Six Things My Father Taught Me

Six Years . . . And I Still Miss My Dad.

March 31 will always be a day that is consumed by thoughts of my dad. He died six years ago.

Today was a wonderful day of family fun for Easter. We gathered with our Guam and Navy families and the children bonded and the adults reminisced.

Every celebration is tinged with sadness, today especially since it’s my father’s 6th Death Anniversary.

I wanted to match the six years without him with six lessons I cherish from him….

1. Family First. This was sometimes a monkey on my back, especially when I was a teenager and only wanted to be with my friends. But, as a wife and parent, I know that family should be first.

2. If Family Fails, Let It Go. My dad was very rigid if he was wronged, especially by family. He’s given me permission to avoid toxic relatives. I’ve given myself that permission too.

3. Fight For Your Right, If You’re Right. My father instilled a little fighter in me…unknowingly perhaps, when I witnessed him stand up for himself. He wasn’t a saint, and from his rumbling days in the 60s, some relatives can attest that my dad was a bruiser—he switched from using his fists to using his words.

4. Laugh, A lot. My dad was known as a joker, and in many ways I am too. My jokes are sometimes from my favorite source, the gutter, but my sarcasm is also in my arsenal.

5. Loyalty. My dad was loyal to his wife, his children, and the sanctity of his home. I am too, fiercely so.

6. Celebrate. When I asked my father if I could have a Power Puff Girl themed party for my 29th birthday, he didn’t hesitate to rent the bouncy house the same day. So, I celebrate hard too. You never know if it will be your last big hurrah.

Love you, daddy. Miss you, daddy. Hope you’re celebrating hard and laughing up above.

Grace Potter's song, STARS is the perfect song for me when I think of my dad. I ♥ the beginning lyrcis...
I lit a fire with the love you left behind,
And it burned wild and crept up the mountainside.
I followed your ashes into outer space
I can't look out the window,
I can't look at this place,

I can't look at the stars,
They make me wonder where you are


  1. tanya i'm not sure what i was doing when this post came out...i so feel your pain...miss my daddy so much, too...he will be gone 7 years on may 27th. i hate that we have this in common but love how you cherish your relationship with him and keep his memory alive in your writing and the way you live your life. i loved this idea of six things for the six years. lovely lessons by the way and i enjoyed seeing the connection between aspects of yourself and how your dad shaped you :) miss you friend!

    1. Thank you's unfortunate that we share this in common, but it also strengthens our friendship. What I can't stand the most is that he can't be witness to his grandchildren and their personalities and accomplishments. All I can do is keep making him proud.

  2. Hi, Tanya!

    Love this entry!


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