tiny rock heart in heart

A little over a month ago I stood in front of God and everyone in a tiny chapel with beautiful stained glass windows next to a big bouquet of hydrangea and evergreens and  glittered twigs and stared up into a pair of twinkling brown eyes….

….and told him I loved him all over again.

It was all so similar.

It was in the same church.

The same minister.

The same time.

The same date.

The same twinkling-eyed smile when I walked down the aisle.

The same feeling like I was the luckiest girl in all the world.

So very, very amazingly wonderfully the same….

….except for one very, very different thing.

rock heart collection

You see, all those years ago I stood not-so-patiently behind the double doors of the church waiting for them to open.

Waiting for the walk down the aisle.

Waiting with breathless anticipation for the next exciting chapter in my life to begin.

And as I stood there on the precipice at the corner of “I can’t wait” and “I’m not sure about this”….

….I held tightly to the arm of the most wonderful man in the world.

rocks that look like two hearts

My father had been there through everything.  All those growing up years.  All the times I wrecked the car or was late for my curfew or rolled my eyes or sighed or cut super awkward bangs or told him I wanted to work at Dairy Queen for the rest of my life.

Every step of the way.

Every high…every low.

Every time I climbed higher….he celebrated.

Every time I stumbled….he was there to pick me up.

And on that long ago day in front of the church doors with just my father and I standing there, those twinkling blue eyes of his smiled down at me once again….as if to say….

….you got this girl.

large rock hearts

I wish you could have met him.


I wish you could have met that incredible father of mine.  He would have walked up to you across a crowded room with his hat kind of oddly tilted to one side with his shirt collar askew and his glasses perched on top of his head as he smiled at you.  He would have asked all about yourself and listened to your answers and made you laugh and made you smile…..

….and made you feel like you were the most important person in the room.

He passed away almost seven years ago….

….and I still miss him every single day.

carved rock hearts

Several weeks after our vow renewal ceremony, my friend brought these rock hearts over to the house.

She said she wasn’t sure why….but she just felt like she should share her collection with me.  As I opened up the box and stared down at each of those tiny rocks formed into hearts, my heart skipped a beat. You see…..my father was a geologist.  He loved rocks.  Many was the time he would pull off to the side of the road and point out a sedimentary formation or the limestone or shale or layer upon layer of metamorphic rock.

And as the tears welled up in my eyes, I saw my father’s twinkling blue eyes and his love….

….in every line of those tiny rock hearts.

mushroom rock garden

PS  And right in the middle of that really good cry…..

…..I started laughing.

mushroom rock gardens

Because my friend brought over her mushroom rock collection, too. 🙂

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  1. Image for Stacey Stacey

    You made me cry and smile. Your father sent her over with those and as it is in life, you get what you get....hearts and mushrooms. You see he did't just want you to cry.

  2. Image for Beverly Beverly

    ♥I will always send you hearts. And, I will always have a heart filled with empathy. Because you know I know how much we loved our fathers. Always did. Always will. There is no one like a daddy.♥ It has been a tough week here. My daddy's last living brother died. He lived 87 years. He lived a good life, yet a life with a big hole in it. You see, my cousin, one of his two daughters, was killed by a reckless driver, just a few weeks before she turned 21. That was 30 years ago, and he had to bury her on his own birthday. That kind of hole in your life remains a constant. I am comforted knowing she was there to greet him. But, for me, he was a touch I still had to my daddy. I hope they are all together now celebrating.

  3. Image for Karen in Texas Karen in Texas

    So precious and I know exactly how you feel. My precious daddy passed away 5 years ago and there isnt a day that goes by that I do not wake up thinking of him. Hugs to you !!

  4. Image for Debbie Debbie

    What wonderful memories. Our Father's are so wonderful and we miss them so when they have gone on ahead of us. It is terrific to have wonderful friends to help us through our trials and our treasures. God Bless.

