Drive Safe

From Kalissa:

Drive Safe.

Our family is not super affectionate. In fact, I can count on probably all of my fingers and toes all of the times I’ve heard my dad tell me “I love you.”

Of course I KNOW my dad loved me. There is no doubt in my mind. He showed it by coming to every talent show, musical, concert, and watching my cheer in high school. He showed his love with whisker rubs and tickle fights and by how hard he worked to put food on the table and make sure my mom could stay at home with us kids.

The standard “I love you” was replaced with “Drive safe” whenever us kids were heading out – sometimes when we weren’t even driving anywhere more than across town.

Here’s an excerpt that mom wrote from the blog:

So…one day we were driving home from a trip to Lacrosse. I was on the phone talking to Kayla telling her the latest news about his upcoming plan. Kramer was driving. Kayla said, “Tell Dad I love him…but if that’s awkward, just tell him ‘Drive Safe’ “. So I hung up with her and I said to Kramer, “Kayla says I’m suppose to tell you that she loves you…but if that makes you feel awkward, she says, ‘Drive Safe’.”

Kramer and I both bust out laughing. It was the ice breaker to the conversation of being more affectionate that we all needed. To be honest, it seemed like saying something as simple as “I love you”, was an elephant in the room.”

You can read the full blog post here:

Anyway, after my Dad died I wanted something to remember him by. Not only that but the fact that those 129 days were the hardest of my entire life.

Dad HATES tattoos and us kids always joke now that he’s gone we can all get one. It isn’t completely off of the table but I know he would roll over in his grave if we all got tattoos to remind us of him.

So I settled on jewelry. Huge shout out to Mark’s Jewelry for helping me find the PERFECT piece for me. I picked it up this morning and I absolutely adore it.

I felt it was fitting to stop by the cemetery on my way home.  I dusted the grass off of his grave and someone was kind enough to bring flowers to dad and leave them on his gravestone as well.  Here’s his stone…
It was a beautiful day. Dad’s final resting place is just perfect – surrounded by farmland just outside of town. When we buried him the corn was barely knee high. Now as you can see it is almost ready for harvesting.

It will be almost 3 months without you Dad. I miss you every single day. Anddd……I didn’t get that tattoo 


20 thoughts on “Drive Safe”

  1. What a wonderful tribute to your dad, Kalissa!!! The ring is removable unlike a tattoo! Too bad more people don’t have jewelry made instead!

  2. What a beautiful way to remember your dad! I decided at a very young age that I never wanted a tattoo. Partly it was the tattoos on my great grandfather’s leathery aged arms and partly my great-great-aunt’s daughter-in-law who had an alcohol problem but always took time to introduce me to all the farm animals and play with me when I was young. One day I pointed out a tattoo she had on her leg and she told me that she had made a mistake and to never ever get a tattoo. When I asked why, she said that it would never wash off and it would be there forever whether you liked it or not. While I think it is a personal choice, I don’t foresee one in my future.

  3. Judith Fairchild

    I agree with your dad about the no tattoos. The ring is a wonderful idea especially as that’s how your dad said I love you. My family grew up without the verbal I live you’s too. Must be something in the Iowa air. Enjoy all the posts.

  4. Beautiful tribute to your Dad. The ring is perfect and I’m sure he is smiling down that there are no tattoos.

    Love, hugs and prayers coming your way.

  5. Awe!!! How perfect!!! What a way to honor your Dad!! Stay away from the tattoos, I know plenty of people with regrets. Your dad had a lot of wisdom!

  6. You will treasure that ring forever! I love that your Dad is right by the corn field. It would have made him happy. My parents are both at Barancas National Cemetery in Pensacola Fl. My mother is under a tree where she can get shade. My Dad is out in full sun where he always loved to sit. God knows what we need.

  7. There are so many ways to say I love you. You really have honored your relationship with your dad.
    Love and prayers

  8. I wish you were close enough for me to give you a big hug! Beautiful post in tribute to your dad! The ring is perfect.

  9. I’m a different generation from even your parents and I was never told “I love you”. That was what newlyweds would repeat to each other. Like you I knew I was loved. The words didn’t need to be said. I always tell my kids I love you though and am so thankful that was the last thing I said to my son before he died of a massive heart attack.

  10. SusanfromKentucky

    Love the ring! Great idea. My husband got one tattoo. When his Mom died, she had a star appear on her hand. He got a small star tattooed on his hand in the exact same place.

  11. What a perfect tribute to and reminder of your dad. I’m with him on the tattoos. When my mother was undergoing chemotherapy an infusion nurse told us that tattoos were becoming a big problem for them. Often they were in the spot where the port needed to be, and they were reluctant to disturb the ink or risk it mixing with the chemo drugs. That was more than ten years ago, and I imagine the problem is worse now. Jewelry keeps your options open.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top