Tuesday, February 26, 2013


There are moments every day that I miss Steve. I don't usually speak them aloud or post them on social media. They don't consume me or dampen my joy (usually) -- they are just a part of life without him.

Sunday morning was a particularly big moment.

Our church hosted the Rev. Zan Holmes Jr. as guest preacher. There's nothing like a Zan Holmes sermon. During the Sunday school hour, both he and the Rev. Bill McElvaney (another living legend) spoke about taking risks in ministry. They each shared stories from their civil rights work in Dallas in the 1950s and '60s.

Cooper wasn't feeling well that morning. He didn't complain much, though, and he listened attentively to both ministers. (Cooper is a longtime student of the civil rights movement, starting with his interest in Rosa Parks around age 4.)

At the end of the Sunday school presentation, Cooper leaned toward me, whispered, "I'm going to go thank them both," then walked across the sanctuary.

He stood in front of these distinguished men, waiting respectfully to get their attention. When they noticed him, both Zan and Bill stood. Cooper looked Bill in the eyes, shook his hand and thanked him for coming to our church and for his work. He did the same with Zan.

Later that afternoon, after Cooper had rested and before his Boy Scout meeting, I sat with him to tell him how proud I am of his character and gentle spirit.

So much like his Daddy, who I miss so much.

Cooper & Katie, on Steve's bench at church, Feb. 24, 2013

Sunday, February 3, 2013


On Saturday, Uncle Greg escorted Katie to the Daddy Daughter Dance.

(She has specific criteria for her dance "dates" -- they must be related to her and they must be daddies. So Papa and Greg are on her short list.)

She had been looking forward to the event for weeks.

When she went to bed on Thursday night, she said, "I can't wait until Friday, because then I'll be able to say, 'The Daddy Daughter Dance is tomorrow!' "

Early Saturday afternoon, she had her hair styled at the Dry Bar. (She wouldn't allow curls, but the stylist did sneak in an adorable flip at the ends of her shiny, long hair.) As we walked back to the car, she asked how old you have to be to go to the dance.

"The minimum age is 4," I told her, "but you first went when you were 3."


"Well, we weren't sure that Daddy would be alive for the dance when you were 4," I told her, "so we decided to cheat a little."

Katie thought for a moment and then replied, "That was a sad prediction to have to make, but it was a good prediction."

We arrived home just as Greg was arriving from Anna.

I acted as chauffeur. First stop: A pre-party at a friend's house.

Next stop: The Frisco Convention Center. I dropped Greg and Katie off near the entrance and cried a little as I watched them walk hand-in-hand into the dance.

Greg texted me photos throughout the dance -- every one with a beaming Katie.

Ninety minutes later, I returned to pick them up. Katie was sobbing.

"I miss Daddy," she cried as Greg helped her into the minivan.

I fought back tears as I told her that I miss Daddy, too, and that Uncle Greg misses Daddy.

By the time we arrived home, she had mostly recovered. I learned about some of the songs and the snacks. She thanked Uncle Greg for taking her and thanked me for always letting her attend.

I am so thankful for the incredible men in our lives -- excellent role models and gentle souls. I know that we are blessed to have so many people care for us.

But sometimes, I feel just like Katie, wanting to cry to when it's impossible to think of anything else except Steve is missing.