An Announcement, A Celebration, and A Good Long Ugly Cry.


I have big exciting news.

This post was supposed to be me sharing that. I tried to write it all day. But I couldn’t. So, I gave up and realized that sometimes when you write and it comes out differently than you planned, it just might be the elixir for what ails you. This is that.

The moments of grief crash hard at inopportune times, like today.

The last time grief interrupted, I find myself abandoning my grocery cart with items carefully selected for their affordability and accordance with the clipped coupons rustling in my coat pocket. I have a list and a budget and no room to splurge. Josh hasn’t worked in two months.

I am suddenly pulling Kaia through Fred Meyers making my way through shoppers, past the Salvation Army jingle of good cheer to bless another and fill the tiny red pail with pocket change and crumpled bills. On the way in, I had given Kaia the change escaped from my wallet and she dropped each coin in one at a time.

But now we rush past as the bell rings in my ears and I break into sobs, heavy and racking before I even make it to the car. Kaia climbs in behind me and wraps her tiny arms around the back of my seat, restraining me like a swaddled child. And I feel the need to be pressed in because this Christmas I am a fatherless child.

A month prior, the anniversary of my dad’s passing went by like any other day.  It’s been three years. I don’t grieve hard or often. On that day, I thought more of my mom. I gave her space and she stayed in her room, I sent Kaia up with a plate for dinner. It came and went.

But this is something else. Because my dad wasn’t great at the every day. That’s where my mom shined. The hard work of mothering and making a life, that was all her. But when it came to celebrating. That was my dad.

He would wake us when the sun was still hiding, and we’d emerge from our cocoons to donuts and hot chocolate and we’d throw all the wrong things in bags and go explore. Sometimes it was camping on the first warm day and we’d find ourselves freezing and huddled when the temperature dropped fiercely at night.

Sometimes it was a trip to the mountain streams where he’d tempt us with $5 bills to jump in with all of our clothes, while my mom shook her head and scrounged for dry things, and we’d sit frozen and grinning all the way home. He was adventures and wild faith and making up for a childhood where he had no reason to celebrate. He was birthday cakes brought home on the wrong day. Sometimes the wrong month, but cut into anyway and passed around in celebration of Happy Thursday instead. He was holiday dinners when our normally small budget would be ignored and we’d pile up treats and make memories. He told the best jokes. He could hold a room with his voice.

celebrating with dad.jpg

And so last Christmas, I found myself standing in the meat department, knowing that my dad would have gone all out. And wanting just one more year to celebrate with him. And I ached and cried and longed for advent to show me the way home.

My dad never saw me blog. He had been gone a year before I ever thought about writing online. He was working on his memoir in fits and starts when he passed away but by then his mind was failing. His body was wrecked and the stories I grew up on were hard to pull up. He died before they were written down but I’ve heard them a hundred times.

I inherited my love of reading on the lap of my mother, her voice like a lullaby over my childhood. But I learned to tell stories from my dad. I learned to speak and when to drop the punchline with a straight face. I learned how to weave memories and make them matter. I learned to see God in words and voices and brokenness. That was the gift my dad gave me. I am a storyteller because of him.

Today, I am celebrating some amazing news. 

I have been asked to join the (in)courage contributors. I am blessed and honored and so happy to be storytelling along with so many gifted women in a place that values everyone’s voice.

My dad would have celebrated like crazy.

So part of me is grieving today. I was shocked to find grief waiting for me as I sat to pen these words telling you my good news. Because I know he would’ve shared it on Facebook way too much and told the lady in the checkout line and handed out my business cards and blog url to unassuming people and I would’ve been mortified. I would’ve asked him to stop. But he wouldn’t have. Even well into my thirties with a family of my own, he would’ve been proud of his little girl. So today I cried and let myself grieve in the midst of celebrating.

I let myself remember his stories and the gift he gave me to learn to tell my own. 

