The Happy Nappy Bride

About weddings. About relationships. About the first year of being married.

My dad February 7, 2011

Filed under: Home life — Happy Nappy Bride @ 10:36 pm

This week, one of The Mister’s high school friends’ dad passed away at 61…just like my dad.  It happened suddenly…just like my dad.  It’s amazing how the present can take you to the past so quickly.

I remember getting a message on my phone while I was getting a bagel (toasted with butter) for lunch.  I didn’t notice the message until I was driving, so I just waited until I got back to my office.  And that’s when I first knew something was wrong.  Because the message was from a hospital in Jackson, MI and that’s where my dad lived.

“This is Nurse Susie and I’m looking for Dawn.  Please give me a call when you receive this message.”

My stomach dropped.  All sorts of horrible scenarios went through my head as to what had happened to my dad.  None of them involved his death.

I called the nurse back and she asked my name and I told her.  She asked if my dad was my dad and I said he was.  She said that the ambulance had been called to his house the night before and that the doctors had tried really hard, but he didn’t make it.

I didn’t understand, so I asked her what she meant.  She said again that “he didn’t make it.”  I asked her if he was dead and she said yes.  I asked her if this was some awful joke and she sounded offended as she said, “of course not.”

I thanked her for letting me know and hung up while she was telling me that she was sorry for my loss.  I just stared at the phone.

Then I went to look for my boss because we had a meeting scheduled at that very moment.  I saw her and told her that I wouldn’t make the meeting and fell out right there in the hallway.  She took me back to my office and I blubbered what I’d just found out…that my daddy had been dead when I thought he was alive.

I called my brother and told him what the nurse had told me: that my dad called the ambulance and didn’t make it…that he had an aneurysm.  Since I’m sure I was nonsensical when I talked to him, he asked for the nurse’s number so that he could find out more information.

But all I needed to know was that my dad was dead.

I still have my dad’s phone number programmed into my phone…I can’t bring myself to delete it.

So when we went to the visitation the other day and his wife and kids all said they couldn’t believe it because it was so sudden, all I could say was, “I understand and I’m so sorry.”

Those are the most true things that I’ve ever said because I understand all too well…and that’s why I’m so sorry.


an ode to autumn August 21, 2010

Filed under: Fun with hubbie,Home life — Happy Nappy Bride @ 10:31 pm
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Booooy, it’s football season y’all!  I know there are only preseason games on now, but I’ll take what I can get.  I love hearing that NFL theme song, it just gets my heart to humming.  I can watch it on tv or I can listen to it on the radio, but however I get it, I need my football fix.  I know that I can’t be the only lady out there who loves her pigskin weekends.  And as much as I love the tactics, the athleticism, and the emotion of the game…I like the way the dudes look in their uniforms just as much!  Shhhh…don’t tell The Mister.

But I learned to love the game as a young girl, sitting on my dad’s lap (he was a former collegiate football player, just like The Mister) and hollering at the tv with him.  He would patiently explain the different offensive packages to me and why this or that player was doing what he was doing.  And when we’d visit family, and the ladies were in the kitchen gossiping about whatever, I just wanted to be in the living room with the guys, watching the game and debating the merits of who was the better running back or corner.

These days, The Mister and I can spend all day Sunday with the games on and both of us are happy.  I enjoy hustling back from church and lazing around with him, watching the games.  Him, getting work done on the computer with one eye on the game.  Me, looking through the Sunday paper while getting dinner cooked, with one eye on the game.  Or, when I’ve begged enough to wear him down…heading to get wings and watching all the games at once.  Sheer joy at the football overload!

So welcome football season and welcome autumn.  To me, they’re one and the same.


daddy’s girl June 20, 2010

Filed under: Black weddings — Happy Nappy Bride @ 11:08 pm
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There was no father of the bride at my wedding a few weeks ago.  That’s because my dad passed away suddenly in 2008, which turned out to be quite the transformational year for me.  It was the year this proud daddy’s girl became fatherless and I also met the man of my dreams who would eventually become my husband.

I loved my dad fiercely and unapologetically, much in the way I love The Mister.  They’re both big, strong men physically and emotionally.  They’re both the center of attention…the life of the party.  They both love me.  So I consider myself to be pretty blessed to have these two men in my life.  My only regret is that they never got the chance to meet each other.

Happy Father’s Day dad…I know you would’ve loved this great guy I married.


dads April 9, 2010

Filed under: Community — Happy Nappy Bride @ 7:07 am
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So the new Tiger Woods commercial is getting a lot of criticism these days.  Some folks say that he’s using his dead father to help him out of this jam he’s gotten into and all sorts of other stuff.

