Blue Light Special
Trading Rooms, Part 2

Happy Bookiversary

Today marks eight years since my dad died

Every since, this time of year is difficult. Something akin to Seasonal Affective Disorder but not. Is Death Anniversary Affective Disorder a thing? Maybe PDDSD/post-dad-dying stress disorder? I don't know. I just know that I don't sleep very well, develop a very blahsy case of the blahs, and really, REALLY don't feel like talking about it, at all, with anybody, thank you very much.

But this year I DID sack up and talk about it to my therapist, and not just in a dismissive, hand-wavy "oh, I'll seriously feel fine by April 1, nothing to worry about" way, but in a solution-focused "I need March to not suck so hard every year forever" kind of way.

She advised me to find a way to untangle the Bad and the Sad and the Everything Else from today, and instead mark the day with something linked to the good and happy memories. She asked me to name one.

Books. I remember his books. Hundreds and hundred of books, lining the hallways, his study, the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in the living room. My own bookcase, packed to overflowing, because he would never, ever say no to buying me a new book. 

And so we decided to create a new family tradition in his honor. 



Everybody gets a new book. Or two, or three. However many books you want, they're yours.


It's what Pop Pop would've done for you, if he were still here. 



What an awesome way to remember him. Congratulations on making this a day to both remember and to look forward to.


I remember reading the post about your dad dying. I sat at my desk and sobbed. My husband thought I was kind of crazy ("do you even know these people?") but whatever, he just didn't get it. I'm so glad you found a way to honor your dad's memory and to hopefully turn this day into one where you can remember him with a smile instead of a tear.


What a wonderful way to remember him; I hope this helps shift the feelings of this time of year!

ccr in MA

That is an awesome, amazing way to do it! Just wonderful. I hope you find it helps you a bit.


This is fantastic! It's been 9 yrs since I lost my dad...I am going to do least something like it! So awesome


I love this idea!


Yes! A fitting, loving tribute!


When my dad died two years ago, I went back and read some of your posts about losing your dad. I didn't have any close friends that had been through a loss like that, and even though I've never met you, you feel like a friend and it helped. I love the new tradition you've created with your boys in his memory!


That’s a wonderful idea. I do something similar. My mom died suddenly and unexpectedly when I was 17. I struggled with the end of October for a long time, loathed it and could barely function some days. Now instead of lying in bed I do something I have a fond memory of. I make Chili-cheese dogs and watch Mommy Dearest :). It was our own joke - she would ask me to set the table or do some very simple chore and I’d replay back “yes Mommy Dearest” like Christina in the movie. And we used to get chili cheese dogs every time my dad was out of town.

It still sucks but thinking of the good stuff helps.


Oh, this is such a wonderful tradition to start in his memory. I hope it helps bring light to a dark time of year.


Thanks for this. I lost my dad a little over a year before your dad passed. I get weird at that time of year too. This year was especially difficult. I hope this becomes a wonderful happy tradition for you and your family.


My maternal grandmother died close to Christmas time back in 1986. My mom and her siblings still make my grandmothers' traditional Southern fruitcake every year around that time. Having a positive memory to focus on helps so much.


Love this! Also I see you bought The Handmaid's Tale - one of my fave books ever (and I love that cover).


This is wonderful - I love the suggestion from your therapist, your choice to act on it and especially the looks on the boys' faces who all probably look a bit more like your dad on this day as you see him through them.

Liz H

This is so lovely. I've got tears in my eyes. I'm going to buy myself a book in his honor as well.


What a fantastic way to celebrate his life!

Judy P.

I will never forget how much you helped me when my dad died. I need to find something like this to do for him. Also, I love your description of the shelves in his/your home. My home was like that- books everywhere- still is, really. I babysat for a family when I was in in high school (early 90s) and was not really a nosy kid but I opened every door in that house because WHERE ARE THE BOOKS?? There was one small shelf in the room the older boys shared and that was IT.


I love this. My dad died last July and I’m already dreading the first Father’s Day without him and his birthday without him being here and the anniversary of his death BUT I love your therapist's advice and I’m gonna use it. BOOKS ALL AROUND.


I love this so much. What a wonderful suggestion and a great new tradition. I hope it helps you have a good day today, year after year. <3


This is perfect.

My mom has been gone 15 years in October. I always do something that she would have enjoyed doing on her birthday and her deathaversary. It makes it less painful for me and keeps her memories alive.

Enjoy the new books


I’m not crying, you’re crying😭

Ashley R Crockett

This is exactly what I do. My mom died very suddenly while I was pregnant with my first child and her first grandchild. When the first year anniversary rolled around, I decided to celebrate her because I couldn't bear to spend the day being sad and crying in front of my baby daughter. I shop at her favorite stores and have a fun, guilt-free day. Over the years it has helped me to actually look forward to that anniversary, because I know it means a fun day for me and my daughter. Your boys will appreciate this memory creating day so much.