  5. Image for Nannette Wadkins Nannette Wadkins

    I lost my dad almost 15 years ago and I still think of him all the time. I too see him in little things that he would have liked and I also feel like they have been sent to me from him, just like how he sent your friend over with her rock collections. My last moment was just last week. We are painting an empty rental property, getting it ready for the next tenets. My sister and I were doing some painting and priming. I had more priming to do,but was done for the night. I wrapped my paint brush tightly in plastic and put it in the fridge. My sister was just starting to say to me that dad would yell at me for not washing out that brush, but before she even got the words out we heard this odd sound. Of course she had to say that was dad........agreeing with her! I rolled my eyes at her, just like I would have my dad ; )

  6. Image for Pinky at Designs by Pinky Pinky at Designs by Pinky

    I have tears roling down my face. I never knew my Dad, or I should say I don't remember him. He died when I was 4. But, I MISS HIM TOO. I have, all my life. Always wished I had a dad. Then my Father-in-law came along and filled that hole in my heart and ache in my soul. HE passed away a few years ago and I miss him terribly. Your story is beautiful. Your Dad is looking down on you and smiling. XO

  7. Image for Kris Kris

    How sweet. I am struggling right now as my dad is in a dementia care unit--he recently had a stroke and is under hospice care. The man I grew up with is really no longer there--he knows he is losing his memory and recently asked my mom to make a list of all of us kids, our spouses and our children, so that he can pull it out and try to remember us all. That he still remembers he loves us, even if he can't quite remember who we are, is priceless.

  8. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Thank you for sharing that wonderful story....you are a lucky woman to have had such a lovely father. Blessings on your marriage.

  9. Image for Regina Regina

    thanks for this post. today. Maybe I will try again. My dad left our family 15 years ago (when I was 15 years old) and I never really had a close relationship with him. But I still 'miss' that father figure in my life. Today my husband, children, and I will be traveling to the area where he lives. Maybe I will try to meet him. He won't be here forever and I won't always have the opportunity like I do today. thanks!

  10. Image for Jennifer Ferrell Jennifer Ferrell

    Awwwww.....how I wish I could have met your sweet loving father! But in a way, I feel like I have....everything you've ever told me about him, reminds me of you:) Love you KariAnne :). Let's get together soon my friend!!:):):)

  11. Image for Sheri Howard Sheri Howard

    You are fortunate indeed. I am happy you have such a father and great memories. Your friend's rocks made me smile too!

  12. Image for Shelly Shelly

    What a beautiful story and a kind, thoughtful friend you have! It is so amazing to see how God works in our lives. May you and your sweet, "twinkling blue eyes" be blessed in the years to come as you celebrate your life together. May your father continue to watch over you and sprinkle proof that he is always with you! Be blessed!

  13. Image for lisa lisa

    I'm close to tears at my desk. Your words made me remember how Loved and cherished I was. My father passed 12 years ago, and I still miss his arms, his hugs, is hazel eyes and his presence. I talk to him sometimes, and cry to him more often, telling him, things will never be the "same" without him...thank you for sharing your love for your Daddy <3

  14. Image for Kay Kay

    Blessed you are, KariAnne. I have my own set of twinkling brown eyes to love -- and love them I do! We renewed our vows on our 10th and have been married for 27+ years, after dating for 5 years -- so there's been a lot of twinkling eyes to behold! :) I'm so incredibly thankful for him as my beloved and for the father he is to our children. However, the twinkling blue eyes of my father aren't really in my life (by his own, broken-my-heart choosing). Your blog today gives me hope. Bless you for sharing your sweetness.

  15. Image for Amy Amy

    Kari Anne, I also lost my wonderful Dad 7 years ago... he was the town barber in my home town... he knew everything that went on in that little town! You sound like you were a "daddy's girl" as well. Lovely sentiments written in your blog today which I follow religiously. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Image for Lisa Lisa

    I'm sure you know how lucky you were to have a such a wonderful dad for as long as you had him. That was a beautiful story! I kept wondering if the hearts were brownies or cake or what... they look delicious! Have a great weekend!

  17. Image for Jane Jane

    I'm so glad you shared this...it's a wonderful tribute to the first man you ever adored. Reading the comments...we must all be in the same age group, so many of us have lost our fathers recently. Mine, just three years ago, a very sad loss. Jane x

  18. Image for Betty Baker Betty Baker

    Kari Anne - You and have been lucky enough to have the same kind of Dad. My beloved Dad passed away in 1965 and there is still not a day that in some small way I think of him and the precious love he shared with me. Lovo your writing. Betty from , Ontario, Canada.

  19. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Okay you've got me crying -- again! That is such a beautiful story -- I know how you feel about your dad. Dads are so important in a women's lives. We are truly blessed to have been given the years that we had. Thank you for sharing your dad with us. Abbracci!

  20. Image for Claudia Jones Claudia Jones

    Rocks sent through a friend from heaven above GOD does work in mysterious ways to give us love and laughter from our precious loved ones l cried and then l laughed too. I love these special blessings don't you.l like the new blog too.