I remembered that lament and joy are not opposed.  We grieve the lost things even as we celebrate the gifts along the way.

It wasn’t the post I was going to write but writing is funny like that. Sometimes it’s less about trying to make the words fit the occasion and more about letting life bring out the words.

If you’re not a regular here, I’m sorry if you stumbled on my grief in the midst of what should be a warm welcome and a grand hurrah for all the new women joining (in)courage. Take a look around, I swear I don’t always cry, just sometimes.

Today, I’m celebrating in remembrance of the man who taught me my story matters. We will happy dance and cry and eat too many cupcakes. Join me?

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” (Ps. 126:5)




  1. says

    Amazing news! Looking forward to reading your posts there! I’m sure your father would be incredibly proud of you, for the woman and the mother and the writer that you are.

    • Alia Joy says

      Thanks Ruth. I know that too, I just really wished he could’ve been here. He would have been so annoying and embarrassing with it all but gawwww, if I don’t miss that about him. He did get to meet all my children and I’ll always be thankful for that.

  2. says

    YAY! Congrats!! My grandma was a storyteller and I always think of her when I write certain stories on my blog. My dad was too I’m sure but I don’t remember a lot of his stories.

    • Alia Joy says

      I love how we pick up certain traits from our parents or family and they stay with us and remind us of them. How is your blog for you dad going? I know you had set that up when we hung out at Allume. Maybe one of your other relatives remember more of his stories. I want to write my dads down someday so my kids will have them.

      • says

        It’s a work in progress….a lot of things were put on hold this year. My sister got married 2 weeks ago and we moved in March so things have been crazy. It’s a slow process but it’s coming. :) Thanks for asking! It has been a fun project as I’ve learned more about him.

  3. Jordan says

    Congratulations little sister! I am proud of you. Most of all because you love Jesus, and I know dad would have thought the same. I am glad to see you using your writing and I am sure our dad would be embarrassing you all over the place, as he loved to do, if he were here. He was proud of us, even as messed up as we were –dad believed in us and did not give up on us! Here’s to him, as we celebrate God’s work in your life, in our lives!

    You have always had a gift in your writing even as a little girl. Dad would have loved to see all this, but I think he is watching from that place of peace and smiling, waiting for the day when we shall all meet again.

    I miss him too, he was dad and he liked to party!

    • Alia Joy says

      Thanks Jordan. He would’ve been embarrassing me, right? Can you imagine dad and Twitter? Because you know he would’ve gotten an account just to retweet me. That would’ve been crazy. I had some of the same feelings when they were welcoming you at church as one of the new pastors. I remember thinking dad would’ve loved this. And getting to see you preach? I still get a kick out of it. I mean, if God can use you… ;) Dad didn’t get to see us living up into all of our dreams or callings but you’re right, he knew they were there. He told me all the time I had a calling on my life, even when I hated it, even when I didn’t even believe in God. He had crazy faith, that guy. Can’t wait for that party. Love you.

  4. says

    Hugging and grieving with you. And smiling and cheering you on too, SO very much friend. As you are. As He has made you. As you so faithfully write from the gift of who you are. Thank you for letting the living bring the words. Oh that we may all follow your lead. Crying, happy-dancing, and eating a few cupcakes right with you! I love you so very much. xo

    • Alia Joy says

      Love you so so so much, friend. I have officially replayed all your voxes, vox, voxi? and am so blessed by your words. You are a gift and you know I mean it because I called you and that NEVER happens. And what’s more, I loved every minute of it. Can’t wait to get together and do all of those things in real life. Until then, sending so much love right back to you, my dear beautiful friend.

  5. Mary Geisen says

    I’m grieving with you right now and tears spill onto my computer because I know deep loos. I am also rejoicing because you have been given a legacy through your parents that you are now carrying on by sharing your voice and story on this page. You are blessed admist the ugly, beautiful and painful. Celebrating with you as you continue your legacy and sharing your words for all of us.
    Blessing, Mary

    • Alia Joy says

      I know you do, Mary. And I love that you’re writing. It’s been such a blessing getting to know you and a bit of your story in the writers group. I am thankful beyond words for the parents God gave me. Thanks for celebrating with me!

