A blog by Lori Lyons

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


We didn't save you a seat.

And we didn't have to wait for you to rush in at the last minute because you couldn't get away from work on time, or because you left the bouquet of roses in the fridge and had to rush back home to get them.

That was at the last graduation ceremony, for your first daughter.

You weren't there being entertained by your grandchildren -- four of them now, each one cuter than the other.

You weren't there to snort with me over the outrageous dresses the girls  are wearing these days, or the shoes, or the guys who showed up wearing shorts and a t-shirt. (Really people?)

You weren't there to cheer with us when she marched into the arena, her head held high under her gold mortar board to the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance."

You weren't there to hoot and holler and scream her name at the top of your lungs, even though they asked us so many times not to and reminded us several times about the dignity of this occasion. (They obviously forgot to tell the guys wearing the shorts and the t-shirt, however.)

You weren't there to wave to her as she took her seat and searched us out way up high in the stands.

You weren't there to hear her name as she walked across the stage to receive her high school diploma.

You weren't there to give her a big bouquet of roses and hugs and kisses and tell her how proud you were that she made it through high school.

You weren't there to see her smiles.

And that broke our hearts.

You should have been there. And but for one rainy night, one dark and lonely road, and one unbuckled seat belt, you might have been. If God could give us a do-over, we might have been a complete family on this night, not a mother without a son, a wife without a husband, a daughter without a father, a sister without her big brother.

 So we did it for you. Screamed, hollered, cheered, clapped and called out her name. And showered her with roses. Because we know you would have.  And because we wished you were there.

But you missed it. And you were missed.

read to be read at yeahwrite.me


  1. Your post is so incredibly sad, but beautifully written. I'm weeping.

  2. What a heartbreaking post, but so well written. You built the scene effectively and then the reveal of what happened was all the more tragic.

  3. Thanks for the comments. He was my big brother. Lost him 11 years ago this summer. I still get so mad at him. And I miss him. He should have been there last night.

  4. This really touched my heart. My brother was missing from his daughters graduation as well. There is nothing like that feeling that someone is missing.

    1. I was fine... Until the moment they handed her the diploma. Then I just said, "Oh Rhett. You missed it."

  5. This was very beautifully written.
    As a daughter without a Dad, it really struck a chord with me. I am so sorry for your family's loss, but so happy that you cheered and hollered and clapped on his behalf.

    1. She had a huge support system. But he so should have been there.

  6. Very beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  7. I loved being sucked into this remembrance. How beautiful, and how sad. My heart is aching with both pain and joy for the living of life that has continued.