Today is August 2. I know because the milk cartons have been telling me it would come. Today normally passes with a slight heaviness in memory of the loss of my family. My stepfather, mother, and my two sisters were killed in an airplane accident 32 years ago. Most of my friends and family are aware of this and those who have known us as a whole and who have been praying for me all along pass the day in quiet remembrance and acknowledgment of our collective loss.

Family is important. Everyone knows that. I had a hard time finding the comfort of family after the loss of mine. I lived with my grandparents and they too were lost to me in 1993. I attempted to fill the void with a marriage that ended in disaster. They were not a good surrogate, few in-laws are, in the best of circumstances. I had a child. In wanting the best for him, I reached out to my 'biological' father.

I knew that if my son was to have any family, I would have to cultivate it there. I did not know my father. My parents did not speak well of him. I felt like I was betraying my parents and sisters when I reached out to him. I was willing to put up with this 'biological father' for the love of my only son and his need to have a family.

The day I met my father, my REAL father, I also met my little sister and brother. I will never forget that day because I felt like I had been punched when I saw them. My new little sister, who was about eight at the time, looked just like the sister I had lost. I was so discombobulated and confused that it wasn't until much later that I could think. Of course she looked like Kelly! We all have the same father. Thirty years later, I call my dad, Dad.

We moved to Paradise, California in July 2018 to be near family. Just three months later, on November 8th, I did not hesitate to go visit my dad in Reno. I only did it to escape the air. There was no evacuation and we thought our area of Paradise was safe . . .

Thank you dad. You brought me life and you saved my life. I love you.

#Family #ButteStrong

He knew I would be on the train, so he pursued me with flowers.