  6. says

    I am crying and eating and dancing with you RIGHT. NOW. I am so happy to hear you are on the (in)courage team now. I actually KNEW you would be. I even almost sent you a message asking if you had been selected because I knew in my heart you were supposed to be. God is going to use you and your words in amazing ways. He already has. Thank you for letting us in to grieve and rejoice with you. This is so true, “Sometimes it’s less about trying to make the words fit the occasion and more about letting life bring out the words.” Yes. And I have a mother in Heaven cheering on my new found freedom to write, as well. It’s hard not having them here, but it’s a beauty knowing we are who they helped make us and when we tell our story, we are also telling theirs. God Bless You, Alia! :D

    • Alia Joy says

      Thank you so much, Meredith. I love that. It is hard sometimes, but I’m forever thankful for the ways God used my dad in my life. I think there are a lot of proud parents and loved ones in heaven. I love that picture and the reminder that we’ll see them again. Someday, I’d love to write his stories. But for now, I’ll write mine and know that he is always a huge part of that. Thanks for your gigantic vote of confidence. It’s appreciated.

  7. says

    As a motherless daughter, I know exactly how sneaky grief can be sometimes. For me, it tends to come up in ways that I would have never expected. Incourage is one of the first things I check in the mornings, the blog posts are part of my quiet time. I was so THRILLED to find your name there because you’re going to do an amazing job. Actually, I knew all along you’d be selected. During the waiting process I kept thinking, I bet it is Alia. You’re going to be great!

    • Alia Joy says

      It’s so hard missing a parent, even as a full on adult. Yes, I think that’s it. Sneaky grief. I just had no idea it was all there and then bam, I was a hot mess all day yesterday. Once I gave up trying to make this post cheerier or something else, it felt like healing. I just needed to let myself be sad too and miss him yesterday. Today, I’m celebrating knowing he would’ve been the first to buy an inappropriately large cake. And I think it’s so funny everyone knew I was going to be picked because I sure didn’t. That would have made the waiting time go by a lot quicker. Thankful for you guys and all the love.

  8. says

    I love hearing the history of where your heart for Jesus, reading and writing came from because I have been so blessed by your words. Thank you for sharing it all here with us.

    Congrats on joining the incourage group.

  9. Kim says

    I am so excited for you! What a great honor, and so well-deserved! I lost my stepfather over 10 years ago and my birth father over 20 years ago, and some days I still feel the loss keenly. Daddies are so important to little girls, and my girls are so blessed to have a great one. You are a shining legacy to your Dad, with the way you skillfully weave your words on this page. Hugs to you, friend!

    • Alia Joy says

      Yes they are. My husband just took Kaia out on a daddy-daughter date the other night and I could not even contain the tears at the look on her face. She got dressed two hours ahead of time and was grinning like crazy. It was so sweet. I’m sorry you lost both of your fathers. That cannot be easy. Hugs and thanks for the understanding, support, and encouragement. I always think of our lunch together and wish it were longer. Hope you’re settling in well to your new town.

  10. says

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your gift. What a way to honor your dad- by carrying on his gift and passionate use with words. And I’m often amazed as well, how we sit to write and something spills out we didn’t intend to release.

  11. ro elliott says

    I think some of the gifts God gives like…grief and joy… are not to be controlled… and so many times are companions… but when they come we are to fully embrace the cleansing that both can bring… Congrats on your place at incourage… this rich place just got a little richer.

    • Alia Joy says

      So many of the gifts God gives are out of our hands anyway, yes? There’s some kind of freedom in letting go and just allowing ourselves to be with God right smack dab in whatever we’re going through. Both amazing celebrations and tremendous grief. I love that we have a God who knows both. Thank you for saying so, I’m honored to be writing there.

