Our First Holiday without John

Should I write this?

Can I write this?

I’m sitting here in the dark as my husband and children sleep, staring down into the keyboard visualizing shards of my broken heart bouncing around on the keyboard before they eventually lose energy and disappear under the keys.

 Hello there Grief, yes I have been busy, and yet here you are!

Maybe before I start I should get a drink. Hmm wine or hot tea? How far we gonna go with this?

First you need to know who John was:

John was my father-in-law, friend, fill-in Dad, mentor, teacher….. In August, just after celebrating his 66th birthday, he past away after a fairly short fight with Liver Cancer.

His obituary read like this:

CLINTON — John Rollie Parker, 66, of Clinton, Ind., went to be with the Lord Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. He retired as a coal miner after 20 years of service, beginning with Zigler Coal Mine in Murcock, Ill. He also spent many years as a truck driver, most recently with Dump Trucks Unlimited in Clinton. He was known by his fellow truck drivers as “Nickel.”

He was born Aug. 2, 1949, in West Terre Haute, Ind., to John Arnold and Anna Pauline VanPatten Parker. Survivors include his wife of 19 years, Sarah P. Stout Parker; two sons, Steven Rollie Parker and wife, Jennifer, and John P. Parker and companion, Amy Creasey; two stepdaughters, Anna Pine and husband, Dale, and Debbie Thomas; his mother, Pauline Parker; two brothers, Duane Parker and Dennis Parker and wife, Darlene; 15 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father, John Arnold Parker; and a stepson, Howard Lee Thomas.

John was a member of the Cross Roads Baptist Church. He was a man of God and had a strong faith. He was an avid outdoorsman, enjoyed coonhunting, fishing and loved his dogs. He also enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson Motorcycle. John was a loving, compassionate man. He had a wonderful, dry sense of humor and was very witty. He loved his family and truly loved being a grandpa.

Wise words from an old guy

In dealing with the grief I read through different articles I found online and went back through some of my old psychology notes from college. Of course Pintrest was in that too.. https://www.pinterest.com/nonnyjenn/the-end-but-he-wasnt-done-writing/

Below is something I printed off from Facebook and it has brought me the most comfort.


Since August the waves have come in the form of new activities the kids are involved in, when the stone was set at the cemetery, driving the ’41 Chevy, moving a daughter, and once because it was Sunday.

As Thanksgiving approaches and the kids are happy to be out of school, but Steven and I have little to say. We both know that there will be a point on Thursday when John won’t walk through the door at my Mom’s house to play cards. We know his witty, one liners won’t be made to have us all laughing. We know we loved deep, we are scarred deep, but that we have each other as part of the wreck to hold on to.

Oh, and as far as wine or tea? I went with Hot Chocolate. I don’t numb pain. To feel pain is to feel that I am still alive.


5 thoughts on “Our First Holiday without John

  1. Beautifully written. Thank you for being brave enough to share.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. teary eyed and another wave here too. That Facebook quote was right on! It’s been over a year since we lost my step-dad and I think I will always miss the wonderful conversations we had. But this is how people live on through our memories of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Holiday was something expected. It is the days you don’t see it coming that is the hardest. When I smell his cologne or hear a song. Yes, he lives on. His humor, his smile, his love for the family all lives strong


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