11/5/16

My Father's Daughter

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It's always difficult to know where to begin with this type of post, so I will just cut to the chase and share with you that on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, my dad passed away after a three year battle with cancer.

We knew his time was coming but as you can imagine, it's been a very emotional week. It took me a lot of years in life to realize how incredibly lucky I was to have not only a good dad, but a great one. There are far too many people with fathers who abandon, abuse, neglect, etc., but mine did none of those things. He was always there when I needed him, always helping me learn and grow to be a better person even when I didn't see the lessons for what they were. He was also a loving husband and companion to my mom, and I'm so grateful that their 60-year marriage taught me how to build a strong foundation for my own family.


I take after my dad in a lot of ways, and I see many qualities of him in my children as well, and it's comforting to know his legacy lives on in that way. My dad was a large animal veterinarian by trade and his profession was also his hobby. My dad loved to ride and train horses and mules, and my absolute favorite memories of my time with my dad are the times he took me horseback riding.


He used that time to teach me life lessons and help me build confidence. Learning how to bridle, saddle, and mount a horse taught me that I can tackle intimidating obstacles bigger than myself. My dad's most famous quote that he taught all of his children and grandchildren was, "When the horse bucks you off, you get back on." Life is like that sometimes. You get knocked around, hurt, scared, intimidated...but if you want to get somewhere on that horse or in life you better get yourself back up and ride. It's easier said than done, but it can be done. I've been bucked off horses and I'd say I feel like I've been bucked off life right now with this loss, but I already know what my dad would tell me to do.



As I'm sure you can understand my blogging schedule will be a bit sporadic in the next couple of weeks as I attend my dad's funeral and so on, but I will do some posts as time permits. I do like to stay busy anyway (I get it from my dad), and the blog is a good way for me to do that. On Monday I have a giveaway schedule to go live. It's something I committed to in August that was originally planned for September, but finally happening now which is not my ideal timing but beyond my control. Beyond that it will be just one day at a time, putting family first. And to top off an already difficult week, my niece Audrey delivered a sweet baby on Friday who was born with many physical complications and only got to enjoy twelve hours of life. It is a season of grief for my family and I truly appreciate your support and understanding as we try to find comfort, strength and hope as we find the courage to get up and ride on through life.




CONVERSATION

48 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness. To hear about Audrey on top of this. My heart is so heavy for you and your family. But this post is such a great snapshot into a helluva man and I can't imagine how difficult it was for you to write. Sending you love and strength.
    Carylee | http://morepiecesofme.com

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  2. Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss and to hear of Audrey's loss. Your family sounds like a strong one, built of strength and now I know where this comes from. He sounds like he was a remarkable man, father and role model. I am sorry for what your family is going through and I hope you have each other to rely on.

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    1. Thanks so much, Megan. And yes, thankfully I do have an incredible family support system.

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  3. Love it, Gina. I'm sure that was difficult to write and share but it is beautifully written. Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to being together next weekend.

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    1. Thank Heidi! No, it was not easy but I just felt I needed to do it. See you soon!

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  4. I am so very sorry to hear about your dad! He sounds like an incredible person and father. I am sorry to hear about your niece's baby as well. I will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers!

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  5. All I can say is that I admire you in ways I have never admired anyone else in my life before. There is no doubt in my mind that your father was an amazing man because I think you are amazing too and that doesn't come easily for most people. You have been in my thoughts a great deal since seeing your snap about his passing, and I hope we can get together soon. I hope you are comforted in this time by your boys and family. Take care Gina :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Noelle. Yes, definitely hope to see you soon!

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  6. I feel so lucky to be a part of this wonderful Simmons family! Your father is one of a kind, and I am honored to call him my father-in-law!

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    1. So glad to have such an amazing person like you in my family, Nicole! See you soon!

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  7. Your father is the perfect example for every man out there, I know that amazing people like yourself don't happen by accident, they always have a strong foundation like your dad. May he rest in peace. I am so sorry for Audrey, that is just awful. Sending your family lots of strength and prayers. I so wish I could see you and give you a huge hug right now. Love you my sweet friend and take care.