  12. says

    Celebrating with you, for the legacy of story & special moments that your father left for you, and for the joy of getting to write beside you at (in)courage :) Love you, sister.

  13. says

    Alia what great news! Of all people–your voice, and you deserve to be there. Your dad sounds like a rare gem. I like his way of living life by diving right into it. It reminds me of our conversation in my car. How we can feel like God is only giving gifts to stare at them, but not to use them. Your papa showed a great example of diving right into the gift, not holding back. Don’t hold back Alia! I love you dearly friend.

    • Alia Joy says

      He really was, Kamille. He wasn’t always great at the minutia of everyday but he lived a bold life. Most of my crazy childhood memories involve us off on some adventure. I try to do those things with my kids too. I was so much like my dad in so many ways that we didn’t always get along when I was growing up but as an adult and especially as a mother, I learned to have so much grace for him. He left home when he was 11 so he never had parents to teach him how to father and still, he did a pretty great job, if I do say so myself. ;) Love you too, friend. Let’s chat soon.

  14. says

    Hooray Alia! I was thought of you when I saw they were adding to their contributors and I hoped you would be among them! So happy for you.

    Hugs to you as you miss your dad, yet rejoice in all the happy memories you have of him.

    • Alia Joy says

      I am rejoicing today and remembering and celebrating. It’s all the things. Thank you, Deborah! I’m blessed.

  15. says

    Congratulations on becoming a part of the (in)Courage team. Your father sounds like he was an amazing man. My grandma passed away many years ago, and grief still surprises me-it shows up like an unexpected houseguest with the worst sense of timing. But I still invite her in for awhile and allow myself permission to sit with the sadness. And I’ve learned in mourning and grieving that Jesus is closer to me than any other.

    I look forward to reading more of your stories.

    • Alia Joy says

      Yes Gina! I love that. Giving permission to sit with the sadness. That was me yesterday. I just needed to be there and feel free to know that I am hugely blessed and so very happy and also missing him and so very sad. I’m glad you get it but also know how hard it can be. SO thankful for Jesus who knows it all and is with us in it moment by moment. Thanks for stopping by and sharing some of your story.

    • Alia Joy says

      Thanks so much, Zohary, I’m kind of thrilled. ;) I was just thinking of you the other day. I was having coffee with a group of local bloggers including Debbie Strangeland and you popped into my head. How are you?

  16. says

    Alia, what a precious, precious story and a testament to your Dad. Isn’t it funny, once we put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) how the words pour out in a direction clearly of their own choosing.

    You are a treasure to (in)courage. Congratulations!

    • Alia Joy says

      Yes they do. And it’s always worse when I try to stifle them or make them behave. Sometimes you just need to write what comes out and let it be. I was really nervous about this post yesterday because it seemed so wrong for a celebration and a welcome introduction to this blog, but now I see that maybe God was at work after all. There’s a lot of grief in the world and we’re not always great at admitting sometimes we’re just sad about it all and that’s ok. Thanks for stopping by Jody, it was lovely to meet you at Faith and Culture.

    • Alia Joy says

      Me too. I’m so excited about this writing journey and get to know your story better as well. I was excited about the road trip part of inRL when I saw you and Crystal. Oh, we’re gonna have a good time. ;)

    • Alia Joy says

      Thank you so much Tanya. You were one of my first readers and the safe place I knew I could tell the hard parts of my story. So much love for you, friend.

  17. says

    Alia, friend, this made me tear and up –and– smile big. I absolutely loved reading this. *Thank you* for being the storyteller that you are, for not mincing any words, and for not hiding what is really just beneath the surface begging to get out. That is what I love about you. Thank you for sharing your stories true with us. And congratulations, my writing friend. So happy for you. I don’t read over at {in}courage a whole awful lot, but I’m sure I will be following you over there. Love you.

