Friday, June 14, 2013

My Father

Friday, June 14, 2013
So I am going to tell you right now, I have been avoiding writing this post because it still hurts so much, but I need to.

The month of April was pretty rough for me.  New baby, husband out of town, no sleep, 4 year old...the usual.  So I thought it would be really nice to go home and see my family in Texas the first weekend in May.  See, it was my dad's 60th birthday that Saturday.  My sister and her new fiance were coming into town especially for the occasion...the whole family was going to be there.  So I put myself and the kids on a plane and headed to Texas.  

The weekend started like any other at home.  Hugs to the parents, Dad cooked dinner for us (something he loved to do.  Dad used to be in the restaurant biz.  My passion for food stems from him), watched some TV, cooed over the baby...just spent time with family.  That's how we do it.  We just enjoy each other's company.  

That Saturday was the big day, my dad's birthday.  I didn't see my dad that morning....I was sleeping in...long night of feeding baby.  He was going to work that morning, "just for a little bit", so he told my sister when they passed in the hallway.  We went about our morning, getting ready for the birthday party later that night.  I was all excited to make him my very special chocolate cake.

We were ready to go and started heading to the car.  Now my parents have a driveway that accommodated one car wide so all our cars are out front are lined up like ducks.  If one person wants to go somewhere we have a circus act of car moving. Takes coordination.  Dad's car was still there.  He was supposed to be at work half an hour ago.

And that's about when my life changed forever.  When all our lives did.  

Dad suffered a major cardiac arrest.  When we found him upstairs, he had already gone.


JR Barnes
1953-2013

My heart aches every day.  He brought life into our lives.  He was the heart of our family.  I tell everyone, I get my strength from my mother and my heart from my father.  I wish all of you could have met him and known him.  He was the greatest man, greatest cook, craftsman and father....  And I miss him.  



Dad holding John - March 28, 2013

I'm just so grateful that he was here for the birth of his grandson about a month before.  Little did I know  then how important that visit would really be, as it would be his last.  It would be the last time he made "the baby bomb" - a chocolate tart that was so good your baby would come out just to get a slice for himself....tho it was never successful.  Not sure why we still call it that with it's failed track record.  But I'm glad he made it just for me the night before my induction.  I'm sad that John wont know his grandpa.  I'm sad that Dad won't know John.  We always teased dad that he was outnumbered.  He had a wife, three daughters and a mother in law living in his house....even the dogs were girls with the exception of our cavalier Teddy...and even then Dad said it didn't count.  He was finally getting an ally.


Mom and Dad on my wedding day in 2008

Dad loved us.  He adored my mother.  He was patient, slow to anger and full of joy.  If anyone deserved a longer life it would have been my Dad.  I know everyone says that about their passed loved ones.  But I mean it.  He touched everyone he knew.  Even people he knew for just a few weeks.  People turned up to his memorial that barely knew him but felt so moved by the small part of their lives that he shared with them.  


And did I mention that he was the funniest man on the face of the Earth?


Dad invented the photo bomb....I just thought you should know.  He did it before it was cool.  

Even now I can't quite express all the emotions.  It's too soon to even sort them all through.  He left the world so suddenly.  He had just lost 70 pounds, he was taking care of himself, he had no heart problems...I still can't make sense of it.  60 years young and he's gone.  I don't know what to say.  So I think the only thing I can write is what my sisters and I wrote for his memorial:



Our daddy was the best man in the world - hands down.
He always had the love and respect of his family. His opinion mattered whether it was
the college we should attend, the boys we wanted to date or even the dress we might
wear to homecoming (to which he would always advise - “clavicle and drape”). He was a
loving and protective father. A well of wisdom that he was eager to share with anyone.
So, we would like to share a small sampling of the many things that he had taught us.

