Fatherless on Father’s Day

In Memory of Capt. Arthur Galvan, who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom in Desert Storm on January 31, 1991.


How is it possible to grieve the loss of someone I’ve never met?

I’ve asked myself this question many times over the last almost 16 years of marriage to Jason, my husband. Our wedding day. The birth of daughters. Every significant accomplishment & milestone in our lives has passed without Jason’s Dad here to share it with. I take for granted my own relationship with my Dad because I don’t know the loss Jason suffered as a young boy who lost his Dad. I’ve not yet had to bury a parent. I haven’t walked that road but I watch the pain in my husband’s eyes every time he feels the weight of being fatherless.

Every January 31st when he marks another year without his Dad. Each November 8th comes around to see another birthday that won’t be celebrated. I watch the tears stream down his face as he remembers his Dad on Memorial Day. And today…fatherless on Father’s Day. I grieve for that empty place in his heart.

Jason is a man of integrity, determination, perseverance, loyalty & hard work but his Dad isn’t here to see it or to tell him how proud he is of the man he has become. I grieve for the missing pieces he longs for from his Dad. We’re raising girls who only know their Grandpa Galvan in name, in stories & in pictures. I grieve for that loss.

Our lives have been blessed with many people who surround Jason with love & laughter & memories but no one can replace a Dad. Our girls have amazing relationships with the Grandpas they have in their lives but we grieve for what is missing. We know we are not the only ones facing this type of situation but the hurt feels painful just the same.

We look forward to the day where every tear will be wiped away. No more death. No more grieving. No more loss. But until that day comes we embrace the ones we have, remember the ones we’ve lost & hold tight to the memories every step of the way.

Capt. Arthur Galvan, Air Force 11/8/57 – 1/31/91

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Father’s Day Reflections

Thinking about my Dad. Grateful for who he is and how my life has been blessed by him.

What is it about Dads & daughters that always gets me? Is it because my own relationship with my Dad hasn’t always been good that I have such a tender place in my heart on the subject? Or maybe because it’s a picture of my relationship with God as my Father?

My heart melts as I look back at pictures of my husband with our daughters as babies. As I watch him interacting with them in these growing up years I am thankful for a man who is loyal, faithful and strong. I pray these girls are growing up knowing how dearly loved they are by their Dad.

As parents we can reflect back on our childhood knowing how hard this job of raising kids is. Our parents weren’t perfect and neither are we. There is so much grace to be found & embraced in that realization.

There are so many things I can already say I wish I had done differently as a parent. I know my parents would say the same but there are many parts of my childhood that I see places to be thankful. Especially where my Dad is concerned.

My Dad has always been a memory-maker. Family vacations were important to him. He & my Mom took us places & gave us experiences that a lot of kids didn’t get to do growing up. I know that took sacrifice & I didn’t show very much gratitude at the time but I see it now. Thank you, Dad for the memories.

My Dad is a hard worker, even working two jobs at one point to make ends meet. As a kid you don’t know how hard it is to get up every day & go to a job, much less two! Thank you, Dad for being the kind of man who always did what needed doing to get the job done.

My Dad knows how to say “I’m sorry”. I’ve watched my Dad over the years own his stuff & let us know when he was wrong. Even as recently as a few months ago, to hear him say he was sorry for all the ways he wasn’t what we needed him to be as kids–there is healing in those words. Thank you, Dad for being courageous enough to own the hard things.

My Dad is an overcomer. I couldn’t appreciate as a kid the demons my Dad has wrestled with through out his life. My own journey of wandering so far from God & experiencing the power of His redemption in my life gave me a connection to my Dad that has always been special to me. Even though I haven’t been through all that he has gone through, I respect how hard he has fought to overcome addiction & choose to keep God at the center of his life every day. Thank you, Dad for fighting the good fight & letting God use your story.

My Dad has always been a crier. I cry so easily at any situation, happy or sad. I must get that from Dad. Any time my Dad prays for us, whether it was just the five of us years ago or the group we’ve grown into recently, the depth of emotion that fills his voice makes me cry time every time. I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it. I’m remembering phone conversations where we both ended up bawling our eyes out talking about the past. Or even all of the many tear-soaked airport goodbyes over the 10 years we lived away and the happy tears of joy when we finally came home again. Thank you, Dad for always being tender hearted & never being afraid to show your true emotions.

More & more I am seeing that I am who I am not just because of the choices I have made but also from the choices of all those who have come before me. Some good & some not so good.

Today I choose to focus on the good. I choose to be grateful for all the ways we’ve overcome what lies behind and look forward to all the blessings to come. I choose to say thank You to God for giving me a Dad who isn’t perfect but has impacted my life in so many ways by choosing to do the hard things, being courageous & allowing God to keep working in him.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you!

If you found this post encouraging, please feel free to share and I would love to hear what you think! You can also read all of my other posts by clicking here.