Fly Over Salute 

I have been wanting to blog about this for a couple of weeks, but I have been busy trying to get the new book ready for print.  I decided I was going to take the night off so I could write about my experience a few weeks back.  It was on a Friday after work when I pulled into the driveway.  It was a beautiful warm sunny day and I was planning on taking my dog for a walk.  I got Buddy all leashed up and ready to go and we proceeded to walk around the block which takes about 20-30 minutes depending how fast he wants to go or how many times he stops along the way to take in the new smells.

When we finally arrived back home I noticed there was a package at my front door.  It had probably been there all afternoon but I didn’t notice it when I arrived home that evening because I usually arrive and leave the house through my garage.  I walk up to the package and my heart kind of stopped for a moment.   I was expecting this package but not for another week, so it took me by surprise.  I felt like a little kid at opening a gift as I tore into the package.  When I opened it up I just stood there holding it in my hands.  The last two years of my life and a lot of my finances was invested in what I held in my hand; it was the final proof for my Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back book.  Finally, after all of this time I held it in my hands.  I had this overwhelming since of pride and accomplishment feeling inside.  I have held the manuscript in my hands and have seen the cover design, but never together and never in a tangible hard copy.

I told my wife to grab a couple of cocktails and meet me on the patio so we can celebrate this major milestone.  We were sitting outside on this beautiful evening and I was overwhelmed with excitement regarding all of the work I have done and here I was holding all of it in my hands, very close to being ready to send out to all of the people that need it most.  We were sitting there when I happen to look up and saw a Blue Heron fly over our house.  He was flying so low I could hear his wings.  A couple of minutes later another one flew over in the same direction and about the same height.

Watching these two large birds fly over made me smile.  The reason they made me smile is the fact that the summer (2006) after I lost Noah, I saw these large birds everywhere I went, I even watched them land on top of a very large willow tree, which is rare to see them land in a tree 70’ in the air.  I also associate Willow trees with Katie because they were the only tree that still had bright yellow leaves on them the day that Katie died (2004).  I remember sitting in the car on the way home looking out the window watching these trees blow in the wind as if they were saying goodbye.   Because of that experience and seeing these birds shortly after we lost Noah, I also associate Blue Herons with both Katie and Noah.

To me, having these two birds fly over within minutes and on the same night I received a hard copy of this book, it meant that they were telling me nice job daddy, nice job.

I am very proud of what I have created and I can only hope that it will help many grieving dads out there realize they are not alone and that others, many others, are on the same path and often think and feel the same way.

Thank you to all of you that have been with me along this journey.


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User Comments ( 5 )

  • Pat


    This song/lyric came to mind when I read your post.

    “Swans Against The Sun” by John Denver

    Wild grace
    Has its own place
    Has its own face
    Prone to flight

    Sky grown
    Wind blown wing flown
    Over air blown
    Back to night

    Freely clashing
    Love of chaos
    Love of one

    Bright storms
    Rising free forms
    Wild swans
    Against the sun

    None go near it
    All men fear it
    In the night

    Some say
    Love goes one way
    And then one day
    No more flight

    This year
    It is not clear
    Just what ends here
    Or what’s begun

    We are bright storms
    Rising free forms
    We’re wild swans
    Against the sun

  • Tim Hayes

    Congratulations, Kelly! There are few things as exciting as holding the final product from so much effort in one’s hands. I have found it is also humbling to realize how others will be blessed by something of mine – long after I am gone. You already bless so many, and I anticipate your book will open doors that you could never have imagined.

    Your mention of the walk with Buddy reminded me that I have been meaning to tell you something. If you will recall, I shared a story about losing my dog Maggie after only a week and realizing that no loss can ever compare to losing my son. You encouraged me to stay open to getting another dog. I have been open, but with work and school, I felt I should probably wait awhile. Well, I guess God decided that it was time, because several weeks ago, a lost 11- to 12-week old lab puppy showed up on our doorstep. Instantly, I knew he was mine. The name Michael stuck to him because he reminded me of Ferdinand the Bull (shades of Michael Oher in the Blindside). It has been a wonderful blessing (and challenge) to have a loving puppy in my house, but there have been many little things that (like the blue herons for you) remind me of my son. The most amazing is the fact I learned from my daughter-in-law that my son always wanted a lab – something I never knew. In little ways, I feel that I am finding my way, and I could not have understood how a puppy would melt my heart. Thanks for your encouragement.

    Again, congratulations!

    • Grieving Dads


      Thanks for the posting. Great story about your new puppy. There is a sense of thearpy (and frustration) that comes along with them. I was never a dog person before, but man he helped me through some really dark days. I love the little guy. He is stuburned and spoiled, but thats my fault. Theya re great listeners, in fact one of the interviewed for the book spends a lot of time with his dogs and horses. He find peace when he is with them. His story is in my new book, I think you’ll like it.

      Have a great weekend.



  • Royce D.

    Your story made me smile. It made me realize I have to keep my eyes open for even the smallest signs that my son, Levi, is telling me he is ok. Since I lost him in November I have been eagerly awaiting that sign, and hopefully the peace it will bring. Congratulations on the final proof of your book. I can not wait to receive my copy!

    • Grieving Dads


      I am glad it made you smile, I know early one that those moments are rare. The signs are there and taking the time to not only look for them, but to also make the connections. Sometimes they are subtle and other times they are very obvious. I’ll take them all. They will come and peace will return, but it really takes time. And even once you experience peace again, it will leave from time to time. Once you get the sweet taste of peace back, you never want to let it go. There are times in the middle of it all that you think you will never feel it again and when you do its awesome.

      Wishing you peace.