Monday, October 13, 2014

Your lighthouse

I wrote this post Friday evening in the midst of being really upset. I wrote without pausing, thinking, erasing, and this is what came out. It's raw, and at first I thought, this is wayyyy too personal to share. But that's what life is. It's not always pretty, or neatly lined up, but it's so worth living and sharing. This space is for me to share my story. And here it is.

photo by Nicole Hubbs photgraphy
Some days feel tougher without you.

And some days, I catch myself thinking back to when I was a little girl, and the center of your world.

I picture you sitting in the big leather chair in our living room, and me sitting at your feet.

Most days you wouldn’t say much, but I didn’t mind.

It was enough to know I had you by my side.


The thing nobody admits about losing those we love, is that we never really feel our heart make room for them, we just feel the empty space when they leave.

And so even if we try and try to fill our hearts with new things, people carve out a certain place that only they have the mold to fill.

I never talk about losing my dad. Because I lost him and he’s still here. Drinking and wasting away his time. Drinking and pretending things are okay. Drinking and lying, forgetting, and acting like there was never a time that the only thing that mattered, was the people that took the seats of our nightly family dinners.


The things I must write are the hardest to share. And maybe that is why I must share them.

I constantly struggle with feeling like enough, because I think back to being his daughter. And if I couldn’t be enough for my own father, how could I ever measure up?

Tonight is the first time in months I have cried about missing my dad. Because the years are passing, and the man I would run to in the night and tell my bad dreams to, is now the one causing the nightmares.

Because I see that I’m growing up, and I miss being little enough to not know what filled his glass. Little enough to not understand that sometimes addicts make choices they don’t even understand.

I miss thinking he was my superhero, before I could fully understand that his vices would make him his own villain.

I remember when my parents divorced and I was 15, I thought, “my dad will clean up his act in six months, tops. Then I’ll have my dad back.”

White round pills, and a glass half-empty can do a lot to someone. Six months has passed nearly ten times.

And five years later, I still catch myself making wishes, on dandelions, on birthdays, on holidays where he is no longer present, maybe this year things will change.

I find myself feeling grateful that my heart can still ache as much as it does because with that I feel hope. And I find myself feeling grateful that my dad’s mistakes have made me face my own. I am grateful that I was wished for, wanted, cared and loved and I believe I still am.
What heals me when I feel like this is an old African saying, "Be careful when a naked man offers you a shirt." My dad could not possibly give love and support when he has forgotten how to love and support himself.

And dad, if you ever read my blog, know that I am grateful for the years that you were healthy, for the calm before the storm. And know that even through this storm, I am waiting for you to realize you are worth getting better.
That if you took the time to move forward and look up, you would see that I’ve been the lighthouse in these rocky waters all along.
Link up with Emily over at to share what you are grateful for.


  1. It is hard when you want someone to change, when you want something better for them that they do not desire for themselves. It is painful and frustrating, and it is good to express those feelings. Holding it inside hurts even more the addressing what you're feeling. You are handling it well, you are brave to share. You are on your way to healing, it is not your responsibility to help/make him change. The fact you are willing and open to invite him back into your life when he does is awesome. Don't stop expressing what you are feeling, like you said this is your place to share your story and sharing the deep part of your story will help you and others as well.

    1. Felecia, thank you for your beautiful and comforting comment. I needed it more than you know. Wishing you a wonderful week. xoxo

  2. Katie. I sure wish I could give you a big hug right now! "The thing nobody admits about losing those we love, is that we never really feel our heart make room for them, we just feel the empty space when they leave." - this is SO true. Praying you feel comforted tonight by the Heavenly Father whose love never gives up, on any of his precious babes. XO

    1. Emily, you are the sweetest! Thank you. That's the reminder I constantly need. Thank you for the prayers and love, soul sister. xoxo

  3. Your honesty and vulnerability are incredibly beautiful.

    1. Thank you, Chelsea. Your comments always make me feel empowered to keep sharing my story. Thank you for that, xoxo.

  4. Katie this is so beautiful. Your writing is so truthful and moving. I always find that your turn of phrase is just lovely, even on a topic so difficult and painful. I think it's incredibly brave to share this with the world, and admirable that you can be sorrowful for what you are missing but yet still support your father and love him, without bitterness or anger. I pray that he will find his way to realizing that he needs help - and that he receives it. xo


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