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Dear Dad,
It's been a year since you passed away and I wanted to write you this letter because I know you'll be able to see it somehow. Wow, a year, where do I begin? Let me start with what I've learned. Since your death I've learned more about love, patience, hope, faith, and the fact that there is a greater purpose to life here in earth. This year has been full of excitement, disappointments, laughter, tears, heartache, and joy.

The boys are doing so well, and they ask about you all the time. They like to tell me how you are in heaven and how you they know that you love them. Hudson likes it when I remind him that he has his Grandpa Brady's blue eyes, Sloan likes it when I tell him how you stole his heart with a simple rhyme that made him giggle. I think of you often, how I wish I could just pick up the phone and call you, hear your voice, wish you a happy Father's Day, or tell you that I love you. You're gone, but somehow I feel your presence in my life daily.

I've had these four black and white photos of you on my monitor desktop for the past year and it has been a wonder how these four expressions of yours have uplifted me, especially during times of mourning, or just plain missing your smile. I look at these four photos and I could almost hear your voice speaking to me. I know you are happy, I know you want me to be happy, and I know you faced difficulty far beyond my comprehension and conquered...because of you I feel like I can face anything and succeed! Thank you for teaching me so much before you left.

I had a dream about you a few weeks after your passing and it felt so real, I think about it often. You were standing next to me in a huge room that was as white as could be. You were dressed in white. I looked to my right and saw the casket you were buried in then I looked at you standing next to me to the left, I was confused. Then I heard you say to me "I'm right here, I'm right here". You were smiling and you kept repeating those words. I suddenly felt a complete sense of comfort and confirmation you were happy, you were well and I needed to know that in my heart. Your spirit still lives, it wasn't buried away. You then took your strong arms and put them around me and hugged me, it was so real. I could smell you and I could feel you, I needed that familiar hug so bad. You held me so tight and then I woke up happy and at peace.

Dad, I've felt your presence over the past year and I've seen your influence in my life. I could feel your strength, especially during my own times of trial and difficulty. I've also felt you rejoicing with me when my heart is full of gratitude toward God as I watch my wonderful family grow and learn. I still dance with the boys in the kitchen and I think of you, I still watch the father/daughter dances at the weddings I work and I think of you, I still check on my kids at least three times a night and I think of you, and I still sing songs to my kids to make them smileand I think of you. You said you'd be around one way or another, you've kept your promise and I love you for it! This is one year closer to seeing you, may God be with you until we meet again!

