For Sons and Daughters Without Fathers

June 20, 2010.   13 Comments.   Categories Father's Day, Ramblings.   Tags , , .

For Sons and Daughters Without Fathers
Happy Remembrance Day
I was inspired to follow in Michael Ruhlman’s footsteps on this Father’s Day morning.  He posted a very simple and heartfelt post on his blog with photos of his father.  Like me, he lost his dad and Father’s Day for those of us without fathers is about remembering.  It can be sad and a bit heavy-hearted.  His post was dedicated to Father’s Without Fathers.  Mine is dedicated to Sons and Daughters Without Fathers….
My dad was killed in an airplane crash when I was 11 years old.  He loved to fly his Cessna 310 in air-shows and was in an accident while practicing for one in California.  On July 25th, 2010 it will be the 30 year anniversary of that fateful day. It was tragic… more than you know. I guess he was fortunate that he died doing what he loves… but we all wish it he had stayed around just a little longer.
Richard Merrill, Age 4
I’m was very lucky to have had such an adventurous and fun-loving father.  He was that guy… outgoing and a “guy’s guy” with a personality that was contagious.
Here is my dad in his favorite cowboy hat… a weekend warrior – driving a team of horses on our Christmas Tree Farm in Northern California.  And yes… those are chimps riding with him (long story but I told you he was adventurous!)
Richard Merrill was everyone’s friend and he was a great dad who did what he could to make the universe revolve around his little girl.  Like everyone, he wasn’t perfect and made his mistakes but at the end I’m lucky to be his daughter.
Mom?  Are you trying to give me champagne in this photo?  That actually explains a lot. . .
My dad is survived by his brother, Ken… the best uncle anyone could have.  He has been like a father to me in many ways and even walked me down “the isle.”  Well, more like a dirt path since I was married next to a waterfall in Kauai.  He has been like a father to most of us in my family. We’re lucky that he also has all of the fun-loving, adventurous(also a private pilot … he once had a full grown 500 lb tiger as a passenger in his airplane ….another long story) and caring qualities we loved in my dad.
So, Happy Father’s Day to you Ken… and thanks for filling in during those special moments … birthdaysgraduations, christmas’s, marriage… when my dad couldn’t be there.  I love you!
Ken walking me down the “dirt path” (ok, orchid filled dirt path) on my wedding day in Kauai
For those of you who find yourself this Father’s Day without your father . . . I wish you a very happy day of remembrance filled with only sweet memories . . . not the sad ones.  And I hope you had someone else who was there for you during those important mile-markers in life.  Not all “fathers” are biological but they are just as special and should be celebrated.
If you feel like sharing a memory about your own dad, I would love to read about him and your memories.  Just post those thoughts in the comments section below.

And …. Happy Father’s Day Daddy!
We miss you.



  1. Thank you, Laurie, for such a beautiful sentiment. We lost my grandfather of ninety years this weekend, one day shy of Father’s Day. He was a wonderful grandfather. I am thinking of him now as we watch the World Cup. He was a soccer player and played as an 8th grader on his high school soccer team. He grew up in the Great Depression and, while life was tough, he had wonderful stories like how resourceful they had to be. For example, they used phone books for shin guards when playing soccer and they got a pair of nylons for their wives and girlfriends when they scored goals during wartime. I am normally a pretty private person, but I wanted to also post this on your site because he loved food and it wasn’t an activity if food wasn’t involved.
    Happy Father’s Day!
    We miss you! Forever in our hearts…

  2. I lost my Father 2 years ago, the last seven years before his passing were very hard for him,we lost our Mom! and you are right Laura, today is a day to recall good memories, happy stories, I did!!!!Happy Father’s Day/Beatiful Memories Day!!!!!! Thanks for sharing your story!!!!!!!

  3. My Father is Robert Lott, and I lost him in 2002. While we didn’t always get along, I still love him and miss him. Memories of my Dad are of going to carnivals and the circus. We would go to Florida and I always loved that. I love fast rides and doing exciting stuff because of my dad. He also gave me a love of travel, and trying new things. Adventure would have to be the theme of our relationship. He was a smart, good looking, and charming southern man, and I am proud of him and all of the good qualities that I inherited from him. Thank you Daddy, and Happy Father’s Day.

