this day

we try so hard to not be sad on this day.

he didn’t want that.

so we celebrate his birthday…five days before this.

we talk about how he had a funny comment for everything.

…how he could make anyone,  anyone laugh.

…how he could pull of things anyone else would get scolded, yelled at, or arrested for.

…and no one would be mad.

we marvel at how much Eddie is like his Papa already.

And we smile.

But today…

no matter how hard we try,

we cry.

We remember the day.

We remember how he waited and held on until Cort and I made it to say goodbye…

before rushing Cort to the ER to have an appendectomy.

We remember everyone who packed in his house to hold vigil.

We remember how he fought so hard…

but couldn’t beat the cancer.

And we remember all the good things…

and let our hearts weep that he’s not here anymore.

He died two months after becoming my father-in-law…

…four years before becoming Eddie’s Papa.

Long before he ever became sick, he firmly believed that we are being carried through the hard times.

And because of that, I am posting his favorite poem today.

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was only one.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints,
so I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you the most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.'”

Eddie and his Papa

Six years.

And it doesn’t get easier.

This day is just…



To read Cort’s letter to his dad, go here.

To read Cort’s sister’s letter to her sons about their Grandpa, go here.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. ((hugs))

  2. Cancer DOES suck.

    It will be 24 years this coming December since my Dad passed away. He had lung cancer.

    While the pain isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be? It is still there all these years later.

    My thoughts are with you and Cort and his family.

  3. Oh Katie, I am so sorry. Your FIL’s prayer/poem is my favorite too, “Being Carried” is what gets me through some of the darkest times of my life. I hope you and Cort know that in your grief you are being Carried too and I’m holding you in my heart today as you remember.

    Much love to you today my friend.

  4. thinking of you. hold each other tight today.

  5. I really have no words to say. I wish I did. This is a beautiful tribute. God Bless y’all. (((((HUGS)))))

  6. The anniversaries are tough. I’m sending hugs and peace your way xoxo

  7. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Go easy on yourselves today.

  8. I think way you remember him is truly wonderful.

  9. Lots of love to you and Cort.