The term #always8s came up right after my Dad passed away.  Before any boys entered the picture at the Kelly house, it was always my sisters, parents and me – the original Fives.  We talked a lot about the 5’s and how if any of us ever got married that we would still have to do stuff just the 5 of us – we had such a special bond.

Of course, as we got married, we realized that the addition of each boy made our family better and stronger – we talked about the Sevens A LOT before my younger sister got married and once Zack joined our family – the Eights were born.

Of course, going to Longboat Key was a great break from the day to day but even this being our 3rd time going without Dad, it still felt like something major was missing.

Everyone had their own thing with him down there – your one on one time where you could just be together and talk openly and honestly about whatever was going on.  It was the perfect time to reconnect.  My time with Dad was walking in the mornings.  We are both early birds so, naturally, we always were up and ready to go at 630am.  My earliest memories as a child down in Longboat were walking the beach in the morning with my Dad.  And what is so hard about being down there is that I don’t have my walking buddy.

As much as I didn’t want to continue walking without him, nothing could keep me asleep past 7am so up I went and headed down to the beach each morning on vacation.

Sometimes I was joined by Bea, or my sister, or my Mom….but mostly it was just me, the sound of the waves, and my Dad.  I’d talk to him like I normally do on my drives to work each morning but on the last day I sat on the beach and just looked into the ocean and could’t stop crying.  I was upset, and sad, and angry, and tired of it all and when I looked up, a small little rainbow was peeking through the clouds that morning.  As soon as I stopped crying it went away.


I am a firm believer in signs and I had another experience with this on the day we closed on our new house.  I was driving to the closing and was missing my Dad and this song came on that I had never heard before.  It was called “My Little Girl” and the lyrics were…

You’ve grown up now
And you’ve packed your bags
You’re leaving home as I

Stand here so speechless
Cause you’re so beautiful
As you live your dreams
And I want you to know
You will always be

My little girl
My little, my little girl
This is your world
So go explore now

For the full song lyrics – click HERE.


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