Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Long Year of Firsts ahead.....

Allan Walker was  a young man who worked for my Father at the Redondo Beach City School District. My Father taught Allen many things in regard to maintaining the schools in our City as well as possibly, some life lessons.  They were partners for many years, sharing the same work vehicle for many of those years, shared many doughnuts at a local bakery first thing every morning.  I know Allan respected my Father and I know my Father thought of Allan as a Son.  That would explain why I always felt Allan was like an older brother to me.  I loved Allan very much, always enjoyed anytime I spent with him and his wife Myra and their daughter Lori.  Allan always made me feel special,  I new I really mattered to him, he made sure of it.  It didn't hurt that he always chose to talk about how great my Dad was, I'm sure it was very difficult for him when my Dad left us.

Allan on the far left, my Dad in the white shirt. Taken at a retirement party Allan and his wife hosted for my Dad.

 Tuesday afternoon I received the call from Lori that her Father Allan had died suddenly of a heart attack on Monday night. He took a breath, slumped over while seat belted in their vehicle and he was gone.  My heart sank.  My mind was racing, he's too young, this can't be, there was no warning, no time to prepare!  My Dad would have had such a horrible time with this news, just as Allan did with the news of my Dad's death.  I told Lori how sorry I was, that if they need any help with anything to let me know. I told her, I knew what she was  feeling, to which she replied a sorrowful and sure, " I know". All the while knowing, nothing I was saying to her was going to change a thing.  They had entered in to that surreal period that lasted for some time for me after the loss of my Dad.....

How can Myra, Lori and  her son Travis know what likely lies ahead. They can't know that the next year will be a blur to them.  They will cry tears for months and months.  After that they will assume they are starting to return to "normal" only to realize "normal" will never be the same.  Holidays will never be the same, in fact, you will have difficulty with any family gathering as they will bring front and center to their thoughts, he's not here, he's really not here......

As they journey through the first year, they will have to experience the pain of every first holiday with out him.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, his birthday, anniversaries and the most difficult for me, Father's Day.  They will survive, in fact these first days will become their days of release. They will be the days to release those tears they were sure they'd run out of.

It will seem an eternity that their hearts will feel heavy and hollow....sure that life will never be the same.  That  would be correct.  Life will never be the same, but it will start again, they will find joy  in their hearts again.  They will, through the years occasionally find themselves saying, " I can't believe he's not here".

Dad's/husbands, likely the strongest of connections other than our children we have. Dad's, bigger than life they are, the center of the family... in my case anyway.  I haven't a clue the experience that Myra is feeling, the loss of her best and closest friend, father to her child and of course her husband.  I can't imagine how that might feel?

 I just want them to know they will get through this.  They will forever miss his presence, their hearts will never quite be the same.  Yet, for him as well as for themselves, they will continue to live their lives because they will's what he would have wanted them to do.

Live your life, make it count.  You have just been given the greatest heads up ever, life is so short, and can be taken in an instant.  Let those you love know you love them now and often!  Yes, through this most difficult experience you will become so aware of life......and yes, the loss of it.

It's different for everyone I'm sure, God and His Word got me through.  So though its different for each  I believe our hearts feel the same pain, and our eyes cry the same tears.. Allan Walker, I'm so glad you were a part of my family and you will be missed. This is what echos from my heart today.......

As an aside; I wrote this blog Saturday evening, planning to post it on Monday.  This morning, Sunday, Pastor Chico spoke about the many who have lost loved ones this year and of the year of firsts they will experience.  Two things I have to say about that; One, I didn't steal his message :-) and two a reminder that I don't believe  in coincidence,  the topic was obviously meant to by heard by many :-)  So why wait till Monday to post?


  1. Yes their first year of many holidays and day to day routines will be a blur. It's really not till 2010, 3 years have passed that I'm really feeling cognizant of living again.

    Take care, Viola over at

  2. Out of the blue, totally unexpected, those phone calls appear, leaving that huge gabing hole in our hearts. You wrote this so beautifully and I am sure many of us in blogland can relate. I am so sorry for you and for her and her family. Life is short and you are right, one never knows what can be ahead.

  3. So timely! Let's make the most of the moments we have today...we know not what tomorrow may hold.

  4. I lost my daddy very suddenly 14 years ago. One of the things I'm most thankful for is that he met and loved my husband! He had dinner that night at our house and laughed and enjoyed himself....went home to bed and died. Although, looking back, I know that was the best way to go for him. At 76 he worked 6 days a week and church on Sunday. God was so merciful not to let him linger and have people take care of him. He would have hated that.

    I know what you mean about that state God puts you in for the first little while. I guess if not for that period of His great Grace, we couldn't handle death!

  5. This is so beautifully written, and your words moved me. Life is change. We had lost several close family members, and they were each difficult, but as you say by the Grace of God, we're still here to have the wonderful memories. The most tender and painful loss was my 17 year old grandson in Sept of 2008; he had his whole life ahead of him. I have to keep reminding myself that he was doing what he loved in life; a moto-cross accident and I can't wait to see him again, just as you feel about your father. Thank you for writing this, it does make me feel better. I'm new here from Theresa's Grammy Girlfriend, and I read what you wrote. I just wanted you to know I'm praying for you and your family.