Taking It In For Two

Bailey at commencement

As wonderful as special occasions can be, I still find them hard.

For some reason, I can head to work each day without incident.  When Lisa died, we stopped eating dinner at the table and moved to the bar in the kitchen.  Ironically, I was the one who insisted on the table.  I think I like the Leave It To Beaver image of a man, me, sitting at the head looking out on all that I had – my kingdom – beautiful wife, three charming daughters and a nice backyard with very green grass.  Stools at the bar seemed to solve my emotional food disorder; even sleeping in that bed alone has become comfortable to me.

But toss in a high school graduation, a wedding or a funeral and I resort back.  Not necessarily to her death.  I harken back to what should have been.  She should have helped address the graduation announcement invitations.  She should have OK’d the white dress.  She should have read over DJ’s last speech to the school as Student Body President.  She should have been behind the camera lens, at the Apple Store picking out her college computer; there when grandpa gave her his old MINI Cooper – her character building Subaru in the junk yard.

As my beautiful senior walked down the brick pathway through the Grove at St. Mary’s School, I leaned over to my sister-in-law, “I feel like I need to be watching for both of us; like I need to be Lisa’s eyes too.”

It’s unfair to me to have to carry the emotional insecurity of sending my kid off into this big world alone.  It’s unfair to Lisa not to see her daughter soar.  She’s missing the tough parts and the glorious.

And I get it all.

Leave a comment


  1. ……..

    (when there is nothing to say that can help but you feel like you need to show support you “…….”)

  2. She’s there. She’s always there. Look for her in the small things.

  3. Jen Talkett

     /  May 20, 2015

    Funny, this really struck a chord with me. I watched my middle daughter receive her confirmation on Sunday –so very clearly not the child she was when her father died three years ago.
    I was talking with someone who is four months into this “new” journey, and realized that it’s not about being somone else’s eyes, but more about representing the family we are. I guess that’s the plan….. We should make the most of the life we are given -the people no longer with us should expect nothing less!

    Best to you, and congrats to the graduate!

    Ps -the part about eating at the kitchen island is funny –we subconsciously made the same switch. Wonder why?

    • Danny Tanner

       /  May 21, 2015

      I think the table represents something we just aren’t anymore.

  4. Mom

     /  May 20, 2015

    It was as beautiful weekend but a bittersweet one. I felt through it all ….there is no Lisa. Couldn’t shake it. You just wade through it, don’t you? I never said it because sometimes it makes it worse at the time to verbalize it but it’s the elephant in the room in all important occasions. Lisa would have been absolutely thrilled over she daughter’s accomplishments. The girls seem to do better than the adults. It’s so good to see them doing well. That is the ray of sunshine. Their lives are going on and they are succeeding and becoming beautiful, hard-working, kind, and “good girls”. Good job in a hard situation, Dad.

  5. Evie Lichti

     /  May 20, 2015

    I echo Mom’s last sentence – Good job in a hard situation, Dad!!

    Think about you LOTS! Keep up the good work! Evie

  6. Sad, but true, most people live each day taking for granted what and who we have as part of our life. It takes just one snap of our fingers and it can all be gone. Loosing a person on earth finally reveilles what we did have in our life. The last words or touch we had with the one gone from earth, shows us what we did have. Our emotions and feelings become humble jumbled and we attempt to drown out our feelings & thoughts. Many humans loose a loved one and still have our children or family members who still need us in their life. I saw and learned this after my sister & brother-in-law lost their son when he was only 24 years old. They did NOT attempt to drown out their feelings. They lean on through their friends/family and 100% with God. An inspiration to me how strong (as I see and believe) they are. God is talking to us each day with showing us a miracle. Miracles are not what many think to be the BIG bam or bright light. It is the continuances of the small/big moments in our life. One may feel they are now having to have the demised person to look through your eyes and they are alone. I trust to know, the expired person is right next to you and seeing what you see each day. God is our strength, as it is said “turn it over to God”. Very true and proves, there is no need to worry, God is with us each day and night. Sincerely from a new friend to you.

  7. I think Lisa is there watching, all the time. She hasn’t missed anything, you’re just missing her? If you hold real still and be quiet, maybe you’ll feel her presence? And that will comfort you, knowing, although you can’t see her, that she’s there. Even in the future, she’ll be in that labor room when your first grand child is born, as well. Believe it.

  8. Maureen Carretta

     /  May 20, 2015

    She was with you…and the girls. Always will be.

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. Aunt Susan

     /  May 20, 2015

    Wow, I cannot believe it. But Lisa was there, clapping, cheering and crying. your first one has graduated! WOW

  10. It’s so hard for you… And yes, unfair on everyone. You’re doing a great job x

  11. Congratulations Danny.
    You still have a table for a new kingdom, it just moved. Lisa would be proud of Dj & what you’ve done for her 👍👍

  12. mumof4boys1girl

     /  May 26, 2015

    Well done 🙂

    and Lisa will always be there not in the flesh though in spirit and love

  13. 22 years later my children (now 39 & 43) still have this very same conversation about their dad. My daughter has the conversation now about all he has missed about walking her down the aisle, and about his grandsons. And we know his silly full-cheeked grin is shining and he is crying, and his buttons are popping with pride anyway… somewhere… watching them. Some things never go away. Hugs.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  June 17, 2015

      Wow. 22 years – and I bet there aren’t many days that have gone by when you haven’t thought about him.


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