- How to be an eternal optimist. He was nothing if not positive.
- Live the Golden Rule and treat others as you would like to be treated.
- Fighting is a waste of time. It’s better to love instead.
- A recipe is more like a guideline...
- The importance of family. We were always spending time together instead of alone in
our rooms like other kids our age.
- All boys are slugs and bums. Until you find the right one.
- Any argument can be quelled with a good joke
- To be ourselves no matter what anyone thinks
- Lead by example
- That real football is played in the SEC and that Bear Bryant is the greatest football
coach of all time. Past, Present and Future.
- The road to the heart is paved with good cooking.
- There is never a goal too big that can’t be achieved
- That Mom cheats at cards. Never play cards with Mom
- God doesn't always give you what you ask for, but he always gives you what you
need. - A sentiment he often expressed when he spoke of raising three daughters.
- You never stop worrying about your children. Ever.
- Roll Tide - ‘nuff said
- What a happy home and a loving marriage looks like.
- To laugh and laugh often.
The most important thing that Daddy taught us is how to love unconditionally. No matter
how badly we behaved or how many rules we broke, we never ever doubted his love for
us. After all, his greatest quality was his heart.

Our father was a builder of many things, and just like he could take a piece of raw wood
and turn it into something beautiful, he lovingly crafted his children into the women we
are today. I know that he is looking down with pride on the three girls he always said
were his greatest creations. And we are proud to be his daughters.

59 comments:

Jami said...

So very sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds amazing.

Julie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! I will pray for peace.

Jany@SuperCuteCookies said...

All my thoughts and my prayers are with you and your family! I know that time will slowly begin to heal the pain. But for now just think of all the good times and the great memories that he left you and your loved ones.

Maria_NJ said...

Oh I know too well how you feel, it sucks doesn't it?? My Dad passed when I was 10 years old, and I still miss him to this day...I get strength in knowing that I have a special angel looking over me, and I cannot wait to see him again, my Faith tells me so. With deepest sympathy at losing your dearest Father, may the perpetual Light shine upon him...m

THE Tough Cookie said...

Ali, I'm so so sorry about your beloved dad.
It's a devastating loss, but the hole in your heart will eventually heal.

Kia said...

Oh honey I am so sorry. You and your family are in our thoughts. Thank you so much for sharing him with us tonight. He sounds like a wonderful man and I am sure he will be missed.

Jenny said...

I am so sorry you have to go through this Father's Day - the first with your son & and the first without your dad. Just keep sharing his stories with your son & there will always be a piece of him with you.

Yael Even said...

Please accept my sincere condolences on your loss. My thoughts are with you.

amy said...

I am very sorry for your loss. I know tomorrow will be difficult and I will be thinking of you. Sending you a bug hug from VA.

Terri said...

Your story makes my heart ache and I am sure it was a very difficult thing to write.

If there is anything positive in your loss, it is that you can always be thankful that you made the trip home that weekend and got to see him one last time.

Paula said...

I am so deeply sorry for the sudden and unexpected loss of your beloved father.

This was a beautiful tribute post for a man who will live in heart and that of your family's forever.

Ann R. said...

So sorry for your loss.

Helen cassidy page said...

Such a beautiful tribute. A great man and a grat daughter. You have made him proud.

Signa said...

What a lucky girl you are to have had such a wonderful dad. That was a lovely tribute to him. Take care.

Becky said...

Your Dad sounds so amazing. I am so sorry for your loss, Ali. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Becky McGeorge
Sweet Rebecca's Cookies

Vtay said...

Ali:

This is such a sad, yet happy post. If I wasn't sitting across from my husband right now I would be doing an all-out ugly cry.

I lost my dad when he was 42 and I was 16. He was handsome like your father was and so full of life. It seems so unfair and now, at the age of 48, I still can't make sense of it. But, I try to find him in everything....and this is something you will do from now until forever.

Hugs and kisses to you....

Vicki t

Bo Fleck said...

I'm bawling over my morning coffe reading this. I'm so sorry : (

Kris (SoCuteCookies) said...

What a beautiful tribute post to your Dad. I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my Dad two years ago myself and understand your pain and loss. May the happy times memories bring you some comfort.

Alexandra said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's never easy to lose a loved one but I can't imagine losing a parent and so suddenly. Thankfully you were home visiting that day. Thanks for sharing what I'm sure was an incredibly difficult post.

Elizabeth L in Apex, NC said...

Oh, sweetie. I shed many tears for you and your family reading this lovely memorial to an obviously great man. I laughed, too, and from what you said I think he'd have liked that. Blessings to you, and comfort during your grief.

Melody said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Ali...I can't even imagine. Much love and hugs...
Melody (Sweet Ivy Confections)

Hannah said...

