Category Archives: Softy

If You Were Here


If you were still here, we’d certainly have plans today.

You’d be 82 now, so I would drive to you and we’d probably eat Mexican food. And you would make jokes about your health and I’d laugh while secretly hoping things aren’t getting too serious in that department.

You’d listen to me ramble on about the kids and when I listed my failures and insecurities, you’d point out my strengths and successes.

The day would go by way too fast and I would choke back the tears when it came time to drive away, if you were here today.

Some people remember you on Father’s day because you were an amazing Dad and grandpa. Others remember you during the holidays because of the soothing way you always read the Christmas story from the Bible. Some people love to think of you at Halloween because of the amazing haunted house you used to create. But me, I think of you on April the 9th.

I wasn’t supposed to be born until May, but I know exactly WHY God brought me early. I was meant to be born on your birthday.

And we shared 27 wonderful birthdays before you went on… But if I’m being honest, you didn’t go away. You’re still here. And I still think of you all the time. And even though I can’t reach out and touch you, I can feel you all around.

I’m so torn between the laughter and the tears, but I know you’d challenge me to laugh. So maybe I’ll have a sopapilla in the name of Birthday Buddies and I’ll tell myself what you would say if you were sitting there across from me today.

Happy birthday Softy. Our day is the one gift I’ll hold forever.


It’s My Birthday Too!

It’s My Birthday Too!

Dear Softy,

You’ve been gone for 13 years now… and I still think of you every single day. But especially on our day. On our day, I sing the Beatles and miss you like crazy.

I’m afraid I don’t sing it quite the same way, but hey, I sing it to you!

Most years I cry. But the tears aren’t as awful as they used to be. The hole is still deep in my heart, but I’ve learned to smile when I miss you.

I wish I had more pictures of us together. I wish I had more pictures of you. There are never enough memories when you cross my mind.

Last year was probably the worst year of my life. I hope nothing ever tops it. I was scared most days. I thought any moment everything was going to implode. I worried about my daughters. I worried about my sons. I worried about my marriage. And I worried about the strain our troubles were taking on the entire family. I could feel the sorrow every time I talked with my mom or my dad and it just made my heart ache.

So many times I thought about you. I just know you would of had the perfect words of wisdom to get me through the rock bottom of my existence.

There were days when I tried to channel your voice and give myself a pep talk.

The other night I had this dream. You will still here. My step-dad too. And I was talking to both of you. And I was listening to you tell me you’d been here each day. You were telling me all about the things I’d been through, just to prove you were never far away. I woke up feeling your presence. In fact, I was calling your name out loud.

Sometimes I get those dreams and I see you and I don’t even want to get out of bed because I don’t want to lose that moment. But I have to get up. These kids will knock the walls down if I’m not watching carefully.

You know 40 started off rough, but it sure did turn around. I’m finally finishing college. I know, it took me a few decades. That’s ok. The more amazing thing is that I’m a writer. A real bonafide cash-the-check writer!

And my kids are doing amazing things. Blondie got married and her dreams are slowly coming true. My Dyl Pickle is graduating. And the rest of the crew is moving right along. Tucker is going to high school. I always wish you had seen him just once. I still think of you in the hospital that last night I saw you. You said “wee Willy Tucker, that silly little f—–fellow.” He was born 41 days after you passed on. I’m not sure how my dad came up with the exact same sentence, but he did. Isn’t that ironic?

Trenton is headed to Junior High which will make the twins the rulers of intermediate school- big fifth graders! And KK is only one step behind, but you know all this, because you’re still here. I know you’re here.

When I feel like breaking down, I say to myself “Girl get yourself together. Softy is gonna see you fall apart” and that’s how I pick myself up when the days are overwhelming.

41 is going to be amazing, I just know it is. Whether I’m conquering the world wide web or tucking my grandbaby into bed, I know you’re part of me and I never let that go.

Birthday Buddies

My grandfather and I at our last birthday dinner

And now when I think of our birthday, I smile more than I cry. You were the greatest gift the good Lord ever gave me. Grandfathers have a way of making the world magical, and you did exactly that.

So Happy Birthday Softy. I still miss you, but today I’m gonna try not to cry, because it’s my birthday too!

Love always,
Tiffany XoXoX

Two Pieces of Pie


It’s been quite a week here in the zoo! Partly because today is my birthday, and I’ve been celebrating all week long. I often get the birthday blues because I shared my birthday with my grandfather for 27 years. Losing him still stings like a swarm of bees straight to the heart.

My life is chaotic. I spend half my time hoping he’s up there watching me, and the other half praying he didn’t see that… you know the moments- the ones where the house is gross and the kids are grosser, or when I forget to hold my tongue, the days when I accomplish nothing. How many times do I say to myself: “If Softy were here, he’d know what I should do…”? Read the rest of this entry

Advent is Ageless


Do you know what makes everything more fun? Candy! It’s true.  Think about it.  Would your kids get all dressed up and knock on all the neighbor’s door if there wasn’t candy involved? Probably not.

