Tuesday, March 1, 2016

And We're Off...

Thank you to Stacey, Betsy, Dana, Tara, Beth, Anna, Kathleen & Deb for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it. Join us at Two Writing Teachers.
I like that this challenge starts on March 1st. This is a special day for me. It's the day I lost my dad.
It's been nine years. I miss him so much! There is at least one moment in every day that I remember him and think about him. Nine years ago, this day was about sadness and loss. I ached because I would never get to talk to my dad again! Nine years later this day is about celebrating our memories and telling dad stories.
My dad's name was Charles Towne Haseltine, but everyone called him Chris...except me, I called him Dad!


Dad grew up in Springfield, Vermont with an older brother and three younger sisters. He worked in insurance, but he always wanted to be a teacher. I think he liked that I was a teacher. Dad and I shared a love for cucumbers, movies, music, and Dairy Queen ice cream. We loved to have fun and laugh. We could spend hours together just talking about nothing.
He was the dad chasing us with the super soaker when my friends came over. He treated my friends when we went out and when they tried to give him money, his answer was always the same. “Someday, do this for someone else.” I try and live by those words. Dad was the epitome of paying it forward. His personality filled the room, but never at the expense of others.

Dad believed in me. He loved me. He told me every time I spoke with him. He showed me by his words, but more importantly through his actions.



Today we begin a month long challenge of writing everyday. Dad believed in facing challenges head on and running towards them. He believed in teamwork and in always showing up and doing your best. I’m here. I showed up. The challenge has begun.

And we’re off…
See you at the finish line, Dad!

20 comments:

  1. Oh, Michelle! Such beautiful pictures of you and your dad, surely a beautiful man. My favorite line was how he filled up the room- but not at the expense of someone else. That is so key. You are such a generous, caring and encouraging person and I'm sure his influence has helped build the person you are today and the inspiration you are for us and your students. I know what you mean about thinking of him everyday. It's only been 2 months for me since I lost my Grandma, who was a treasure and lasting influence in my life, but I do think of her every single day and miss her each day too. Cheers to your dad and those loving people in our lives who leave their heart print with us forever.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a lovely and powerful way to start the writing month ...
    Kevin

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here's to Dad! He looks and sounds like just the person I'd want to start March off with as well. Thank you for sharing him and for digging out those wonderful photos.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love this -- I too will be thinking of my mom and day. These lines: "I ached because I would never get to talk to my dad again! Nine years later this day is about celebrating our memories and telling dad stories." speak to me. I want to celebrate and tell her story - our stories. Thank you for the inspiration and connection today. See you soon!
    Clare

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wasn't expecting to be brought to tears so early this morning, or on the first day of the challenge, but your piece did that for me.
    Thanks, Michelle.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a way to start the challenge! I am tearing up. Your dad looks like the kind of person we should all want to be. You look radiant in his arms. I'm sorry for your loss, but happy you have found a way to honor him by being the best you can be.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Those pictures are so heartwarming. Your words are a beautiful tribute to him. It's wonderful that you can celebrate him on the first day of this challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Michelle,
    I was thinking about the SOL challenge on my way to work today. I was mentally writing blogs posts, so much easier than actually writing them :-) This is such a special post. As I look at the pictures I realize how much you look like your Dad. I love the idea of paying it forward. It's not so much about what others have done for you, but about what you can do for others. Thanks so much for sharing. Michele

    ReplyDelete
  9. What beautiful pictures and words. You honor your dad everyday my friend. You rise everyday to greet challenges like your dad. You pay it forward. Your dad did one of his best pay it forward moves raising you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I found inspiration and encouragement in your loving tribute to your dad. I loved how you linked his life beliefs to the challenge ahead. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. What beautiful and loving inspiration you have for the month, Michelle. I love hearing about your dad, and seeing the special pictures. He sounds like a wonderful person, and you are fortunate to have had him as your dad.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you for sharing this remembrance with us today, Michelle - a special man, father, and role model indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Such a beautiful reflection of your dad, Michelle. I love your pictures. I definitely see the resemblance!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, Michelle, I love all your pics, but especially the next to last one! And this sentence: "We could spend hours together, talking about nothing." I like to think that he's hovering just above your shoulder watching you write your lovely words of tribute.

    ReplyDelete
  15. All of these beautiful photos and snippets about who your father was as a person and a dad brought tears to my eyes. This was such a moving tribute, Michelle. I am certain he is looking down on you and is so proud of all you have accomplished as a teacher, friend, writer, and person since he has passed.

    BTW: I may have to do this on 3/16 and 3/24 for my grandfather and grandmother respectively.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am quite sure your dad is looking down and smiling! And what an honor to start the challenge each year thinking about him. I can tell by his pictures that if he was a writer, he would use lots of !!!!!!!!'s too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh Michelle, What a wonderful slice. I love the pictures and how you begin with the heaviness of the day but turn that to the positive feeling of a day to share Dad stories--- such hope and promise in that thinking. Love to you!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Aw, Michelle! I'm thinking of you today. Your dad, like mine, was very special. We were "the girls." I'm so glad you're back and Slicing in March! This is my 3rd year -- I cannot believe it! You were one of my mentors that first year, and you continue to inspire my with your words! Have a great month!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh Michelle, there are so many lines I could love in this...but he loved your through your actions is the one I will hold in my hear...it is not what we say...but what we do....that is why I write through tears and stress :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Michelle, your reflection touched my heart, and caused it to pinch a bit at the words, "...I would never get to talk to my dad again!" That realization was so painful, and I am glad that, like you, I am mostly able to focus on the celebration of my father's life, rather than the loss. Thank you for sharing this tribute to your father.

    ReplyDelete

Please share your thoughts. I love comments!