Words From My Father

  • I just returned home to Montana after spending two weeks back east, helping to care for my father who was dealing with some health issues.

    On the flight home from New York, back to Montana on Sunday, I called my dad from the layover in Minneapolis, around noon. When he answered the phone in his hospital room, it sounded like I had awakened  him from a deep sleep. I asked him if he wanted to go back to sleep and he said “Yes”, telling me that he was so very tired.

    Looking back, I should have known something was wrong, as he always talked with me, even if he was tired. Instead, he told me that he’d talk to me later that evening. Again, rather than our normal practice of making it clear who was calling whom, he just said “I’ll talk to you later tonight, Honey. I love you”.

    I boarded the flight for home. As we were landing in Montana, we flew over the snowcapped peaks of the Swan Mountain range, part of the Rocky Mountains, just outside of Glacier National Park. As I looked down on the beauty below, I thought how much my parents would have enjoyed seeing this incredible sight with me. My mother passed away 11 months ago but prior to that, they both enjoyed visiting us in Montana, and especially loved the natural beauty of Glacier National Park.

    We landed, gathered our luggage and headed home. A few minutes after my husband and I walked into our home, I received a call from my sister, informing me that my dad had just passed away, just as I was flying over Glacier and “sharing” the view with my parents. It seems there are some bonds that even time and space can’t break.

    Throughout the next few hours I kept thinking of my dad’s final words to me…. “I’ll talk to you later tonight, Honey. I love you”. I so wanted to go to that quiet space inside and listen for his words, but between the flood of tears and the calls from friends, the quiet never came. Just before going to sleep, my husband and I decided to watch a television program that we had recorded, to take my mind off of the pain. Unexpectedly, in the words of this program, my father kept his promise and “talked to me”.

    The character in the program was speaking to a graduating class, but to me, the words were spoken to me from my father, on the very day that he died….

    There are personal truths we all have to face, whether we want to or not. Everything eventually ends. I’ve never liked endings. The last day of summer, the last chapter of a great book. Endings are inevitable. Leaves fall, we close the book, we say goodbye. Today is one of those days for us. Today we say goodbye to everything that was familiar, everything that was comfortable. We’re moving on. But just because we’re parting and it hurts, there are some people who are so much a part of us, they’ll be with us, no matter what. They are our solid ground, our north star, and, the small clear voice in our heart that will be with us, always.

    I am so grateful to my Dad for sharing these words- his words- with me. Amidst the wealth of wonderful memories of the times we spent together over the last 53 years, I will carry these words with me for the rest of my life. He will continue to be my solid ground, my north star, and the small clear voice in my heart that will be with me, always. I love you Dad.

    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of InspireMeToday.com, bringing the best inspiration to the world. InspireMeToday.com provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to InspireMeToday.com, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

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    1. Gretchen Darrell
      Gretchen Darrell says:

      Wow, Gail. My heart goes out to you and I find such motivation by this message. It is true, we all have to face these difficult losses. Your words, above, have hit my soul. Deeply. Thank you for the wisdom. It has made me reflect on my own personal relationships and potential goodbyes, and I only hope to have an ounce of your strength when I have to face similar struggles. Hugs to you. Thank you.

    2. Jerri McGrath
      Jerri McGrath says:

      Dearest Gail, My daughter just called me to tell me of your loss. Having just recently met your dad and having so enjoyed seeing the close bond between the two of you, I can imagine the feeling of hurt and sadness you must be feeling. It is so characteristic of you to want to share your dad’s precious message to you with those around you. You are a wonderful, strong and beautiful person. My thoughts and prayers will be with you. Love ya, Jerri

    3. Janie Hoffman
      Janie Hoffman says:

      Gail what you said about dad, our amazing father, is beautiful. I too will always treasure the times we had with our wonderful parents and will cherish each memory. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    4. Gail Lynne Goodwin
      Gail Lynne Goodwin says:

      Thanks to all of you who have commented, emailed, called and showered us with love during this difficult time. I greatly appreciate each and every one of your kind thoughts.


    5. Kelly Bouchard
      Kelly Bouchard says:

      My Dear Sweet Gail, I am so sorry to hear that your Dad passed away, please accept my most sincere condolences.

      As I look at your Mom and Dad in this beautiful picture, it becomes so apparent where your loving heart comes from. You’ve obviously made them very proud by being the luminary that you are and let’s not forget the world’s biggest hugger! I love how your Dad was wearing an Inspire Me Today shirt. This was such a beautiful tribute, may they both continue to live on in your heart.

      Sending you lots of love, hugs and prayers xo

    6. Sue Cinner
      Sue Cinner says:

      Dear Gail,
      Having said good bye to my Dad almost 6 months ago, those words speak to me, too.
      I often say good night to him when I look up at the evening stars. May the North Star continue to shine down upon you. Lots of love and sympathy, Sue

    7. Karen Putz
      Karen Putz says:

      Gail, tears are falling here– to lose both parents in such a short span of time is heartbreaking. What a beautiful message you received and the snow-capped peaks will be a forever image in your mind. Love and hugs.

    8. Terri Mellinger
      Terri Mellinger says:

      Gail, My husband and I shared several trips to Mississippi through Servants with your parents. We both send our thoughts and prayers to all of your family at this difficult time. We have shed a few tears of our own in sadness at your dad’s passing, but we also are so happy for Gordy to be reunited with Joanie…we truly loved both your parents and were so imspired by them!! We saw your dad not too long ago when he came to worship with us at Zion UMC in East Prospect. It was always a joy to see him!! Again, sending much love and prayers for your entire family. Terri and Lonnie Mellinger

    9. Sam
      Sam says:

      Gail my deepest sympathy
      You know i understand your loss
      I am truly sorry, I still suffer the pain when my friends lose there love ones
      Which why I have a hard time responding
      My love to you and your family always

    10. Elaine Starling
      Elaine Starling says:

      I know your father meant those words for you! I’m so glad you are able to hear his voice in the world around you. Your Dad will always be there to nurture your soul and celebrate your life. I hope you notice many more messages from your Dad in the days ahead.

    11. Marie
      Marie says:

      ohhh my goodness Gail. I had nooo idea. you will be in my prayers. such a difficult journey.

      May the memories you cherish continue to encourage and carry you through the difficult days.



    12. Sandi McKenna
      Sandi McKenna says:

      Gail … I am so sorry to hear about your dad. What a beautifully written post. Your grace is ever present even at this most difficult time. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. xoxo

    13. Lisa
      Lisa says:


      I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. Knowing you just lost you mom makes it even more difficult. I am so sorry. You will be in our thoughts and prayers. Miss you much ol friend. Big long hugs, Lisa

    14. Charlene potterbaum
      Charlene potterbaum says:

      Dear Gail~hard to believe I was flitting about the country totally oblivious to your pain, as I just now read this about your Dad. But I loved, so much, your deep knowing that this was the message from your Dad that you so needed to hear. Little rivulets of love rippled down my soul as I read the words…and it felt so refreshing. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with us….Love, Char


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