Love,
Your Amelia
50 Comments
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Phyllis Cheung said:
I'm so sorry about you losing your Father. The first year was after my Grandmother passed away was the hardest. But it does get easier with time, knowing that they are watching over us, and that their spirit definitely lives on. {BIG HUGS} to you, SuperMom.
(07.19.10 01:05 AM)
Lotje said:
That's so pretty Amelia, this post brought tears to my eyes.
(07.19.10 01:07 AM)
kristi said:
Thank you for sharing this letter between you two. It's amazing how something so sad can eventually be life changing and turn into something so positive for all. I hope you continue to find comfort this year and the many more to come. (hugs & blessings!) ~k
(07.19.10 01:55 AM)
Ashley said:
This post made me cry. This is a beautiful, beautiful post. Your father looks&sounds like he was such a strong, amazing man with the best sense of humor in the world, and I don't doubt a second what a joy he must have been.
(07.19.10 02:23 AM)
ohana photographers said:
beautifully written amelia. we're going through tough times with kim's dad. he was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. we pray that the good Lord doesn't take him from us, but we know it's coming :( hopefully, we'll be as strong as you are when the time comes. we wish you and the boys much love & blessings.
(07.19.10 02:32 AM)
kristen said:
Amelia, this is beautiful! You put tears in my eyes at 7am. I lost my dad a few years ago, and I feel him with me all the time too. Blessings to you!
(07.19.10 04:54 AM)
Lisa said:
It was pure chance I stumbled upon your blog today and read this beautiful letter. I lost my brother to cancer a little over 2 weeks ago and this letter warms my heart and makes me realise life goes on. I too still feel Steve all around me each day.
(07.19.10 05:23 AM)
Ryan Ray said:
So encouraging to read. God's best blessings to you.
(07.19.10 06:36 AM)
Lara said:
This is so beautiful, Amelia. Thinking of you.
(07.19.10 06:48 AM)
Jasmine* said:
I love you Amelia...and this was just so dang beautiful.
(07.19.10 07:49 AM)
Jennifer said:
This is beautiful, Amelia! You really bring it home... as I sit here and tear up...
(07.19.10 08:17 AM)
jen said:
thanks for this post amelia! i think about u and ur dad often.. you are a big inspiration to me!
(07.19.10 08:27 AM)
Jalyn Guidangen Barnard said:
Amelia- that was just so amazing. It reminds Matt and I to treasure each day and to be grateful for the all the moments we do have -especially with our families. You have such a beautiful heart :)
(07.19.10 08:28 AM)
tonya joy said:
beautiful amelia...
(07.19.10 08:42 AM)
anjuli paschall said:
my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today. thanks for sharing your heart with the world. it is a good heart.
(07.19.10 09:16 AM)
Mary Marantz said:
Amelia, this was absolutely amazing. You have no idea how much I needed to read this. M
(07.19.10 10:13 AM)
Mel said:
Thanks for sharing...my relationship with my Dad is broken right now and yet your words encourage me to look at it things perhaps differently.
(07.19.10 10:34 AM)
brooke schwab said:
tears... i love how we can still connect with the ones that have passed on.
(07.19.10 10:38 AM)
Eiman said:
This is a beautiful post and brings tears to my eyes.
(07.19.10 12:00 PM)
Ashley said:
I don't know what to say except that this is beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm thinking about you guys today!
(07.19.10 01:20 PM)
nat norton said:
I love you Amelia. . .
(07.19.10 01:25 PM)
Anda said:
instant tears. so beautiful, amelia. so so beautiful.
(07.19.10 05:24 PM)
amber said:
wow! I totally felt it and now I am bawling. Thank you for helping me get out of my funk today and put life into perspective. I love you!
(07.19.10 05:31 PM)
Billy Hyer said:
This story of your dad really touched my wife and I's hearts! We both still have our parents with us, but reading this reminds us of not only how wonderful life is, but of the peace and reassurance we have in our savior when He calls us to our real home! Thanks for sharing, thoughts and prayers are with you!
(07.19.10 05:54 PM)
Jonelle said:
This was so beautiful and touching to read. Thank you for sharing it.
(07.19.10 10:05 PM)
Lauren said:
This is beyond beautiful + the photos of your Dad are priceless.
(07.20.10 09:04 AM)
joel serrto said:
your father's passing not only taught you things, i believe it taught a lot of us who follow you something as well. I live my life to the fullest every day, whenever I think of my family i call or text them even if its just to say i love you. Thank you for sharing this with us and reminding us that life is too short, to never take family for granted, and never forget someone.
(07.20.10 09:24 AM)
MOM said:
WOW - You are my amazing daughter - Heavenly Father sent you to your Dad and I - we are so very thankful! THANK YOU For sharing you thoughts with all of us - I am humbled to have to you as my sincere and thoughtful child. I am so blessed to be your mother and I am also blessed to have had you with your Father! THANK YOU AGAIN FOR BEING YOU!
(07.20.10 09:35 AM)
Rog said:
Holy Crap.
(07.20.10 09:43 AM)
Laurie said:
Beautiful Amelia, this brought tears to my eyes.
(07.20.10 10:04 AM)
KELLI TRONTELL said:
Thank you for allowing us to peak into a very REAL part of your life. There is POWER and HOPE in our stories....and they are meant to be told. Thank you for being so honest. This has given me hope as I have just passed the one month mark with my dad.....I can only imagine the revelation that I will have in ONE YEAR. I saw you at the ESCALATE conference and wanted to say HELLO....the next time Im in CA...I'd love to meet you. You and your family are such an inspiration....I adore you all to pieces. Love & Hugs, KELLI
(07.20.10 01:31 PM)
Dina said:
Hi Amelia - how beautiful and moving. what a nice reminder to all of us, especially those who have lost parents. your words are powerful. thank you.
(07.20.10 02:51 PM)
Jacki said:
Missing my dad this week...this is beautiful. So glad I stumbled on THIS post.
(07.20.10 03:51 PM)
heather saunders said:
was thinking today about you and how the Lyon Shop was this time last year, and how much fun we all had, then I checked in and read this. beautiful, well said and heart warming. continue blessings to you and your family. sniff sniff xo
(07.20.10 07:46 PM)
mary said:
