There are two times I’ve really seen my daddy cry.

The first was at our wedding when he sang a song to me.

The deal was that we would dance to “Brown Eyed Girl”so we wouldn’t be emotional (as cheesy as it is, “Butterfly Kisses” does me in every time).


So I KNEW I would cry when we danced if we chose a typical song.

I thought I made it with no tears until he surprised me when later at the wedding, he gave a toast and sang “I Loved Her First” in which my brother had to take over. Yes, as you can imagine, I lost it. And I’m not a crier.

The second has been watching his mother skip quietly into Heaven.


You see, after spending a month at Hospice, my sweet grandmother—mother of five and the absolute best cook I know (I hope Mama isn’t reading this. Sorry…your stuff is just too darn healthy.)–joined her husband the day before his birthday.


Like my best friend said, can you imagine their embrace? And to celebrate his birthday with the birth of Her Savior? The Best Christmas present there is.

But the loss of her presence is what hurts the most.

Every Christmas Eve of my entire life has been spent at her house with my more than 17 cousins and their spouses and kids.

Every Christmas Eve, this group of amazingly talented brothers and sisters (my dad has two of each) sings carols and funny Christmas songs (if you’re wondering, I got the creative talent but not one ounce of singing talent).

Every Christmas Eve, we left her house looking for Santa because that one time when I was four, I heard the bells in the sky.

Every Christmas Eve except this year. While she’s celebrating in Heaven, we will celebrate her here but miss her even more.

Because no one can make homemade chocolate icing (and save me a spoonful) quite like she does.