Such a good idea for happy-making. This time of year (seasonal transition) is rough enough so adding grief to it must be such an overload! A trip to a book store sounds like the perfect balm. Yay, you!


I love this! Both the general idea of creating a way to remember the best things about your dad at this time of year, and the specific idea of books. I hope this helps to bring a little light and a smile to you this year and every year.


I am so happy for this. I hope you are too, at least a little bit, maybe more so over time. xoxox.


I love this. It'll be four years in July that I lost my dad, one year almost to the day before I had my first daughter. He was such an amazing grandpa to my brother and sister's kids and it breaks my heart that he and my kids never got to know each other. I think I'll steal your idea and take my girls swimming and for ice cream like he would have loved to do with them.


Don't forget to buy one or some or as many as you want for yourself. A good soak in the tub with a new book and a glass of wine is the very best way to end a day.


I. Love. This. My mom just died on March 10 (yes, of this year), so the idea of getting through a whole DAY, never mind a whole YEAR, never mind March 10th EVERY year, is more than a little overwhelming. She also loved books— she was an elementary school librarian— and the idea of a day dedicated to that is really wonderful.

I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so sorry for all of our losses.

Kim Strickland

Wow. 8 years. I have been stalking you a long time

Sue W.

Your dad is smiling! Such an awesome new tradition and a wonderful way to honor his memory. I have all the feels!

Something Clever

Just wanted to say this is adorable and I'm so happy you're here <3


My mom died around a major holiday and for years that holiday was so depressing. Now we turn it into a celebration of family and make a point to really appreciate the loved ones still here because that’s what she would have wanted. Does the pain ever go away? No, but the happy memories help crowd out the sadness. <3


Oh I love this so much. I tried to think of a not-sucky way to commemorate my dad's first anniversary but I think maybe I'm not quite ready yet. But when it's time, I may steal this one.


That is truly beautiful. My dad was the same way as I grew up. I had a dear friend pass away when I was in college, and starting about 10 years after, when I realized I was having some kind of PTSD every year on the anniversary of his birthday, I started taking myself out to lunch and tipping the server the amount in dollars he would have been on that day. It was definitely generous at the time, but at this point it's borderline ridiculous. Sometimes I explain why as I go out, and sometimes I don't. I have no idea why I started doing this -- he wasn't a server or anything. Maybe it just allows me to do something nice and also take myself out to lunch.

Lauren Parker

This is beautiful.


What a great way to remember your dad, and share something about their grandpa that he would have done with them!


This wonderful and while my dad was more partial to library books after a move, he would have been the same about buying my kids books. No one else buys them books (like at Christmas) so I do it myself in his honor even if I’m the only one who knows that’s why I’m doing it. ((((Hugs))))


What a lovely tradition. Holding you in the light as y'all sort through your memories and enjoy your new books.

Amy A

Great idea. My dad built a set of bookshelves back in the the early 1960s, which my parents filled with their beloved books. They didn’t share a love of much else, sadly, and divorced in the 70s, with my mom assuming custody of the shelves. Both parents have since passed, with my mom just passing in September. I now have the bookshelves and many of their books in my den, and find it cathartic in some sense to look at them, re-read many, and remember the happier times my family shared with our collective love of reading. Good memories for you, and your kids.


What a brilliant way to celebrate a life!


Well done, Amy. He'd be proud of you.


This is so delightful, it gives me the warm fuzzies to read about it. What a wonderful tradition to start.

Shelly Kroll-Hancock

Love love love it! Tremendous way to celebrate! My dad will be gone 10 years this year. I know the feels. XOXO

Lisa keegan

such a great idea <3


This is so lovely! I was just at the cemetery today putting flowers on my parents graves going, how is it almost 10 (!) and 6 years(!) since they’ve passed and I wondered how I can start being happy when certain pitfall days happen. This is a beautiful idea! My dad loved to read as well! Thank you for sharing this! I plan to do this for at least his day and figure out something equally awesome for my mom. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing your life... it helps to have a person to follow that has had these experiences too, as no one I know has had these things happen to them.


This is beautiful!


You too helped me get through the death of my dad (April 13, 2015). After he passed I searched your achieves b/c I just needed someone to relate to (even though I don't know you). You helped me so much.

My dad drank Coors Light with salt in it (yes - he salted his beer). Whenever I am facing a life event that he would be proud of me for and I want to call him, I go to a bar, and get a Coors Light. I usually only drink about 1/2 but it is my way of celebrating with him. This April 13, I am going to take my kids for ice cream and allow them to get the biggest sundae they want. B/c that is what he would have done. As the day creeps up on me thank you for giving me something to look forward to. xoxo

Lisa Lucht

What an awesome way to honor him. Happy April!


I love this. <3


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