If ever that damn poem “Footprints” was true, it was the day of my wedding when my feeble, skeleton of a once giant of a dad and I walked down the aisle on my wedding day.

It was March 31st, 2001, two months since his terminal cancer diagnosis and two months from the day of his death. He had told the doctors to keep him alive long enough for him to make it to the wedding day. He was hell bent on walking me down the aisle. So, his oncologist concocted the perfect amount of chemo and blood transfusions and sure enough, he walked me down that aisle.

However, whenever I tell the story of that day, I always say, through tears, that we didn’t walk down the aisle, but rather, we were carried.

With three hundred teary on-lookers, a bellowing organ, and the world’s longest aisle ahead of us, my dad with his cane and me with my nervous knees, floated from the back of the church to where Steve was waiting for us. There’s no other explanation for how we made it to the end without falling all over ourselves. We were carried by God in that memorable, emotional, bittersweet moment.

Now, nearly twelve years removed from those emotional days of marriage and death in 2001, I can honestly say that the grief has gotten easier.

Yesterday I actually made it through an entire news segment dedicated to the subject of my book, my dad, and grief during the holidays without crying. Possibly because I’m on a small dose of anti-anxiety meds that curbs my sentimentality a bit, or maybe because I was so nervous I was able to tune out the meaning behind the words I was saying. Or maybe it was because I’ve reached a place in my healing that has allowed me to talk about his death without coming completely undone. More thank likely it’s a combination of all three. Either way, it’s good news for any of you reading this this today whose grief is still ripe and fresh, and who might be coming undone right now as you’re reading. It’s good news because I am living proof that it gets better, and that light will shine for you one day, and the tears won’t burn a hole in your sweater when they stream down your face, and the hole in your heart will not weigh you down to your knees.

On this day, please know you are loved and you’re not alone, and it does get better. Consider this your virtual #hugsfortheholidays.

If you are grieving and would like to be a part of #hugsfortheholidays, there are link-ups on the sites below, where you can comment and/or link up according to the type of loss with which you are dealing.

You can link up anything you would like to share about your lost love one: a link to a Facebook photo/post, a blog post about a particular memory, a Pinterest pin sharing how you cope, whatever you would like others to read or see. The link ups will be displayed as follows:

If you have had a miscarriage, stillbirth or loss of an infant link here: fourplusanangel.com

If you have lost your mom link here: sandiegomomma.com

Your dad link – LINK BELOW!

Your sibling link here: myinnerchick.com

A child link here: aninchofgray.blogspot.com

A friend here: kimtracyprince.com

A spouse here: gfunkified.com

We have also created a Pinterest board called Hugs for the Holidays and will be pinning many of your posts there as well, if you would like to follow it.



  1. 1
    Marcy says:

    I am so glad for you and your dad that he was able to walk you down the aisle. How bittersweet. Thank you for hosting. Hugs.

  2. 2

    […] Your dad link here: mamamaryshow.com […]

  3. 3
    Theresa says:

    Beautiful Mary!!!

  4. 4
    laura says:

    Such a beautiful post Mary :)

  5. 5
    Chandra says:

    I knew I shouldn’t have opened this before heading into the Post Office! Having been there that day – knowing how special that was and I feel privileged to be able to call you a friend since that day and not just hubby’s friends wife :) As I approach the third Christmas without my dad – it is getting easier. It still sucks but I don’t feel so apathetic this year about his favorite holiday. I’ve realized the best way to honor his memory is to enjoy it! And now the tears have stopped and I can face the long line at the USPS.

  6. 6

    —Beautiful, Precious Photo.

    Sending hugs from Minnesota. Love. Xxoo

  7. 7

    You were blessed on your wedding day and every day you had your dad. You are blessed now to remember it all in such beautiful detail.


  8. 8
    Kathleen says:

    I love the picture of you and your father and that he was able to walk you down the aisle. What a beautiful story!

  9. 9
  10. 10

    […] find here becasue Death, it’s not so savvy or sassy.  But I heard about Mary from the Mama Mary Show and the Dead Das Club putting on “Hugs for the Holidays” for those grieving lost ones […]

  11. 11

    Thanks for doing this Mary. I usually don;t write about my grief so this was a nice way to ashare it this Holiday season. My Dad LOVED Christmas, it’s a rough time of year but I hope you have a nice holiday and a happy new year!

  12. 12

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