  21. Image for Dianne Bell in Michigan Dianne Bell in Michigan

    KariAnne, my heart goes out to you. But how blessed and lucky you are to have had a Dad that loved you so much and that you loved so dearly. My dearest Dad has been gone for 13 years. He was a wonderful, loving Dad and I feel blessed and proud to have had him for my Dad. Your friend brought you a loving message from your Dad in the way of the heart stones. He's still watching over and loving you. Peace and happiness.

  22. Image for Sylvia Marie Sylvia Marie

    Thank You Lord, for allowing karianne to bless us!!!!!!! You care about the little things, which at times are really the big things in life.

  23. Image for Roberta sexton Roberta sexton

    Most wonderful story thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading you everyday, but one is the best. Could not help thinking of my own wonderful Dad. How blessed we both are! Thank you!

  24. Image for Teresa Teresa

    Thank you for sharing your dad with us. My dad has moderate dementia and sometimes, when I call him, he doesn't know who I am. I hold onto the memories of him before this disease.

  25. Image for Janice Janice

    My Daddy was a geologist too and I grew up with a rock collection in a glass case on our coffee table. The first gift he gave my Mom was one of his favorite rocks in a bottle. The case is now in our family room and those aren't just rocks....those are beloved rocks. I miss my Daddy too...his sweet smile and loving hugs.

  26. Image for sammijo sammijo

    Oh Karianne, I have a similar experience every spring when the flowers begin to peep out of the ground, just to still let you know that yet another season is about to begin. My grandmother and I shared many stories about flowers and landscaping and since she has passed, Spring is bitter sweet, I think of her so much and miss her but I can look at the flowers that she shared with me and it brings a sense of comfort to me. After she had passed in the fall, that following spring a flower bulb was sent in the mail, from where she had ordered for the up coming spring, it was as if she was giving it to me herself, letting me know everything was alright and that she still loved me.

  27. Image for ginette4 ginette4

    So beautifully said... I'm blessed with being able to call my Dad of 83 daily and seeing him weekly to give him the much deserved hug a daughter could ever give..I am grateful for the laughs that we share together and love being able to have my turn to spoil him.

  28. Image for Nancy Carr Nancy Carr

    I have been absent for over a month getting my house ready to sell, so I can get back to the states. I have just let my email back up and am now reading your posts. I knew you were to renew your vows which is so special. The heart rocks and mushroom rocks are a sweet gift. You are cherished.

  29. Image for Nancy Nancy

    I too had a dad with twinkling blue eyes and I'm guessing had our dads met, they'd be friends. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Image for Carole Renzullo Carole Renzullo

    Beautiful...no one will love us quite like that again. My dad died a long time ago and I still miss him every single day.

  31. Image for Carol Carol

    Karianne, beautiful memories! My Dad died 23 years ago. I miss him still and being able to share so many things. He taught me that a man can be strong, loving, nurturing, and protective. He was and is my hero. Thank you for sharing your Dad.

  32. Image for Chelsea Chelsea

    Sending love and hugs, I lost my dad almost seven years ago and the pain never ends, I wish he was here with me as I raise his grand babies, though I know that he met them before I did. I am always grateful that I shared my wedding day with him, and I know that it was special to him, too. Your dad sent your friend with those rocks, what an awesome sign that he is with you!

  33. Image for Lois from PA Lois from PA

    Kari....how lucky are we to have had dads that can make you smile at the site of a box filled with rocks? It will be two years on Valentines Day that my dad left us. I can still hear his laugh and sometimes I forget, and will turn to tell him something....and realize he is not there, but I tell him anyway! Your dad sent those rocks to you.....hold them tight and smile as hard as you can! L.

  34. Image for jeannine jeannine

    I lost my sweet daddy 3 weeks ago. This time last year he got to see his "toots" marry the man God made for her. He was unable to walk me down the aisle, but he was waiting with my husband and gave me the biggest hug when I met them both at the altar. His favorite story to tell about me was him trying to go anywhere by himself and me just popping up and saying "daddy you forgot me!!". When I held his hand as we turned off the machines I told him you didnt forget me daddy, you are just waiting on me in heaven. I dont know if daddy's girls can ever get over losing the first man to love them.

  35. Image for Patty Patty

    My precious father died 7 years ago very unexpectedly. There are days I am angry....or lonely.....or sad.....or even mad, but mostly? I am happy I had him as such a huge part of my life for as long as I did. Love you, Dad!

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