mourn properly until I returned to the States.  Dad, I didn’t count on the form that mourning would take, and the length of the process of adjusting to the “new normal” of fatherlessness.

My hair started to fall out like crazy.  Work was onerous.  Sleep was a fugitive. I developed a strained relationship with money:  the car died; the fridge died.   Friends seemed far away, literally and figuratively.   Adrenal fatigue set in.

Spiritually, I went through the motions.  I felt abandoned and angry, full of questions for God that I didn’t have much energy to pursue, but that kept me numbed to the intercession and worship that I normally sought and enjoyed.  Why did He let you go before I got to say goodbye?

The fog cleared, through no effort of my own.  I give God praise for bringing me through it and for sticking with me.  I am beginning to accept, grudgingly,  that you are gone.

Homage to my DNA

Mom has always said that I am my father’s child.  And I am.  I tell everyone that I am a Hector, not a Herbert.  No shade on the Herberts … 😉

I look more and more like you, especially with my hair cut off and going grey. Yeah, going grey! I know; go figure!

And I realize more and more how much we indeed are alike.  We love journaling.  I know you would have been excited about this blog!  We are both hardcore introverts, somewhat loners, eschewing idle chatter.  We give 200 percent to our jobs.  We love books, music, movies, and humor, especially the home-grown Kittitian variety of local jokes and legends.

I see all of that reprinted indelibly in my life.  Thank you for that DNA.  As you once said, I am the “first fool” of two “first fools.”  And proud of it.

Moving forward

So I press on, missing the Dad who would quietly encourage me, put up with my idiosyncrasies, tease me slyly, pick me up and drop me to the airport, waiting patiently.

I miss the Dad who read Alice in Wonderland to me at nights before bed when I was a little kid in England.  Seeing the movie last year was such a kick for me!  If only we could have seen it together…  “Twas brillig…”

I miss the Dad who took pride in both of his children and their achievements, beaming as you called us by our first initial and middle name:  A. Marcia; C. David.

I miss the Dad who led unselfishly by example under difficult circumstances and who willingly sacrificed, putting his wife and kids first.

I miss the Dad who knew what to do “when it was sleepy time down south.” LOL!

I miss hearing your voice on the other end of the telephone line, chuckling at whatever madness I’m sharing with you and Mom.

Dad, I hope you hear me:  you are dearly loved and deeply missed.


A. Marcia


  1. Alison, that was a beautiful tribute. I lost my dad, very suddenly, when I was 29. You never get over it, you just learn to incorporate the loss into your being, but, it does get easier as time goes on. 🙂



  2. @Pamela Ray BaldwinThanks, Pam. It does get easier in some senses; however, when special events and reminders occur, such as the day of his passing, it all seems so fresh again!

  3. I can so relate to that!

  4. Anonymous says:


    Beautiful tribute to your dad! Having lost my mom three years ago, it truly touched my heart and soul. But hold on to the many wonderful memories of your dad, it helps. Some days will be more difficult than others, as it gets easier to accept your loss, but I know that the special days…birthdays, Christmas, etc are difficult.

    Hoping you and your family will enjoy the Christmas holidays.


  5. Something so very special about a father and his daughter ~ there's nothing like it. He lives on in your memories. Thank you for sharing this with me.

  6. Oh, so heart-breaking, but a beautiful tribute to a man who sounds wonderful. You were so lucky to have a great relationship with your father, even though it makes his death that much harder. I love those pictures of the two of you together. 🙂 Hang in there. It's always hard to remember someone at Christmas.

  7. @AnonymousArlene, we definitely will do our best. His birthday is December 29, mine is December 27, so there's always that sense of loss at Christmas. I know you can relate re: losing your mom.

  8. @The Dolls Are AlrightThank you for following and sharing in it with me!

  9. @Shannon BreenIt is, Shannon, and we shared birthdays on the 27th and 29th of this month. As much as we know the inevitability of death, it still is hard to accept and comprehend.

  10. What a wonderful tribute to your dad!

    I'm reminded of 2 Corinthians 1:4:

    He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. (MSG)

    I know that no pain goes unused in the Kingdom and that God is using you to minister His love, grace, and presence through you to others as they go through the pain of loss that is unfortunately part of life on this earth.

  11. Such a deep heartfelt post. I relived the moments with you as I read your story. Painful memories often birth new paths that can lead to much joy. As you know God uses everything, and will continue to use you for His glory. Blessings!
    I'm sorry for your loss.

  12. @TracyTracy, what a beautiful approach to the pain of grief! And I love the way Peterson interprets that verse. We do go through these valleys in order to help others as they, too, pass through them.

  13. @KimberlyThanks, Kimberly, and yes,God is already using this experience to bless and uplift others!

  14. @NikiNiki, many thanks. He truly was wonderful!

  15. Such a gorgeous post, it was lovely to read.

    RIP to your wonderful father, I am sorry for your loss.

    Niki @ LQM&M;

  16. Such a beautiful post. I'm sorry to hear of your loss.

  17. @KimberlyKimberly, thanks so much, and thanks for dropping by Embrace the Struggle! Feel free to follow or subscribe.

  18. Oh how sweet Alison! I too, got to the hospital too late. My mother had already gone into emergency surgery by the time I had gotten there. 🙁 By the time I had gotten there, she was coming out of surgery(3 hours later than the doctor’s expected). We already knew by then it was bad. The doctor’s gave us all a chance to go in her room and say our goodbyes…six years later, it’s still so raw!! Thanks so much for sharing your story about your wonderful father! The thing you can treasure the most, as I do with my mother, is the rich history, wonderful legacy and great memories they left us! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing! Have a blessed rest of your weekend my friend! 🙂
    Michell recently posted..Dear mom…My Profile

  19. What a beautiful tribute! My dad has been having some health issues that are forcing me to face his mortality. It’s a scary place to be.
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted..Old School Blogging: Valentine’s Day Style!My Profile

  20. What a beautiful tribute to your father, Ali. The memories are what keep our loved ones alive. He sounds like he was a wonderful man.
    Michelle recently posted..Creamy Citrus Black Bean Soup with Hood Sour Cream #Sponsored #MCMy Profile

  21. OH how agonizing it must have been to make it there and realize he was gone…. before you could say your final words to your father. My heart just stops beating when I think of that angst and grief that strikes in those moments. I too- tried to get to my step father in time, and didn’t make it. It was horrible. I love this letter- and I know your dad has read it over and over again, my sweet friend.
    Chris Carter recently posted..Your Mother’s ChildMy Profile

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