    {and p.s. — you made me think about my dad. I won’t have him forever. What a hole that leaves for a little girl, eh? May the Holy spirit wrap you in comforting arms today. I love you, Alia….}

    • Alia Joy says

      Thankful for you and your voice online Nacole. My fellow storyteller, my friend. Thankful for your kind words today. And I’d of course love for you to visit me on (in)courage. I’m a teeny bit terrified. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone. ;)

    • Alia Joy says

      Thank you Elizabeth! You believed in me a long time ago and it’s meant so much. Just thank you thank you thank you.

  18. says

    Alia! Grievejoicing with you. It is my new word to express what it feels like to rejoice on one front and grieve on the other all at the same time. You write so beautifully. So happy for you.

    • Alia Joy says

      I like it! I too am a maker upper of words and I like that one. There really should be a word for that because I think it is so much more common an emotion and experience than we realize. It was so fun to meet you in real life and now when I read your comment I have a real life face and voice to put it with. Somedays the internet makes me happy.

  19. says

    Alia, my heart is pounding and I try to find words now. But know this, your storytelling, your personality, your tenderness, your wit.. usher in the kingdom, friend. And to get a glimpse of your dad in you? His legacy? Wow. Just beautiful, you. Thank you.

    • Alia Joy says

      Oh Jennifer. I remember when I first starting writing you were one of the first blogs I found. It seems like forever ago and at the same time I still feel like I have no actual idea what I’m doing. I wrote a post about what it feels like when a writer gets you and linked to one of your posts in it.
      Most of the links are broken now, it’s been ages now. But I looked at it recently and saw that 5 of the 6 people there, I’m now writing online with or friends with or both. He’s so good and He knows just what He’s doing. So thankful for you, Jennifer.

  20. says

    Congratulations, Alia! I don’t read much over there — or I haven’t so far anyway — maybe I’ll follow your links like bread crumbs. I’m glad I know you. Thanks for your honesty, vulnerability and care.

    • Alia Joy says

      Yes, I’d love that and I’ll read everything you write for Deeper Story and we’ll get to know each other a bit more. I love that space too. We’re all just storytellers, yes? Doing our best to get to know each other. And of course, we’ll have coffee here in Bend when the weather gets good. I’m still waiting. Today was meh. But we got snow on April 1st which was just mean. Thankful for your voice and story on these here crazy interwebs. I’ll see you on Twitter. ;)

  21. says

    Oh, sweet Alia!
    I am rejoicing with you (and a bit teary as the loss of my own Daddy is still so fresh!). You are a gifted writer and the way you give glory to Jesus through your authenticity and humble heart has blessed my life. I am thrilled that (in)courage chose you, because they are truly blessed to have you!!!
    Thrilled! So much love.
    (And I have no doubt that your father would be so proud of you and how God is using your abilities. So, celebrating that today!)

    • Alia Joy says

      Thank you Becky. I’m so sorry for your recent loss. It’s so hard this side of eternity. I’m thankful for you as well. I cannot believe the love being poured out today. I am seriously just awed. You are a part of that. I’m celebrating too.

    • Alia Joy says

      Thanks Gretchen. I thought of you countless times this past week or two when I was trying to redesign my blog and broke the comments and couldn’t get the header in and countless other problems for a #techchallenged person like myself. I would’ve snatched you up to help if I could’ve but for now I’ll just know that I should have you helping from the get-go next time I want to change everything.

        • Alia Joy says

          No they were eternally gobbled up somewhere. I had to remove a jetpack configuration and then people had to come back and comment again. Of course it was the day I was doing a giveaway of Surprised by Motherhood and all they had to do was leave a comment. Or not. It was however, April fools, so it seemed appropriate.

    • Alia Joy says

      Join the party. ALL day long yesterday, and on and off all day today. I hear it’s good for the soul. Not great for the looks but so good for the soul.

