Wednesday, May 18, 2011


If I could
I would erase the darkness of your despair
If I could,
I’d restore the laughter that was once there,
If I could,
I would take away the tears, the heartache, the pain,
If I could
I’d give anything to make it right for you again,
If I could
I’d get that “do over” I once asked for, and hand it right to you,
If it would undo that terrible day, and start it all anew,
If I could,
I’d subtract 5 years of my life, I mean that from the heart,
If that’s what it took to fix it, so she never had to part,
If I could, I would, because that’s what friends are for,
I wish it could go back to the way it was before.
I know I can’t undo it, but I can pray for you,
For God’s love to come, to help see you through,
And that His Eternal light will show you the way,
To find peace in your heart, each and every day.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wisconsin Dad

Hi Rick,
    My name is Paul Jankowski. I am the uncle of your pharmacist, Amy Hilton.  Thank you very much for taking the time to write to Amy.  She did forward your letter to me.  You are truly a special person to reach out to help a stranger in need.  I had gotten the feeling while reading "Tuesday Mornings with the Dads" that you all have become very good at helping others.

    I am very sorry for your loss of Marc.  You had said in your letter that you can now remember the fun times you had with him.  I am just beginning to be able to do that.  We lost our 26 year old daughter, Emily on June 20th of 2009.  Emily took her own life by overdosing on sleeping medication.  Emily struggled greatly with depression.  She also struggled with dealing with life's problems and problems she created on her own.  I had many, many instances of having to decide to help her or have her learn consequences on her own.  This resulted in feeling tremendous guilt after her death.  Constantly asking myself if I helped her too little or too much. Those first few months I couldn't sleep and had trouble eating.

    Luckily, I have a wonderful family.  My best friends, Jack and Mike were also there to listen anytime I wanted to talk.  It was very hard trying to help my wife, Joan and my daughters, Kayla and Mallory dealing with our loss and then try to get help for myself.  My wife and daughters talked me into seeing a grief counselor in December.  He had me read a few books on losing a child and suicide.  Then in January, Amy sent me "Tuesday Mornings with the Dads".  I got ten times more out of the book than the other books combined.  Reading the stories and observing the way all the dads opened their hearts in the book helped me understand many of the things that I had gone through or was currently experiencing.  I wasn't the only one with the guilt, the unbelievable sadness, the difficulty doing things that in the past that were easy to do, the hard times dealing with special dates, the feeling that a huge piece of me is gone and many other feelings. Knowing that all the dads got through it gave me hope.  THANK YOU and all the dads for writing the book.  It sure helped one dad from Wales,


Paul Jankowski (also an RPh)

New Life

Hi Adolf and Dads group,

I have been meaning to get your information and email you, but haven't done it! Then I saw the web address at the back of the book, and thought I would email. I think your book is beautiful and it is such an honor that it recognizes my dad. He talked about the group quite a bit, and as you know, he went way out of his way to meet with you all, because it meant so much to him.

I can't believe it has been three years now since my dad died - and going on 7 that I lost my brother. It doesn't seem possible. I just had a daughter in May and named her Charley, after her uncle.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for sending me a copy of the book! It is a wonderful reminder that although grief is lonely we are not alone.

Much Love, Katie

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

new post

this should start a new thread.


May 15th

See the website events tab for the Dads 6th anniversary evening on May 15th.

Monday, December 28, 2009


I just saw "The Road" on Saturday. A very dark and powerful film about a father and son in a post- apocalyptic world. Tears. Ultimately a redeeming movie and a wonderful story about their relationship and "the fire" that each of us has within.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fan mail of the best kind

Our Web site has generated much thought-provoking dialog. This was one of the recent letters we received and wanted to share:

Hi Mr. Findley & Mrs. Findley,

First I am really sorry that I haven't talked to you guys in so long. It's been a busy several months but that is no excuse for not talking to you guys. Thank you for my birthday card, I got it on my birthday and it meant a lot to me that you guys sent it. I also recieved another great gift. A football that belonged to Jake had been sitting in the ball bin at Sugar Grove for several years until Mine and Jake's 4th grade teacher Mrs. Diaz discovered it. She sent it to me along with a very kind note and I recieved it as a birthday gift. It is my favorite birthday present I have ever recieved. Patrick immediatley remembered the football and that we did use it in some of our many backyard football games. It now sits on my desk next to Jake's North Carolina hat and is the only physical memory of those great memories of playing football with Jake and Travis.

This football season has been a good one and I wish I'd have e-mailed you a schedule. I could not get number 89 as my varsity number as Andrew Gudeman already had the number. I ended up with number 21 for varsity and still got to wear 89 for JV games. I have also started my own tradition of writing their names on my wrist tape before every Varsity and JV game (The refs won't let me wear my wristband). I also have a picture of them in my locker. Coach Moore (head coach) knows why I am playing and has told me how great that is and told me that I was a "great man" for playing football for my friends who can no longer do so. I saw some good action through most of the season making tackles here and there, but two games stood out. Against Terre Haute South, I played almost half the game and in the fourth quarter I made my first interception. As soon as I hit the ground, I thought about Jake and Travis and knew that they were cheering along with the parents and my teammates in heaven. In our final game against Warren Central, I started and played most of the game. Even though we lost and I didn't play the greatest game, it was a tribute to my hard work and my cause that I started. We are playing Floyd Central in Regionals on Friday at home and hopefully we can win another State Championship.

I don't know if you have heard the story of Tyler Genneken, so I will give it to you in short. He was a young man who was diagnosed with leukemia 3 years ago when he was in 5th grade. Aggresive chemotherapy put it into remission, but this past year the cancer returned. After battling for 3 years, he died on Thursday night. He was an 8th grader at Central and played football. I did not know Tyler but followed his story after I heard of his worsening condition. I prayed for him and his family and his friends every day and every time I lead the prayer after football practice. On Tuesday night after practice, when there was no more hope, I prayed that God take him home and end his suffering. The next night, shortly after a friend of mine's church group prayed for him, he died. To me, that shows how merciful God is and how he has his hand in things. I know many of his friends through Patrick's various sports teams, and have told Mrs. Thacker that I am willing to help in any way. Coach Moore called me yesterday to tell me that he wanted me to call three or four friends to get together and go to Tyler's funeral and hand out programs at the door. I appreciated it very much that he thought enough of me to call me, not a star on the team, but me to do this. Needless to say I attended the funeral yesterday and the Celebration of Life today. It has reminded me of nearly three years ago when I went through the same thing Tyler's friends are going through. While the circumstances are very different, it is still much the same in that a child has died too young. It touches me much more than someone else my age because I know what his friends are going through and it deeply saddens me to see others go through it.

I still miss Jake and Travis so much. I think about them all the time, at school, during football, when I lay in bed at night and especially when I am alone and I know that time would be spent with my best friend and another friend who happened to be his little brother. I still wear my Jake and Travis wristband every day (I'm glad I bought so many, I think I'm on #6 or 7) and occaisonaly wear my Arms of Life T-shirt, which is faded from so much wearing and pray for you guys every night. Often times, those same thoughts, Why them?, Why me?, I wish I could have them back? come back into my head. But it is selfish to want them back because they are in such a great place right now, too great for us to understand until we reach that glorious day when God calls us home.

Again, I'm so sorry I haven't contacted you guys in so long. I would absoulutly love it if we get get together in the future, however it would most likely have to be after football, which hopefully ends on November 30 (championship game). I look forward to seeing you guys soon.

See Ya,
Matt Norris