I see it a bit differently.  As someone who’s lost her dad and was very close to him, I get it.  When my dad passed away, it was like I lost my lighthouse in the darkness, my go-to person, a true friend.  It was one of those situations where I loved my dad fiercely and everyone knew it.  So when he passed away suddenly, not only was I tremendously sad…I was lost.

That’s why I get it that Tiger let Nike use his dad’s voice on that commercial…because he believes that on some level, his dad would have kept him from messing everything up like he has. And quite honestly, I’d give anything just to hear my dad’s voice again…even if it were just a recording.

I’ve missed my dad a lot lately because I know he would have had my back with all of this wedding stuff.  He was the ultimate “eff ’em” kinda dude.  Before I even had any good marriage prospects and was worried about never getting married, he was like, so what if you don’t…eff ’em if they’re making you feel badly about that.  When I would break up with some dude, he’d be all, obviously he’s not good enough…eff ’em.  So I know exactly what he’d say if he were around now and I’d complain to him about some of the nonsense I’m hearing regarding our wedding plans.

I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but give Tiger a break.


giving honor February 17, 2010

Filed under: Black weddings — Happy Nappy Bride @ 3:53 pm
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I’ve mentioned before that my dad died a couple of years ago.  And much like weddings, when you plan a funeral, you learn all sorts of stuff.  At that time, I didn’t realize that all veterans receive a flag on their coffin when they get buried.  I also didn’t realize that you can request current Army folk to play Taps at the funeral…or that those same folks will fold up the flag and give it to the oldest sibling.

Now I’m not the oldest sibling, but my brother and I’d just bought my dad a retirement gift (he died one day short of retiring) which was really nice, so when we were going through everything, I decided to keep the flag and he kept the retirement gift.

Saying I was a daddy’s girl would be the understatement to end all understatements!  Me and pops were close…he got me, I got him, we vibed.  Anyhoo, I wanted to find a way to honor him in the ceremony beyond just a mention in the program or something like that.  I’ve decided to have my neice and nephew walk my dad’s flag down the aisle just ahead of me (and my brother who’s standing in for my dad)…I’m pretty fired up about this.  I think people will enjoy it…and his side of the fam will probably boo hoo, but that’s okay.  Sometimes a little boo hooing is called for.

Are you doing anything to honor those that have passed on?  I came up with this because I just couldn’t imagine my dad not walking me down the aisle.  Now with a little imagination and help from my fam…my dad can be a physical presence.


real talk February 13, 2010

Filed under: Marriage — Happy Nappy Bride @ 5:56 am
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A few folks were asking about the premarital workbook The Mister and I are using, so I figured I’d write a bit about it.  First, I bought it on amazon so you can go over there to read reviews and whatnot.  Second, they’re written from a Christian perspective, so if that’ s gonna bother you…you’ve been warned.

Anyhoo, I think The Mister and I are absolutely wonderful together.  We know how to have fun and how to love and support one another.  I think one thing that we don’t do well is serious talk.  I’m not talking about if there’s sickness in the family or something, because I know both of us would drop whatever we’re doing and figure it out later.  A quick story.  My dad died in 2008 very suddenly…like I’d talked to him the night before and the next day he was dead.  I was devastated, shocked, everything you’d assume.  That night (after I was exhausted from calling family members), he says, “so when are we leaving?”  The Mister and I had only been dating a month when my dad died, yet he offered to be there when I needed him most.  That’s when I figured out he was a keeper.

But everyday serious stuff?  We’re not so good at that.  Like bills, and how to raise kids, and family histories…naw, we needed the book.  Neither one of us is comfortable bringing it up, but neither one of has any problem talking about it…once the book tells us we can, lol.  Using the book frees the both of us from thinking the other is being accusatory or anything.

Here you go, cover with table of contents:

I recommend doing some sort of workbook or premarital couselor to take the conversation a bit deeper.  This one gets my thumbs up.   We’ve got another book that just has questions in it that we’ll go thru once we’re finished with this one.  The Mister doesn’t like the “workbook” aspect I don’t think, but we’ve had fun doing the exercises still the same.  Each time we finish, we get all smoochy and say how cool that was to learn more about each other.  The other night after finishing up, this was our conversation:

Me: I’m going to try my hardest to be the best wife I can be.

The Mister: And I’m going to try my hardest to be the best husband I can be.

Me: I love you!

The Mister: I love you so much!

*starry eyes*


weddzilla post January 26, 2010

Filed under: Black weddings — Happy Nappy Bride @ 2:29 pm
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My dad died suddenly in 2008…exactly one month and one week after I met The Mister, so they never got a chance to meet.  It makes me sad and I wrote about it over here.