this is a tough one

My life has been on hold for the past week or so. I feel it is time to share why. This is not easy. I'm not much of a sharer, not about the personal stuff. But, this is my outlet- my place to be me and now there is a new part to me- incredible loss. 


My father went for a run on Thursday May 22nd. He was a strong, healthy, 63 year old man who ran charity races often. He felt overheated and got a ride home from a neighbor. He showered and dressed and told my mom his arm and jaw hurt. He laid down in the bed and closed his eyes for the last time. My father suffered a massive heart attack, a big event, what doctors term the widow-maker. It struck hard and fast, with no warning. Thus, my life has changed. Now there is the before and the after.


The before is the good stuff. The memories, stories and feelings that a doting father bestowed upon his only child. He was a tough football coach and I was his baby girl. Over the past week I have heard so many wonderful things about the man he was. Stories that surprised me and my mom. We knew he was one of the good guys, but we had no idea just how far his reach spread. This is what comforts me now. The stories his former players tell, how he drove them to and from school everyday for two years. How he reached out to them, without judgement, when they needed it most. He was many peoples' best friend and confidant. He was the one they went to when life got them down. Over three hundred people came to the service celebrating his life. There weren't enough seats. It was heartbreakingly beautiful. I felt lucky. Lucky to be his daughter. Lucky to be so special to the man that was special to so many. I will carry that with me into the after


Through the tears (there are so many) and the pain (there is so much) I focus on his life. He did so much in his too short time. I want to be like that. I want to say the things that need to be said to the people that need to hear them when no one else will. I want to be the kind of person that people remember with a laugh and a smile. I want to be the daughter (and mother) he saw me to be. He loved me and was so proud of me. He told me often how much he loved my photography and my blog- so I will continue to post here. It's cathartic. This is my happy place. This is where all the good memories are kept. I need this now, more than ever. 

In the practical sense, my mom and I are doing alright. This is all unimaginably difficult. Sometimes it seems very out-of-body. It's like there is all this really sad, unfair stuff happening to someone else and it makes me sad. Then I remember that it's all real and its happening to me. Byron has been my rock and Alice has kept us laughing. So that's good. We are able to laugh, and eat and do laundry. Life goes on. My daddy raised me to be strong, so I am trying. Thank you for reading and caring.

12 comments:

  1. oh, em... this is heartbreakingly beautiful. your dad really did touch so many people's lives... it was so inspiring and uplifting to hear all of the many wonderful things said about him. you're so brave to open up about this, and i can't begin to imagine all the emotions you have been through over the past week or so. he was an amazing man, he raised my best friend, and i love you so :(

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    1. I love you too, pretty lady. Thanks for being there for me when I needed you most.

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  2. "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." - C.S. Lewis

    This is a beautifully written tribute. Love live your father.

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    1. Thank you so much. Your words have really helped me through this.

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  3. Emily- I didn't know your dad or you, but your mom was MY rock when my oldest son, Tyler started Kindergarten and his dad was overseas in Afghanistan. We were lucky enough to know your mom (and your family through her) and after attending the celebration of life for your father, I felt like I knew him too. I'm so glad you and your mom are there for each other and I can see her amazing literary qualities coming out in your beautiful post. Your dad was obviously an amazing man (and smart to marry such a rock star woman;) , and I know that you will carry the lessons and love he gave you as you try to carry on and make him proud. I pray you and your wonderful family can take solace and strength from all of those around you who are lifting the Adams family up in prayer. I love seeing your pictures of sweet Alice on your mom's facebook page and it's great to see the joy you all bring to your mom.

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    1. Wow, thank you so much. This is all terribly hard, but we will get through it. Thanks for your thoughts and support.

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  4. Anonymous6/03/2014

    Beautifully written, Emily. I have thought about your Dad every day since I got the call from your Mom. He impacted the lives of so many and he will continue to impact them for years and for generations. He was loved by many for his wisdom, sense of humor, honesty, and sincere caring and empathy for others. He has set a high bar for me to be a better son, better husband, better father, better friend, and better Christian. We will keep you, Byron, Alice, and your Mom in our thoughts and prayers. Steve R

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    1. Thank you so much, Steve. Your words at the service were so wonderful. Thank you for being there for us. We hope to see you again soon.

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  5. Emily, I didn't know you lost your father. My dad died when he was 58. Your dad looks so handsome in the photos. I know you and your mother will have many precious memories. Its good to hear everyone is doing well. Often when I find myself at a lost,I'll think,'what would my mother say,my wife,my dad.' I always get an answer (and it may not be the one I want to hear). This weekend is Father's Day,you might feel a wave of emotion,but ask 'what should this day be like,Dad.' Dad might say 'go out and have some fun,and don't let my son in law pay for anything.'
    I miss you,Emily. May everyone take care.
    Do you think if I release my music files,I'd get a free trip to Moscow?
    (PS: If I release my music files, do you think I would get a free

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    1. Thanks so much, Larry. I know you know how hard these things are. I appreciate your words and advice.

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  6. Please disregard the PS sentence.

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  7. Emily, you are one of the strongest people I know. Down at the bottom you have copyright 2014. How did you do that? In case I want to put some of my yellow paper poems on me blog,I don't want Avril stealing my words and make a hit album leaving me without a dime.

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