Oh Ali, what a great loss to you and your family. He sounds like an amazing Dad. How much you must miss him. The heartache you feel right now would"t be there if he hadn't been such a wonderful Dad.

I will be praying for you tomorrow as it will be hard being one of those days without him when you would be honouring him. Praying God will bring that comfort only He can bring and the hope that one day you will see your Dad again and he will know your son. Oh what joy awaits us one day

Many blessings to you Ali

Hannah~

ClaudiaIsBaking said...

Dear Alison, What a beautiful and painful post. Having lost the "other" best dad in the world, my advice is to keep him close, because he will be close to you always. Talk to him daily. Love him still. Include him in your family celebrations. And whether it's pennies, butterflies, rainbows, etc., pay attention because that'll be his way of showing you he's there. And, sweetie, he WILL know John. He'll be keeping watch over him his entire life. Make sure John knows him, too. Losing my dad hasn't meant he's gone. "You never really leave a place you love. A part of it goes with you and a part of you, you leave behind. (Frederic Perls)" My heart goes out to you. Claudia

Cookie Friend (Diane) said...

A beautiful tribute to your Father. I am sure he was very proud of you.

Anonymous said...

I'm so very sorry for your heartbreaking loss. Your Dad was an amazing man. Yes, gone much too soon, but how lucky you are that he was your dad. May you be comforted with wonderful memories:)

carrolls.cookies said...

God gave you many gifts before taking your father home. As painful as it is to know he will not watch John grow, he was there to hold him and experience the love of your family before having to leave. God bless you, Ali. The greater the love, the greater the heartache.

Tesei said...

Dear Ali, I am soooo sorry for your loss. But what great memories he left behind, is there a better way to go? I always feel very sad to hear about other peoples sorrow but this time I'm also happy that you loved him so much and he loved and lived so intensely. All our condolences and best wished to overcome this mourning you must now go through. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I lost my dad in May but he and your dad seem like kindred spirits sharing many of the same qualities. I understand your grief and will be praying for you and your family.

SimplySweetsbyHoneybee{Melissa} said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. My heart aches for you. I know what it's like to grow up never knowing a grandfather. I know that you will teach your son all about your dad and he will become a great man just like him. God bless you and your family.

Cynde said...

Ali I am so sorry for your loss. My Dad passed away two years ago. It feels like yesterday. I miss him. I know I always will. Your Dad sounds very much a part of who you are. He will live on in you and your sisters. Bless you for sharing your story. My heart goes out to you and your family. May you find peace in his remembrances. Blessings, Cynde

angelabarton said...

My heart aches just reading your post. I'm so sorry for your loss. You dad sounds like an AMAZING father! He will definitely be watching over you and your family this Fathers Day. May you find peace and closure in remembering what an wonderful husband, father, and friend he was.
God Bless,
Angela B

Shellee Fetters said...

Your memories of your father are beautiful. May your memories see you through.

Vanessa Canales said...

Ali, I have been following your blog for a short time but have never commented. After reading this sad but beautiful post I just wanted to say how sorry I am I know all too well how it feels to lose someone so abruptly. I lost my father when I was only 12 and he was only 37!! Today will probably be especially sad, but know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! Thank you for sharing!!

Vanessa Canales said...

Ali, I have been following your blog for a short time but have never commented. After reading this sad but beautiful post I just wanted to say how sorry I am I know all too well how it feels to lose someone so abruptly. I lost my father when I was only 12 and he was only 37!! Today will probably be especially sad, but know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! Thank you for sharing!!

Vanessa Canales said...

Ali, I have been following your blog for a short time but have never commented. After reading this sad but beautiful post I just wanted to say how sorry I am I know all too well how it feels to lose someone so abruptly. I lost my father when I was only 12 and he was only 37!! Today will probably be especially sad, but know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! Thank you for sharing!!

sandyb said...

My heart breaks for you! Thank you for sharing your father with us this Father's Day! You have many memories and your son will know his grandfather through you.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for you. Your story could be mine....we lost my Dad at 60, unexpectedly one month before my wedding.

The hardest thing is that my kids never knew him, and he could have been described exactly like your Dad. A good man. Dads like ours are not too common these days.

God bless you and your family. Its been 13 years since lost my Dad, and tears still come sometimes.

