one year.

one year ago today my dad died. oh bittersweet day.

Β©2011 Jessica Sands Photography

i miss him every day. in multiple ways. i miss his hugs and the ways he would make me feel special, like i was his world. i miss the advice, direction, and discernment he would give whether i liked it or not. i miss the way he could fix and mend anything for me (even those broken hearts…and electronics…). i miss his laugh, and the laugh lines he would get. i miss his sense of humor and his playfulness. i miss watching him interact with my friends and cousins. i miss watching him do business, and seeing how his colleagues and clients loved and respected him and his integrity. i miss seeing the world as he saw it, through his camera. i miss his passion for life, sense of adventure and excitement of trying new things. i miss watching him in the outdoors and seeing the excitement he had for nature and animals (snakes…). i miss riding on the back of the fourwheeler with him and feeling safe. i miss the way he would talk us into having ice cream every night, and being able to find chocolates or mints in his pockets. i miss his hands…the three squeezes he would give when we were in public to signify “i love you”. i miss his prayers and singing next to him at church. i miss his loving (and sometimes in-your-face) correction. i miss watching him with my mom, watching their love. and i miss watching him with our friends kids, and knowing the kind of grandpa he would have been.

i remember last july 28th like it was yesterday. i remember the days leading up to his death. the way he smelled. the way he would lift his arms in worship, and i could imagine him touching heaven. the way he said goodbye to his family and friends, peacefully. the way he slowly lost his voice, and would mouth the words “i love you sheena”. and when he couldn’t do that anymore, the three squeezes he would give until the day before he died. i remember listening for his breath just hoping i would hear it, and being afraid he would go in the middle of the night. i remember the way he waited for mom and me like he always did to finish showering before he took his last breaths. how his breath sounded scared and like he was fighting, until i laid my head on his chest and kept telling him it was okay to go. then after a few short minutes i felt and heard nothing. i remember laying in his hospice bed with him after he was gone, not wanting to let go. the nurse coming to pronounce him, the funeral directors lifting his body in the sheet to the stretcher. the quietness. mom cleaning up the house. hospice staff taking his bed immediately because they needed it for someone else. i remember getting texts from friends, specifically from my friend allie who offered to come be with us. i remember reading facebook wall posts and messages, and smiling after reading one from an old classmate named nate (who is now my husband), who offered to make bars for us (what guy does that?). i remember listening to this song and praising God that dad no longer had to suffer. and feeling relief that his struggle was over. and feeling a little numb. most of all i remember feeling loved. by God, by my friends, my family.

i wondered on that day how life would be in a year. wondered if i would still feel the pain, the relief, the thankfulness.

and i do. but most of all, i feel the love. such a strong love.

we could not think of a better way of celebrating dad’s heavenly anniversary than announcing new life. today (of all days), a year after my dad’s death, we enter our second trimester. nate and i are absolutely thrilled to announce we will be a family of three. we will be welcoming baby “pebble” sieg into the world, due january 28th. one year ago i did not dream this could be my life, but God is so good, and we couldn’t be more joyful and thankful of His plan!

our first photo of “pebble” at 10 weeks (when pebble was the size of a kumquat….now he/she’s the size of a lemon!)

to read more of my dad’s life and battle with brain cancer, visit his caringbridge site.

9 responses to “one year.

  1. Oh my goodness! Congratulations to all of you! Your dad was a special man, thank you so much for sharing your story and your fabulous news.

  2. Oh Sheena! I’m beyond excited and happy for you and Nate! What wonderful news πŸ™‚ I think about you and your family so often. And about what an awesome guy your dad was. I sure miss joking around with him. It was always the highlight of seeing him. Love you dearly ❀

  3. oh my gosh sheena!!! congrats!!! so happy for you two. and also what beautiful words for your dad =)

  4. my time with your family brought me back to my faith, and also created a pretty amazing friendship. i am so blessed and i couldn’t be more happy for you and nate and pebble! love you!

  5. Sheena, you amaze me. I love your way with words and how deeply it touches me. I love you so much and can’t wait to meet “pebble”. πŸ™‚

  6. I miss him too Sheena….so much. Thank you for sharing your heart. Annndddd CONGRATULATIONSSSSSS!! Im so excited to meet your pebble!

  7. Your Dad blessed so many (myself included). I’m thinking many will thank him when they see him again in Heaven.:)
    Congratulations to you both for the new life God formed in your womb.

  8. I’m not sure how I didn’t see this before, but I’m sobbing in my cubical…I love you Sheena and I love these words.

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