The rain isn’t helping. It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m struggling to be festive. Growing up in Savannah inevitably made St. Pat’s an extra special time of year, and I have so many wonderful memories of family visiting, parades, Tara Feis, My sister’s Irish dancing performances, and more. Yet now, the day just feels like some strange kind of vigil, a time of remembrance and preparation for my heart.

You know there are moments, certain images, that get burned into your psyche. They become symbolic, like a stained glass window in your mind, forever capturing the exact emotion and gravity of that moment.

As long as I live, I will never forget this photo, the image of this embrace that said so much about my parents’ loving relationship and the weariness of that battle for my Dad’s life and the unshakable dedication and care my Mom showed at every turn down that road. It was the moment of accepting the unacceptable, when we could no longer deny that goodbye had finally come.

Three years tomorrow … grief is strange and long-winded and powerful. My dad really loved St. Patrick’s Day. I really don’t know when I’ll be able to throw on green beads again or visit Savannah on March 17 without remembering how the azaleas at our house waited to bloom until the next day when he died.

Wherever I am on this date, I suppose I just have to accept this new “holiday” as part of my calendar. My heart will always be waiting outside the tomb but without the hope of finding it empty.

I probably won’t be on social media tomorrow but please take a moment to think of us, and more importantly to remember him.

3 thoughts on “Remembrance

  1. Dear Lauren and the entire family,
    Your Dad was a wonderful man. He always had a smile to share. The glass was always half full never empty. Johnny also gave the best hugs that anyone could imagine. When he hugged you, you could feel the love in his arms. I know that when times get rough or when I miss my dad it helps to wear something of his. I have my Dad’s wedding band. It reminds me that he is still close, and watching over us. I also wear it when I don’t want him to miss a special day or celebration in our lives.
    Your Dad was an amazing, strong, sensitive man. He is loved, missed, and remembered fondly by so many people.
    God Bless your family,
    Peggy (St. Joseph) Hanley

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Lauren and family,
    You don’t know me but your dad, John John to me was my cousin. I remember him as a young boy but I’m certain he was a remarkable man. I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love you! Doesn’t feel the same. I miss him so very much. I wish I could get his advice especially here recently. I miss his hugs the most. But I’m forever grateful that your dad was in my life. Truly the the best man I have ever had in my life. I will never forget him.

    Liked by 1 person

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