We are so lucky that God blessed us with such great men.

Barbara [Lov2Bake] said...

Ali, never stop talking to your Dad and never think for one minute he can't hear you. A part of him will always shine over you and your family. He will watch your son grow up and be there on your daughter's wedding day. In the whole scheme of infinity, we are never separated from the ones we love for long. Peace to you and your family and joy for having had such a wonderful Dad.

micvidal said...

Eu sinto muito por sua perda, Ali. Que Deus lhes dê muita força e conforte seus corações. Beijos, Michelle.

Amy B said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss, Ali. Thank you very much for sharing this touching tribute to your father. He sounds like an amazing man!

Psalms 34:18

Joan / My Cookie Clinic said...

Ali, My heart goes out to you and your family. I'm sad for your Dad who will miss out on so much. The "raw" pain will diminish in time yet the loss and longing for him will always be there. We never stop missing those we have lost. Give yourself time to grieve and afterwards focus on the memories, times you spent together and on the current joy in your life.

Jessi Tiede said...

Sorry to hear about your father. I cried during the whole post. As my own father is turning 60 soon, I worry about loosing him and this just reminds me of how important it is to spend as much time with him as I can-you never know when there day will come. Thank you for sharing with us and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Denise V. Moses said...

I am so sorry. I am 60 and I can truly relate. He's still here because I can see him in your heart. God Bless everyone.

Christy G said...

I'm so sorry, Ali. Your Dad sounds like a really great man, who helped lead a family full of love. I'm keeping you in my heart today.

Shirley said...

Dear Ali,
What a beautiful way to honour your Dad. It shows how much loved he still is. Memories will for ever stay. I also lost my Dad, but at an earlier age and still miss him. Thank you for being so authentic and for opening your heart, it means a lot. Please receive all my deepest love and wish you find solace in the good and sweet memories of what your Dad meant and still means in your life. God bless.

Yasemin said...

Sorry for your loss. We wish him that he rests in peace, also in German unser herzlichstes Beileid and in Turkish basin sagolsun:(

lizy b said...

Oh my goodness Ali. I'm so very sorry for your loss, but so very, very happy for you that you had such an amazing man to help shape your life. Now you have an angel to watch over you and your new little man. I hope you see more and more of your father in him everyday as he grows.

Sending love and hugs.

Sue said...

I came looking for your ice cream cookies and found this beautiful tribute to your father. I am so sorry for your loss. It is very difficult losing a parent and I hope that you can find comfort in sweet memories.

Demaris said...

Ali, I am so very sorry for you and your family to have lost your dad in such an unexpected way. Your tribute was so touching and just over pouring with love. He sounds like an amazing man! Thank you for sharing him with us and thank you for sharing your recipes as well. I never ventured to decorate sugar cookies until I stumbled across your icing recipe.....Thanks again for the inspiration! ((Hugs))

Natalie said...

So sorry to hear this. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.

paddle attachment said...

Ali - I'm so sorry that you lost your Dad and that he left so suddenly. My heart is with you as your heart aches for him. Take special care, Kristina

Brenda Holland said...

Ali...you do not know me, but you have been a part of my cookie life for some time. My heart goes out to you as well as prayers for continued and increasing peace from a Father who knows our every need. I will be the age of your Dad in just a few days. Yes, it seems like such a short time, but sounds like he filled it with love for his family and for you.

crumbsoflove said...

How lucky for you to have had such a great dad! His positive influence on you will carry on through your own children.

crumbsoflove said...

How lucky for you to have had such a great dad! His positive influence on you will carry on through your own children.

Anonymous said...

Forever the love of a father
may you know that he is at peace and forever in your hearts and our prayers

Alicia Cruz said...

I just read this now , I'm so sorry for your lost.God works in mysterious ways. There's a plan for everyone. Now his in heaven. God bless you and your family.

Alicia Cruz said...

I just read this, I'm so sorry for your lost. God works in mysterious ways,there's a plan for everybody, we just don't know what it is.You where there before his passing because that's how God wanted this to be.God bless you and your family ♥

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute to the man who was the center of your world for so long. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish you peace and comfort in the days, weeks and months to come. It is the worst possible club to become a member of.

Cakes On The Lane said...

So sorry for your loss.

 

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