  22. says

    “I remembered that lament and joy are not opposed.” So true. I lost my dad eight years ago… today. Gasp. That would explain the heavy heart I am carrying around today. Continue living into the legacy both of your parents gave you. That is beautiful.

    • Alia Joy says

      Oh wow, so sorry for your loss. Yes, finding joy among the sadness. Only in God that’s so evidently possible. Sending a prayer your way right now for your day as you remember him.

  23. says

    I love you so… and I love your Dad for how he fathered you… how he poured in to you and stirred up adventure and the power of story and I am so stinkin’ proud of you, girlie! And I say… in June… when we actually pick a date and make it real… we eat CAKE! <3

  24. says

    Congrats! I got directed to the I courage site from Shannon Martin and then saw your picture….were you at the Faith and Culture Writers Conference??!! You look so familiar to me! Then I saw that your live in central Oregon. We moved to Corvallis in July :). Look forward to following your blog!
    Christine Gough

    • Alia Joy says

      I was at Faith and Culture! We live in Bend but I drove up to Portland with a friend of mine. Thanks for stopping by. Always good to meet fellow PNW bloggers. Where’d you move from?

      • says

        Awesome! We moved from the Bay Area last July. We love it in Oregon, but are ready for some SUN! Just spent spring break in Bend and are planning another trip in July. Might have to hit you up for Bend recommendations! :)

        • says

          Yes, it’s lovely in the summer, it’s just so short. You learn to take advantage of EVERY sunny day and store them up for the long winter. Hit me up if you come through.

  25. says

    Alia-Joy, thank you for being brave. For letting messy feelings leak and your heart lead. It’s helped me. I’ve tried to write my post all day but haven’t been able to complete it. Unanticipated feelings have come: overwhelmed, nervous, grateful, and guilty. That’s been the harder one. Guilty for being given a yes so many wanted. Heart aching because I know the disappointment, and the rejection lies that come with no.

    But as I read your post, God reminded me that I asked this because my heart needed this community of writers and artists, women and friends that encourages one another and others in ways that are so unique to (in)courage. And that I can celebrate without any guilt. Thank you for helping me understand the messy stuff in my heart today. I’m so honored I’ll get to call you friend.

    PS> I want to be your Daddy when I grow up as a mom: adventures and wild faith; birthday cakes brought home on the wrong day… cut into anyway and passed around in celebration of Happy Thursday instead.”

    Im going to buy a cake in his honor this week, and celebrate you too!

    • Alia Joy says

      Renee, Thank you so much for your encouraging heart and your honesty. I can imagine what that must feel like. And I’m sorry you have. But even from dear friends who’ve gotten the hard no, they’ve been the first to proclaim the truth that it’s not us but God. He is in control and knows long before we ever do what His will and plan for us is.

      I was so nervous about this post. All day yesterday and last night it didn’t make sense why I was feeling all these things so strongly. And then I simply could not write any other story but the one I was living. And today, it’s making sense. The post that seemed so inappropriate for the occasion yesterday seems to be just what needed to be in this space. And that was not me. Like I said, I would have written it differently if I could.

      But today, I’ve received some of the most gracious heartfelt messages and emails from people who are grieving lost loved ones today. Specifically today. And even in the grief and disappointment of a no, we can find joy. How beautiful that God is with us.

      I am overjoyed to get to make new friends and deepen relationships with old ones and I’m so glad to be in this with you and your gracious heart. I am so blessed by your words here. And I want to be like my dad too. In so many ways. Especially the eating cake part. ;) Love that! Happy celebrating and congratulations. You were meant for this.

