Day 12: Here, With Holes.


Today would have been my Dad’s 58th birthday. Some days it seems as though it’s been forever since I had a father to call and then other moments I think to ask him something. Still, 8.5 years later.

Usually it’s for advice on cars or painting. but I’m still wired to go to my Dad for help when things get overwhelming.

I know the cliché Christian thing to say here is that I should pray and talk to my Daddy God in these moments.

I hate to disappoint you, but it’s not the same, we are wired for God and for people and when people make an exit it leaves gaping holes in our hearts.  It leaves us with a void that cannot and should not be filled this side of heaven.

God sustains, God Heals and he holds, so tight.  But life comes with pain, with loss and voids, and they hurt.

Our holey hearts aren’t weak or less-than.  No, they’re stronger and more lovely for their refusal to give up the dance.  

I feel like I’ve had a holey heart for a while now, I carry a grief for a family that ended too soon, for dreams unrealized and milestones uncelebrated.

When people stand up on stage, throw their hands in the air declaring “God is good all the time” and “All I Need is Jesus!” I wonder if they’ve ever had to put that to the test.

My sweet “right here” is a bittersweet place, I feel the lack of those I’ve lost along the way. I move through the calendar year with a gray blend of joy and sadness. Of the five of us who started in that little house with the brown shag carpet, I’m the only one still here.

I usually like to convince everyone that it’s fine, that I’m strong, that I’m counting what I have and not lamenting what I’ve lost… but in the stillness, behind the brick walls of our my home they know that it’s not as easy as I let on.

I have un-fillable holes.

I want my Dad to invest in my Son and I want my mom the way she was meant to be in the first place, whole-hearted and alive.  I want to see what my sister would have been had a train not intervened and changed the course of her story.

Some days I can accept the reality that life is a series of questions we don’t get the answers to, that we live in a fallen place where sometimes God intercedes with miracles before the pain… and sometimes he doesn’t.

Some stories are written with death that should have been, but wasn’t, stories where pain was cut off by the miracle.

Then, in other stories, the miracle comes through the weeping, the grief and the angry questions where we demand to know why we couldn’t have been given the easier path.

I’m an after miracle, alive and faithful and still here.  Lovely and lonely and determined to stand.

But not today, today I’m going to sit down, burry my head in my hands and grieve what can’t be.

I’m going to allow God and his people to be a salve on my wounds, and trust that they can be okay with the fact that today isn’t… okay that is.

Today I want my Dad back, in the pure way that only daughters do.




For the month of October I’m joining a group, led by The Nester, who is committing to writing every day, for 31 days on a certain topic.  Mine is “here.”  You can see the whole month’s posts on this page  



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  • Natalie Hart

    no words. just love from here to you.

  • Tanya Marlow

    This is broken and beautiful. I’m praying. X

  • Claudia De Mauro

    your authenticity is refreshing and inspiring…you are a beautiful writer and I will continue to follow your journey…no words beyond that…just tears. I’m deeply moved.

  • Nina

    Hi Leanne,
    This resonates with my soul. I know the gaping hole. I know the feeling that it all ended too soon. I am a 49 year old adult orphan & it has been a long journey. My mother died when I was 19, and my dad, just 4 years after her. At 23, I was an orphan. I have been without parents longer than I had parents; it’s hard to fathom. It is a lonely road, especially when they were amazing parents, and would-be amazing grandparents. The loss encompasses so much of life and there are such deep voids-really, generational; to look at my older son and see his grandfather’s nose, and his laugh, or my oldest daughter’s “sweet way,” just like my mom’s. To look down at my hands, even as I type this and see my mom’s hands moving over the keys. Their memory, everywhere.
    People will have compassion, but the only ones who can understand the deep loss, are other orphans- just like so many other types of loss. But I’d like to share with you a few things I have learned in the 26 years I have been orphaned, and though I don’t personally know you, but this is what I know OF you- This:
    In the loss, you have been given a gift. You will not take one day for granted. You will know what really matters in this life, and what does not; you will not get caught up in the things of this world, because you have tasted eternity, and because of this, you will see things through a different lens. You will love deeply, because you know we aren’t promised tomorrow. You may be sad, you may feel lost at times, you will ache for your mommy and your daddy in those moments that don’t feel like you can do it without them, but you will stand in the strength they gave you, and the strength that leaning on Jesus has birthed in you, because through the loss you have learned to lean on him, because He was all you had in this world. And, THIS, is the Gift. God bless you-