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words about my dad and for your support throughout this entire ordeal! You are an amazing friend. :)

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  8. Prayers are with you and your family coming week.Saying good bye to a love one is always emotional and difficult,no matter how "prepared"we think we are.

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    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. And it's so true...we were "prepared" and knew the time was coming soon. But still...it's so hard to say the final good-bye.

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  9. So sad sorry for your losses. Thoughts & prayers with you and your family at this difficult time.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Tammy! I truly appreciate your thoughts & prayers.

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  10. Beautifully put, Gina. So fun to hear other siblings' memories! See you soon.

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  11. I am incredibly sorry to hear about your dad and your nieces loss. Life can really give you some lemons sometimes. I think your dads saying about getting back on the horse after it bucks you off is a good one. Live in your memories of him, it sounds like you have a lot of them! Hugs!!!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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    1. Thank you Carrie! Yes, I'm definitely fortunate to have so many great memories with my dad!

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  12. Dear Gina, I don't know you or your father personally but am sitting here shedding tears over this beautifully written tribute to your father. Praying for your entire family.

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and share your comment! It means the world to me and is comforting that people I don't even know will take the time to get to know my dad and what a great person he was in just this small way. Thank you, Diana!

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  13. What a beautiful tribute to your father. I'm sorry for all your loss this week. Bless you and your family. I will say a prayer for your family.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Beth!

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  14. This was a beautifully written tribute to your dad. I am so sorry for the loss of your dad and also for your niece's loss. Sending prayers to you and your family.

    Jill
    Doused in Pink

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    1. Thank you for reading, Jill! I am always grateful for your support and friendship!

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  15. So sorry for your loss, it sounds like your dad was such a wonderful person. You wrote about him beautifully. I'm sure he would have been very proud.

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  16. i am so sorry for your loss. i read your post in the evening, after having done a cancer 5k that we do every year in honor of my father...so i feel your pain in this similar way. sending strength thru this holiday season and new year...b/c it will be hard. but you will get through it, b/c there's no way not to. this was a lovely tribute to him.
    b

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I'm so sorry that you have experienced this as well, and I love the idea of an activity to commemorate your loved ones each year!

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  17. oh Gina, I am so very sorry to hear about your niece as well. That is so horrible. thinking of you and your family during this time, and if there is anything I can do, please let me know.

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  18. I am so sorry to hear this. I will say a Rosary and Divine Chaplet of Mercy for your family today. I hope this quote from one of my favorite Saints brings you some hope in this time of mourning:

    "The accidents of life separate us from our dearest friends, but let us not despair. God is like a looking glass in which souls see each other. The more we are united to Him by love, the nearer we are to those who belong to Him."

    -St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and prayer!

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  19. Gina, I am so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.

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  20. Gina - I am thinking of you and your family, as you go through the funeral, but also in the upcoming weeks, months, years... It is a loss you will feel for a long time - it changes over time, but it is always there. Also, so sorry to hear about your niece.

    Lisa
    Daily Style Finds

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! I have been thinking of you because I remember so clearly when your father passed away as well. I appreciate your friendship and words of support!

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  21. Oh Gina, I'm so sorry to hear all your family has been going through. Know that I am thinking and praying for you and your family. Hugs to you and yours...

    Missy D.

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  22. I am so sorry for your loss, Gina. Your dad sounds like an amazing man. The older I get, the more I realize how lucky I am to have parents like I do as well. A 60 year marriage is an amazing legacy for sure. Sounds like you have some wonderful memories together. Wishing you he best in this difficult time.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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  23. I'm so sorry to hear about your father, sending you all the *hugs* and prayers sweet friend. I hope you and your family will feel some comfort during this difficult time <3
    Green Fashionista

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  24. I'm so sorry about your father. Hugs!

    Leanne,
    classyyettrendy.com

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  25. I'm so sorry for your loss of both your dad and niece. Sending love and prayers to you and the rest of your family.

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  26. I just saw this, Gina, and I am very very sorry. I just lost my brother-in-law to esophagus cancer, and it's hard. Much love and prayers.

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