Birthday season is upon us

April 22nd, 2013

It’s amazing, most of our family members have a birthday in the spring or summer. It’s like Christmas all over again. We start off with CT in early April and end with my brother in August. BAAM BAAM BAAM and you turn around twice and then you have those outliers in the fall but really much of the celebratory birthday partying goes on starting now.

Yesterday, April 21, was my dad’s birthday. All day long I thought of him. The things he enjoyed, the times we spent together, the fact that I didn’t seem sad. It was odd. I wondered why. Does time really heal a gaping wound like that? Am I far enough away to not feel that aching loss anymore?

I drove around by his tree at Lake Calhoun. We toasted him at dinner. I wanted to buy a birthday cake, Adam assured me that was a little too much and then the day ended.











I posted this photo yesterday on FB with “Happy Birthday Dad” as the title. It wasn’t until today when Roxie texted me that she saw the post and it made her cry.

Then it came.

The tears.

The broken heartedness you feel at the loss of a parent.

The sadness for all that is missing because he is gone.

The text that simply tipped me into tears.

Time…it helps the severity of the ache but it certainly doesn’t take away the pain of the loss.

As Roxi said to me, it’s “the big days you end up bracing yourself for and it’s those moments when your guard is down when it gets you.” And it’s so true.

Dad I miss you, not just on your birthday but on everyday.

Happy Easter Dad

April 6th, 2012

Ohhh man did my dad LOVE Easter. He didn’t love the bunny, candy part of Easter. He loved the liturgical path towards Easter. He loved Lent, he loved looking at how to get closer to God. He loved the journey and then he loved the celebration it brought on.











So when moments of time pass by that he loved, I miss the fact that this being that filled my life in so many ways is gone from this world even more.

So we find ways to remember.

We couldn’t find plastic eggs to hang. He wouldn’t have liked them anyway…he would prefer crosses but WE are the living ones.

We found seed eggs.

The kids, my mom and I placed them on his tree at Lake Calhoun.

We sat.

The kids played.

We lived….











and we remembered him on this beautiful day.

It’s taken me awhile

June 29th, 2011

Today I pulled my Dad’s Caring Bridge site down from my links.  I have thought about it often but haven’t been able to do it.

It’s like throwing away the left over cards from his funeral.

These are little bits and pieces that are left of him, so getting rid of them are difficult if not agonizingly painful.

To the living this is all we have left, the papers, the books, the sweaters, the tangible things we can still hold, touch and smell.  Why on earth would you want to get rid of that?  If that is gone you have nothing to hug and hold, feel or touch.  But I can’t keep these things forever.

So we plant trees to visit, to sit next to and to summon the memories.  Every time we drive around Lake Calhoun the kids want to stop and visit grandpa’s tree.

I took this photo a month or so ago.  It says so much to me.  The kids just hang’n out, playing and watching the sun set in one of the most beautiful parts of the city that my dad loved.

I find him here most.  The memories come flooding back for me in this place.  As the kids play, I know he is there taking part in it all.

April 21st

April 21st, 2011

If my dad was here today, we wold be celebrating his birthday.

I got my love of celebrating birthdays from him.  He showed me that you can take an entire month to celebrate your birthday.

If he were here today, he would most likely do the following: go to church, meet me at Yum for coffee and a treat, have a cigar with his buddies, read an amazing book or walk through the used book store, meet my brother for lunch, come see the grand-kids so they can huddle around him, meet friends for a cocktail and finally land at home to finish the night with my mom.

He would do the things he most enjoyed in life and shared his time with those that were dearest to him….for many, many weeks. Seriously, it was a talent.

I think today, I’ll go smoke a cigar in his honor.

Happy Birthday Dad.

I wish it could!

February 10th, 2011

Today marks the year anniversary of my dad’s death.  What a year it has been.  Everyone has grown, changed and morphed their ways in order to cope with his loss.

Yesterday, KP was hang’n out with his buddy Joe.  They were asking funny questions of Joe’s magic 8 ball.

Then KP shifted gears and asked, “Will my Grandpa come back to life?”

The reply on the ball was “Nope, not this time.”

In a disgruntled voice he said, “OH MAN!”