  26. Ruth Hagenbach says

    Alia… we are so proud of you and so excited to see God propel you into a new arena of sharing your heart. You truly do have a great gift. And I so understand about your Dad being the one who helped you learn to tell stories… my Dad was the same way. I am sure they are both rejoicing with you too!!! Will be interesting to see how this new window of opportunity opens other doors too! Love you so!
    I call the grief.. the waves… they come on me at times when I least expect it and roll me around in their tumbling way and then they slowly pull back. It seems we need those times of tumbling to clear out unspoken grief and feel refreshed…

    • Alia Joy says

      So true. I miss your dad as much as my own in so many ways. He was literally the only Grandpa I ever had and one of the most godly men I ever knew. I loved him so much and it makes me happy to think him and my dad are together. Love you so much.

  27. says

    Your dad would be so proud of you. Love this tribute to him and love that doors are opening for you just that little bit wider. And wider. And they will only get wider… on your narrow path. Love.

    Also loving your new design. xx

    • Alia Joy says

      Yes those crazy doors we talked about. I’m so glad you’re here and we can bounce all the writerly things off each other. I love that the internet isn’t how we met but it’s how we connected. I hope you’re enjoying your rest and getting lots of long writing sessions in.

  28. says

    I enjoyed this post. I can feel sadness, thinking what your dad would do….I’m still missing my dad after 27 years, him missing the grandchildren grown and great grandchildren, not sure if he’d be tweeting, but he’d have that proud smile on his face that would light up his eyes as well. Mom would be proud and still is, living out her days in a nursing home. Keep on sharing your thoughts and life and congratulations on being asked to contribute to something beyond your blog! I’m happy for you! Prayers for a job for your husband. Never fun, been there a few times ourselves! Gentle hugs! God bless!

    • Alia Joy says

      Thank you Becky. I don’t think we’ll ever stop missing the people we lost this side of eternity. Thank you for those prayers, my husband actually has a lot of work right now so some of our prayers were abundantly answered but for a period of time during November and December he had absolutely nothings. This is life being a self-employed construction company in Oregon. It’s a constant faith roller coaster that God is going to provide. Right now we’re catching up and considering ourselves blessed. Hugs to you too.

  29. Sheila says

    Found you by way of We Are That Family – wow today of all days – it’s been 22 yrs since my dad died much too young for any of us to comprehend at the time. I’ll get up soon & live the day as I have for years wondering “what if?” This past summer I opened a small business- he had one all his life & I thought “I wonder what dad would have done”. I like to think he would have shouted from the rooftops. It’s hard – at one month, one year, 3 years & 22 years. Here’s to our dads & all we have accomplished – maybe they are celebrating together !

  30. says

    I finally made my way on over here to read this…glad I waited because oh the tears and runny mascara…Don’t be one bit sorry for this because you know that I believe wholeheartedly that grief and joy can inhabit the same soul simultaneously. I get the whole side-swiped by grief thing too. Boy, we do miss our Daddies sometimes don’t we? Sister, I’m so happy for you. That kind of happy that makes it feel like it is happening to you because you’re just so wholeheartedly glad. I’m pretending we’re eating Pho, a Voodoo donut and watching Pretty in Pink because that’s the way WE would celebrate this. I’m still holding out for that being a reality at some point.

    • says

      Love you friend, so much. Thank you for celebrating with me and I look forward to the day when we can party for reals. Because that has to happen.

  31. Anna says

    Alia,So proud of you Alia!! Your post made me cry..thinking of your Dad and thinking of u being sad missing him. Your dad was such a awesome person he was always so fun and enjoyable to be with..I just loved him:) May God continue his awesome work in you Alia!!Love Anna your sis in law)!

  32. says

    This was beautiful! Memories have a way of creeping up on us when we least expect them. And the writing sometimes has a mind of it’s own. Love that you are part of the (in)courage group of writers! Congratulations!

  33. says

    Looks like I’m late to the party! But not too late to tell you I’ve loved your words since the first time I heard you speak them at the Allume Coffeehouse in 2012. Since then you’ve continued to pierce my heart with your wit, authenticity, and unique perspective on truth! I was cheering for you and am thrilled you were selected to join the (in)courage team. The entire community will be blessed by your gift. Congratulations, Alia!

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