  4. I had to laugh at the drive-thru story, also. It reminded me of my Dad when the drive-thru first came out. They shook him up and he would try to mutter out his order in his English with a pretty good Czech accent. Tall [6'4"] and strong and handsome country boy. My Mother married him soon after she graduated HS. I was the first born and had colic so bad, Dad had to lay me on his stomach to calm me down and go to sleep. Our family didn’t have much money growing up, but I remember Dad’s barbecue and going fishing for flounder.
    He could fix anything. Always had several crisp $20s on him when we went somewhere. Worked very hard as a HVAC serviceman–all the customers always wanted “Marvin”.
    Dad made it into the new century and his 70 th BD and died in July of 2000. My Mom is in Moulton, TX today, just like every Father’s Day–tending the family plot and visiting with Dad. He enjoyed his pivo [beer in Czech] and could dance the polka better than anyone. Love to you, Dad!

  5. My sons and one of my daughters-in-law are spending their first Father’s Day without their dads. Two very fine men who loved their children more than life itself.
    My own father died 6 years ago on Memorial Day. Though he dropped out of high school to serve in World War II and could barely read – a fact of which I was unaware until I was an adult, there was nothing he couldn’t fix. Many of his instructions included “get a hammer,” and “keep going until you hear glass fall.” Things generally seemed to work out just fine.
    My sons will remember their father’s laugh. Do you remember the cartoon character, “Mutley?” Mark had a laugh like that when he was really tickled. No noise, until eventually there was wheezing, shoulders shaking, tears in his eyes and an occasionally bloody nose from the pressure of it all. I really think my sons would make a bit of a sport of watching their father disintegrate into a laughing heap upon the floor.
    My daughter-in-law’s father was a gentle spirit who loved nature and was an amazing photographer. He was a lot of fun. He raised a beautiful, amazing woman – for which this mother-in-law is truly grateful.
    We were all blessed beyond words to have had these men in our lives. My own dad had a good, long life, but Mark & Vince were taken from us far too soon and we miss them all terribly.

  6. My father passed away twenty years ago from a massive heart attack. He was 58 years of age and I was only 20. At the age of 15, I suffered a ruptured aneurysm in my brain. The doctors didn’t think I would ever be able to work or raise a family. My father encouraged me that I could do anything I wanted to do.
    Today, I have been married for 18 years,raising animals,and working 16 years in the medical field doing insurance/claims department. Without God’s power and my father love and encouragement, I don’t think I’d be where I am today.

  7. This must be a tough father’s day for you Cara. I hope your dad is filled with happy memories of your dad.

  8. Becky your father sounded simply amazing on so many levels – and what a hero! Thank you so much for sharing his memory here. Happy Father’s Day.

  9. Wonderful story Amanda… laughed out loud at the drive-thru comment! Happy Father’s Day and thank you for sharing here.

  10. I lost my daddy on Feb. 2, 2003. I was 2 months pregnant with my first child. My dad was to be 51 on the 10th. My dad never got to be a papa to my children or walk me down the isle,but they will know him. My 2nd baby ( born 8/15/08) wasa boy a named after my dad. I will always show them pictures and tell them stories of their Papa David.( and their Mama Angie who passed 5/29/06 ) How he tickled us til we couldnt breath, he yelled into the drive thru speaker like they were deaf, how he would help ANYONE at any time, and how his heart was as big as a football field. My mom was very ill for years and he took care of her and never complained. He, I can honestly say, is the best man I have EVER met in my life.

  11. My Dad used to throw his hands up high in the air & tap dance around an imaginary mexican hat…doing the mexican hat dance..(This Gentle Giant 6’1″tall,very big man) all the way around…But! So graceful & made us all laugh every time. 5 kids…when things got sad my Dad would dance!!

  12. My dad passed away last year at the age of 85 from Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, a very aggressive form of leukemia usually brought on by environmental factors. He never had an easy life. He grew up in the great depression, lost his father when he was 2 months old and became “the man of the family” in his childhood years. He was drafted into World War II, met my mother while home on furlough, dated by letters, and married in 1945. He was a paratrooper with the 82nd airborne. He came home to raise a family, and run various businesses including a restaurant, a grocery store, and an apartment rental business. He later became a union pipefitter, and worked “in the trenches” until he retired in the 80′s. He was still a big, vibrant man until his first stroke in 1995 left him paralyzed on one side. He got around still, but his quality of life had certainly changed. He went on to live another 16 years before we found a strange mass growing on his back. Six weeks later, he was gone. We miss him every day, but he left a legacy of hard work, integrity, and deep family love. He is my hero,now and always!

  13. This is my first Father’s Day without my Dad…Marty Meyer.
    I miss him so much yet I feel his presence every single day.
    And today I remember his humor, zest for life and desire to help and heal others naturally…..
    I Love you Dad!!

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