20 years later….It’s still not easy…


I often wonder what it would be like to talk to my father now… 20 years later… What would I tell him… What would he tell me… Would he be proud of who I have become? Would he know about all the things I have done? Losing him at 15 was the worst and best thing in my life… Yes worst and best…

When I remember back today 20 years ago. I was here in the same room I am right now writing this blog. My father was on a hospital bed that was brought into the house especially for him. We chose to have him live out his remaining months at home. We wanted him close. On that morning I was told to come downstairs as a family friend said he will probably leave us sometime today. She and her daughter slept over the night before. My brother was at camp away from the house. I slept in the room next to his. I could hear the breathing machine all night long. I cried so many nights. I prayed so many nights just keep him alive a little longer a little longer. God answered and kept him alive a little longer. I should have been more honest and said till I’m 50 instead. Who says God does not answer our prayers. I guess just not in the way we would like him to. When he passed my world fell apart. I didn’t understand why him, why now, why us? Did we do something wrong? Was I a bad child? To be honest I can’t remember much about the wake or the funeral. Those memories are really a blur. I know I read something at church during the funeral but have no idea what. The summer continued and I started school. I continued and graduated 4 years later. I moved on to college away from home, went to Murnau, Frieburg, and Vienna for study abroad. I came home graduated from College and started working in the bank where my father worked. I had worked in the winter time in his old department, so I just continued after college. I got a job and then another, then moved to Spain in 2006. Then got married and moved back to the US in 2011.

The worst was the mourning, the grieving, the crying, the weeping, the sobbing, the funeral, the wake, the thought I would never speak to him again.  The funny thing is the best part happened 5 years after his passing. In 2000 I went to Murnau for my study aboard program, and while studying in Germany many of you know I met my husband Angel. I like to think my father played a role in that. You see I met Angel on July 6 in 2000, it was the first day of the July session. Our official anniversary of being a couple is July 8th, 2000. It’s funny how I thought I would never love, never get married, never have children and many other nevers. My husband didn’t know my father but I am sure he would approve. I find the two are very much alike and that’s a good and bad thing. I have been trying lately to find the good in each day, something positive. Today is a hard day to do that when I have this heavy memory of 20 years but I have to remember that this day is also filled with great joy. I met the man I love and married.

I cried a lot today… more than other years on the anniversary of his passing. I don’t know why 20 is more difficult than 5,10 or 15 years. I guess I am at a different stage in my life. Crying helps, talking with friends helps, remembering the good times helps…

20 years later it does not get easier but I have more friends, family to help me get through…

Herlizchen Dank fuer alles Daddy….

My father….

So I am sure most of you know who this is…. It’s my father… He passed away more than 15 years ago….Sometimes I admit that I forget about him…I wonder if that’s bad… but then I think no it’s okay because that means I am confident he is doing well and I don’t need to worry about him… I often wish I could talk to him one last time…. I wonder what I would say…. Then I think I don’t have to talk to him because he can see me from up there. He can see all the wonderful things I have done in his memory. As my father’s brothers and friends have always told me he would be so proud of you… “you have kept his memory alive but visiting us and sending us postcards and keeping touch. You have carried on his friendship and love through you…..”

“Always in our hearts”
Dieter Betten – July 6, 1995

I love you and miss you daddy….