In memory of my Dad

This is a post that I never imagined posting.

After my 37-year-old sister, Danielle, passed away in November, I looked forward to 2012 being a year without losing someone I love. I figured that after losing her, there was no chance that I would lose someone else dear to me…what would be the odds of that? I was sure it wouldn’t happen.

But it did.

On Monday, January 23, my Dad died.

My father bought two breakfast burritos at McDonald’s, drove to a commuter parking lot to wait for his bus to take him into Washington DC, turned on his car radio, and passed away peacefully.

The days that have followed have been some of the worst I have ever known.

I miss him terribly and just wish I could talk to him one more time. I want to hear him call me Wannie Burger again. I want to hug him. I want him to ask me a million questions about Las Vegas, the place he was retiring to in the fall of this year. I want to hear one more time that “I love you too, Sweetie”, when he gets off the phone.

I never got to make him something with the KitchenAid mixer he bought me just 6 weeks before he died. Buying that mixer was so unusual for him, but he said that you don’t know what tomorrow holds so he decided to not wait for his retirement, but decided to buy it for me now. I didn’t know when I opened it that he would be gone just 1 1/2 months later. I planned to make all sorts of things for him with that mixer and now I can’t.

He was an amazing dad to 6 children and grandfather to 15.  He was just 64 years old. He loved guns, coins, stamps, history, Las Vegas, food, clocks, barbecuing on his charcoal grill, beer (especially when bbq’ing and having Mexican food), Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies, fried shrimp (especially at buffets), movies (especially drive-in movies), baseball (Los Angeles Dodgers, but also the Washington Nationals) music (favorites included The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and more), The Twilight Zone…and most of all…his kids and grandkids. He loved us all.

He worked at the  United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He’s been there for many years. The people there were his second family. They flew the flag at half-mast on January 25 for him and his life was celebrated with a beautiful memorial on February 9th.  He was so loved by his friends and co-workers. My family and I are so thankful for all of them.

We lost an amazing man on January 23. Someone who can’t be replaced. My world won’t be the same without him. None of us will be the same. I know there will be a new kind of “normal” in my life someday, but I know it will be a slow process and I’m learning to not rush it.

I love you, Daddy…I miss you. I will do my best to make you proud.

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  1. says

    Beautifully written. I, too, share your sorrow. I was looking forward one day soon to meeting the father of someone so amazing. Instead, we walk that path of being without our dads, together. My heart goes out to you.

  2. says

    Brandie, You don’t know me, but I just want to say that I am so sorry for your loss. I came across your blog on It sounds like your dad was a very special person. Your blog post is well written and it truly comes from the heart. I know that every time you use your mixer, you will have a special memory of your dad. Hugs from another food blogger.

  3. bobbie says

    beautiful memorial. you can feel your love in all that you wrote. my dh cousin is a curator at the museum i bet he knew your dad..funny what a small “internet” world we live in

  4. Gayle says

    Brandie, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Losing our dads is one of the hardest things we face, I think. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. Suneeta says

    What a beautiful tribute to your father. He was indeed a special man and I will always cherish his friendship. I am lucky to have known him and you are lucky that he was your dad. May you and your family have strength during this difficult time.

  6. says

    Oh. BOy. Is my recipe competing against yours? All I can say is that it’s a good thing mine has going for it that it feeds a crowd because yours looks so incredibly divine. Seriously looks amazing. WAY TO GO. Any chance you have any left overs for me?

  7. says

    Oh, I’m so sorry to have posted my comment on the wrong post. Beautiful tribute to your father. I certainly didn’t mean to post this comment in the wrong area!

  8. Anne says

    A beautiful way to honor your Dad, Brandie. Losiinghim so suddenly and so soon after your sister must be so hard. I try to clelebrate the time I had with my father and remember the good times. some days it’s easier than others!

  9. says

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today and leaving your link…So glad for the kind words and support. Sad that we have such loss in common. Good to know that we both had amazing, loving Daddys though. I am so sorry for your loss. :) Hugs!


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