What a perfect question from a six year old who loved his grandpa so very much.  How I wish that magic 8 ball would tell us all he would be back.

The void is huge, the hole is deep, life has shifted and that is the way it is.

We all miss him.

Dad, cheers to you today.  We miss you, we love you and we have not forgotten you.

I love you!

Christmas Eve

December 24th, 2010

It’s been hard going through the holiday season with my dad gone.  He so loved Christmas with all it’s joy, church going and giving.  He was very generous, not so much with money and things but with kindness of spirit, thoughtfulness and love.

Last year he wrote everyone a letter as part of their gift.  I will pull mine out and read it again, I actually keep it in my camera bag.  I wonder how long I will do that for?

My mom has not even read hers.  She couldn’t read it last year.  I told her to look at it as her gift from him this year. Then the tears rolled down our cheeks as they seems to have been on and off this past month.

To see his handwriting, he was here just not so long ago but it feels like forever since we’ve embraced.

Last week, Jen and I ran in the wee hours of the morning and then went to put a few Christmas ornaments up on his tree at Lake Calhoun.

I know he would love that, although, I know he would think that I should have put up more than three, he likes lots of lights and ornaments ; )

How Lucky How Thankful

November 29th, 2010

Betty, my awesome mother-in-law, started this great tradition this year at Thanksgiving.  She left out a pad of paper, a pen and a basket.  Each of us was to write down what we were thankful for and then we would read them at the dinner table.

At the end of dinner, all the kids crowded around Papa to read the notes.  They were read one by one.  The kids tried to guess who wrote what.  Some of us fessed up, some did not.

It was CT who wrote this:

As it was read, he looked up into my mom’s eyes and gave her the sweetest smile and head nod.  It was as if to say, don’t worry Grandma, we won’t forget him.


October 26th, 2010

I swung by my dad’s tree yesterday to check and see if it was changing color.

It had.

As I looked at it and its color and looked around, it was so quiet.

No one was there.

It was the first time I had not seen anyone sitting on the bench or someone stretching or chatting or resting their bike on the trunk of the little tree.

A feeling of loneliness came over me.

The large gaping hole that he left, will never be filled.

Breeding them competitive

July 23rd, 2010

All three kids will be doing the Chisago Lakes Kid’s triathlon tomorrow. There has been no practice or dress rehearsal like there was in the past few years.  They are just heading out to do it.

(photo from last year)

They all want to win so badly, I know there will be some broken hearts in the bunch.  I keep trying to tell them what I tell myself, “race the best race you can, today.”  It took me 4 years of triathlons to get that, to not get so wrapped up in what “place” I was going to get (you never know who will show up that day) and to just do the best I can, race against myself and that will have to be good enough for today.

But they are still young, with many miles to travel before they get that point and that is totally ok.  Hopefully by the time they are 39, they will.

On a side note, I will be racing the 1/2 iron race on Sunday.  It will be the first time my dad won’t be there to kiss me at the finish line, ok he was actually really sick and didn’t come to the finish line last year…but he was still here.

This race will be for him.

I miss you dad and the finish line just won’t be the same without you.


June 29th, 2010

In memory of my dad, we planted a tree.  We planted a tree, by the lake he loved the best, Lake Calhoun.

When I was young we would walk the lake to together.  I have no idea how many times we walked that lake, but it was a lot. We called that Daddy-Daughter day.  We would include stops at books stores, eat some delicious treats (he always called eating treats when you were really not hungry recreational eating).  These days are days in which I had my first cup of coffee, my first Vietnamese food, my first scone, my first hit of Gay Pride, the Uptown Art Fair and so much more. But I digress.

So, selfishly, I really wanted this tree planted in a place where I remember the times we shared.  The times we spent together, in a place he loved.  A place that I run by, at least once a week.

Today, with the help of many friends, my dad’s tree was planted and we put the band around its tiny little limb.   The band simply says, “In memory of Tom Tremmel”.

The tree is an Autmn Blaze Maple, which will turn bright red in the fall.  It is planted right next to a bench and sits on the east side of Lake Calhoun between 36th street and 32nd, if you are traveling by car.

Come on by some time, take a seat, say hi or just sit and take in the beauty…

and remember.