Of course the gobs of Halloween candy are long gone by the time December 1st rolls around.  That’s when we start our chocolate countdown to the big day!

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For the 11th Time….


Well folks, it happened! I turned thirty-something for the very last time. April the 9th, the day that made me who I am. Seriously, so much of me has been entwined in the particular day on which I was born. I was expected in May, but that would have made me a Taurus. Not that I’m all hung up on Astrology, but I am slightly entertained by it. I could never be a Taurus because they are practical and they like regularity. I was meant to be an Aries…. the Ram is fiery, bossy, determined, and, well, they can’t be wrong. Yeah, that’s more me. Always right! (Or so I think….) Read the rest of this entry

Welcome to the World


The other day was my birthday…. and I’ll tell you, I’m officially 38 years old! I hear a lady doesn’t tell her age, but I’m proud to be this old. When I turn 40, there will be no black balloons, no tombstones, no sad faces… Sure, I’d love to go back to the 15 year old figure I once sported that lacked gray hair or fine lines, but where’s the character in that?  I earned every single one of these gray hairs, including the three I plucked out last week.

Getting older doesn’t bother me, but another year without my birthday buddy, that makes me sad. This year, instead of the flood of tears, I tried to hear his jokes in everything I said or did. It kind of helped. OK, there were still some tears. I believe some people touch our lives so deeply and there is no real recovery from that loss. The hole never heals, you just learn to function with a gaping wound in your heart. My grandfather was that man.

Our last dinner at Loma Linda's

Our last dinner at Loma Linda’s

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Let’s Go Fly a Kite


An old friend stopped by today. I used to babysit his kids when they were little. Now they’re all big, almost done with high school, and he actually said “I remember looking at this and wondering how I was gonna do it, and now, it’s done!” Yes my friend, it’s done. For you anyway, I still have a few more to go. It had me thinking again, about life and how fast it changes. Read the rest of this entry

Built to Last


When my husband and I first moved into our very first house, my grandpa was always checking in on me.  I think he used giving me things as an excuse to see me sometimes. My house was filled with remnants of my great-grandparents house, from the sofa and end tables to paintings and lamps. When my great-grandmother passed away he consolidated their households into one, and I got more- a new refrigerator he didn’t quite need anymore, ( or maybe he did need it but he thought my new baby needed it more) some pots and pans that were duplicates, a riding lawn mower…. Read the rest of this entry

Who’s Gonna Fill His Shoes?


Join Music Mondays and share your favorite memories!

Sometimes our favorites memories of childhood aren’t the big aha Disneyland moments. Sometimes, they’re the simpler, everyday routines we cherished. When I was a kid I loved the smell of cigars in my father’s den, or the smell of leaded  gasoline being pumped in our car! I know, I’m weird.

I loved the way my Aunt Valerie bounced me on her knee and I was mesmerized by the trembles in my great-grandmother’s hand when she sewed. Some of my recollections even have a soundtrack, like when my grandfather would drive around and sing silly songs such as Skinamarinky-dinky-dink, Skinamarinky-doo, or when he’d play the ukelele in our little beach house, or when he would dance with my mother out on the floor of this honky-tonk and everyone would stop and stare at the pair they were! Read the rest of this entry

In my dreams…


My grandpa always promised that he would visit me in my dreams when he died, so I can’t help but think every time I dream of him that he’s here for a little visit. I find it strangely comforting. It doesn’t happen as often as I wish it would, but the other morning I was feeling bad and after I took the kids to school I laid back down in my bed and pulled my down comforter up over my head. Before long, he was standing there.

This dream was pretty strange though, because I had two grandpa’s growing up. I guess most people have two grandpa’s, but usually it’s Mom’s dad and Dad’s dad. I had my mom’s dad and my step-mom’s dad because my dad lost his parents when he was really young. So I was lucky that I got an extra grandpa in there somewhere. Both of them were very charismatic people, well-loved by all who knew them. I was really close to my mom’s dad. I named him “Softy” when I was 8-years-old and that turned into the name everyone called him, and I was born on his birthday, which was really special. My other grandpa, Grandpa Smith, owned the Salado Dairy Queen and he spoiled us with ice cream all the time. They both died within about a year of one another, so I haven’t had a grandpa in a long time. In this dream, my mom wanted a drink from Salado Dairy Queen, but she didn’t want to get out of her car, so I went in to get it and when I came back out, I told my mom “we can get a free drink, this is still my grandpa’s Dairy Queen”. The mention of that grandpa reminded me how much I missed Softy, and then all of a sudden he was there, but here’s the strange part. He was holding a brochure. In it the question was asked “How much are you still here?” Read the rest of this entry