Hi Amelia, I wrote in your blog a year ago when your father passed away and have been coming back to your blog regulary to admire your beautiful photography work. Your boys are so cute and you are so talented with such a big heart. Your written word is just as beautiful as the pictures you make. I know your dad has read your letter and he is with you. I experienced the same thing when I lost my mother about 8 years ago. And to this day, I still think of her and miss her. You will always have your dad in your heart, just like I keep my mom in my heart. Thanks for sharing your letter, it is so touching.
(07.21.10 12:33 PM)
erin said:
Thinking of you today... your letter made me cry and feel gratitude. Thanks for sharing.
(07.21.10 02:54 PM)
tangie said:
beautiful letter... my mom was "made perfect" (how I like to say it...) a little over a year ago... I have had many vivid dreams about her, and some of them are so real I wake up feeling like I just spent time hanging out with her, even though I know she wouldn't come back here even if she could :-)... I like this quote -- its from Calvin & Hobbes :-) -- "I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each other's dreams, we can be together all the time."
(07.21.10 03:21 PM)
Thao Trinh said:
This letter makes me tear up so much. Beautifully written. It's been 2yrs since my own father's unexpected passing so it hits so close to home. I'm so sorry for your loss, but happy that you are able to find some peace. There's only one thing I look forward to after this lifetime and that's to reunite with my loved ones. Thank you for your inspiration!
(07.22.10 02:06 AM)
Stephanie Joy said:
Amelia, I am so moved by your words. I am sitting here weeping, thinking of how valuable your relationship with your dad is. He was an incredible man. He was strong and loving beyond measure- especially during his last struggles. I have been amazed at watching the Brady family grow so strong after this and cant help but think that the Lord cares and loves each of you so deeply. Thank you for sharing this letter with everyone on here- i know it came from your heart and how personal it was. You articulate your emotions beautifully. I love you and i miss you. Love your cousin Stephanie Joy :)
(07.22.10 04:52 PM)
delbarr said:
I read this a few days after you posted it...but im sitting here now a few days later, at 12:15am holding back tears at how touching and simply beautiful this was. Thank you for sharing this. And thank you for being open in your love and sharing with us such a sweet and genuine love for your dad. Makes me want to cherish every moment i have on earth with my dad, sometimes we take it for granted. thanks Amelia, you're amazing.
(07.23.10 12:18 AM)
Shelley Freckleton said:
Amelia, what a beautiful letter! How sweet that you talk often to the boys about their Grandpa! Stay strong and happy--we love all!
(07.23.10 07:45 AM)
Alejandra Rosales said:
Ameila your letter is very touching and a reminder that we must enjoy every moment with our loved ones. BTW, just want to update you on Doug Rosales, he is still fighting ALS, he is doing good, he is stabilized and enjoying time with his loved ones. My best to you.
(07.23.10 10:07 AM)
Alicia said:
Amelia Your letter brought tears to my eyes and just made me like you more. Your talent and love for others is a huge example and even thou we don't know each other well I do know there should be more people like you in this world because love would have a way different meaning and you are a wonderful example.
(07.25.10 12:07 AM)
brooke bowland said:
simply beautiful. he is smiling down on you i just know it.
(07.26.10 08:26 PM)
Supermar said:
You got me again! *tear* So beautiful.
(07.28.10 12:47 AM)
jen berry said:
your photography inspiring, your words touching, your faith unwavering. all things that are evident through your memories of your father. your relationship with him is beautiful and i can clearly see the phrase "like father/like daughter".
(07.29.10 08:55 AM)
nikola bodova said:
love your words amelie .... your dad loves them too.... nikola ***
(07.31.10 02:38 PM)
Wedding Napkin said:
Thanks for sharing this beautiful letter. It's very encouraging and full of love. I know God takes care of your father.
(12.01.10 05:45 PM)
Gabriella said:
This has touched my heart so incredibly much. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and intimate letter.
(02.19.11 01:19 AM)
Manuel Rosales said:
Amelia...thank you for your kindness. My brother is thanking your dad in heaven for having such a wonderful daughter. My brother Doug passed away this last Wednesday. Thank you once again for that wonderful photo shoot. Our family will treasure those memories forever.
(10.10.11 01:58 PM)
Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: A letter to my dad... . TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.amelialyon.net/darkroom/mt/mt-tb.cgi/273
Happy Happy Birthday Justin dear! I want to take a quick moment to publicly tell the world how proud I am to be your wife and how thankful I am that you found me nearly nine years ago! You are an amazing man, with the grand ability to dream up anything and make ANYTHING happen! Thank you for being my best friend, cheerleader, lover, father of my children, and dream maker! I'm so excited to see what the universe has in store for you this year, it's going to be beyond amazing! I love you Justin Lyon!
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PS. Incase any of you are wondering about his crazy beard, he shaved it off last week! LOL!
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jessie said:
Oh My the pure JOY in that face!! Pure JOY he brought to my face 33 years ago and countless times since... so much like his father with that beard. .. Dustin and Jessie did great when they made Justin ...
(07.06.10 11:49 AM)
Katie said:
You two are so cute together. Seriously, meant to be together. Your kids are so lucky to have you both!
(07.06.10 12:22 PM)
Dominik said:
Happy Birthday from Germany :)
(07.06.10 01:17 PM)
CathieGraphy said:
Happy Birthday Mr. Lyon! Plus, I love that you wrote this mini testimonial Mrs. L :)
(07.06.10 05:54 PM)
jen berry said:
happy birthday Justin. i love this picture. full of gleeeee
(07.07.10 06:43 PM)
denise bovee said:
Happy late Birthday Justin! Your an amazing guy!! lucky to know you!! Hope your day was blessed :))
(07.08.10 05:49 PM)
Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Happy Birthday to my handsome husband! . TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.amelialyon.net/darkroom/mt/mt-tb.cgi/269