Saturday, June 20, 2009


Father’s day is quickly approaching and I must admit that I’m a little anxious about its arrival on June 21st. You see I lost my beloved father this past April 5, 2009 and my three daughters lost their father this past July 27, 2008, both to cancer. Needless to say it's been a very difficult year, and it all seems very surreal.

I recognize that death is a part of life, and recuperating from any loss is a slow and often times painful process. Those who allow themselves to grieve say taking any action, any small step, provides some relief. If you’ve had a recent loss, please, take a step today that helps you move beyond loss and get back into life. One of the many steps I’ve taken is to write about how I feel about my Dad. With that being said, my first-ever blog is a tribute to my Father.

I planned on speaking at my Fathers home-going celebration, but my girls were so upset and emotional, that I decided to forgo speaking and instead comfort them through their grief. So, this a portion of what I wanted to say about my Dad. First you must understand that my Dad had this deep Barry White/James Earl Jones baritone voice, and when he walked into the room he made his presence known. He was a ton of fun and would always make you laugh (he was quite a jokester), and when he met someone he would usually give them some kind of a nickname. For example, he traded in all of my daughters’ real names for nicknames: Robyn was Robynski, Ryann was Rybo, and Rayla was Rayla Bayla. Not only did the names make people laugh, but dad had a very unique way of communicating; and he had all of these funny little sayings. Therefore, I’m putting some of his famous sayings into my account of what it must have been like when he arrived in HEAVEN.

The day my Dad passed was an absolutely beautiful day, and I was sitting in the car looking in the sky, and all of a sudden I began to smile to myself. Well, my friend looked at me and said what are you smiling about. I looked at him and said, I was just thinking about what my Dad said when he was making his transition into the Heavenly Kingdom. I told my friend that I can imagine my Dad saying something like this…When he saw the creator extend his hand to him to carry him home, he probably said…GREEAAAT DAY IN THE MORNING!!!!! (Pleased to meet you Sire) and when the creator escorted him to those beautiful pearly gates I imagine he probably said… MER-CI-FUL HEAVENS!!!!! this is simply beautiful...and finally when he crossed over the gates and saw all of his family and friends that preceded him I imagine, he probably said WELL I’LL BE JOOOHHHN BROWN!!! you Bammas doing.

My friend looked at me and laughed, and then he said Tonja I can hear him saying that too. Last but not least my Dad would call on the phone out of the blue, didn’t want anything in particular, he’d just call and he would say something like “ALL I GOT TO SAY IS’ I’m sitting here listening to some Miles Davis,” and then you’d hear (CLICK) and he’d hang up the phone. Of course, I would always chuckle, and call him in a few days and do the same thing back to him.

So Dad, ALL I GOT TO SAY IS…I love you…I miss you, and rest well.

There’s always a lesson and a blessing that comes from all we experience in life.
Therefore, The LESSON is, take time to make memories with friends and loved ones, and The BLESSING is, I do have so many memories with my Dad that will last a lifetime!!