Please excuse me in advance for how nondescript and fast-paced this story seems. I already know that I’m doing it a disservice. Each paragraph deserves it’s own chapter (while some their own book!) as the story is truly as beautiful as it could have possibly been. But I know that time is of the essence and I’ve only slept for about ten minutes in the last 30 hours so I must tell the end of his beautiful story as quickly as I can before I forget.
Because I haven’t talked about this much here, let me get you up to date with the CliffsNotes version of what’s been going on with my life in 2017.
On December 31st, my father was admitted to a Tacoma General Hospital with something serious. We didn’t know exactly what it was, but we most definitely knew it was neurological. He couldn’t speak, he couldn’t write, and he was quickly losing use of the right side of his body. When they asked him who they should contact, his response was (quite reluctantly, as he’s a very private man) “Bobbi.”
“Funny how life can change. It’s a rough hit. However, I have survived a double [parachute] malfunction. So all is not lost.” -Michael Sheridan
So the doctor did just that. First I was worried. Then I was stumped. Why did he ask that I’m his point of contact? He has four other kids all who live within 30 minutes of him, meanwhile I live 2500 miles away, why did he ask for me?
I now know it’s because he knew something that no one else did: that he was dying, and soon. We thought he had found out his diagnosis and prognosis that week. I now know he knew a month before the rest of us knew. What was he told then? Neuroendocrine Pancreatic Cancer. He most likely knew nothing more than that because I’m guessing he refused to allow more tests. What did we know of it a month later? Neuroendocrine Pancreatic Cancer that had metastasized and two lung tumors and four brain tumors… and one of those brain tumors had ruptured. Holy shit. This is real.
“Everything is going to be different. I can’t tell you how excited I am. I haven’t been happy in years. Death has a funny way of giving you something worth living for. I’m looking forward tomorrow; and tomorrow is promised to no one.” -Michael Sheridan
Dad knew that I was the only one who was capable of caring for him emotionally, physically and financially.
This is the part where I hit a serious fast forward. (I’ll tell the in-between stories in the future, I promise. They’re way too good not to!).
I flew from Indianapolis to Seattle, WA on January 17th to drive my father from Tacoma to Indianapolis. This part of the story is epic. This is the that part deserves it’s own book! So to be continued.
We were home by January 22nd.
The Indianapolis hospital found out that he didn’t have only 4 brain tumors… no no no, that wasn’t nearly bad ass enough.
“You got a number doc?” -Dad
“A number?” -Doctor Payton, Radiation
“He wants to know how many brain tumors he has.” -Me.
“Oh. Umm. Well… eighteen.” -Doctor Payton
“Whoa! Wow! Badass! Tell me doc, have you ever met a guy with eighteen brain tumors that looked like me, talked like me, walked like me sitting across the room from you?” -Dad
“Ummm… well… maybe… you know… I don’t think so…” -Doctor Payton
“BAM! Yeah! Eighteen!” -Dad
“Wow dad. Eighteen? Wow.” -Bobbi
::BIG MISCHIEVOUS SMILE:: -Dad
::scared sh**less, but chooses to let dad dictate how he wants me to feel about this::
Intense brain radiation is scheduled. He quite proudly doesn’t lose all of his hair. “I think I look like an old guy with a cool hair cut!” Rather, he does lose a lot of weight.
“As far as my brain tumors go, I do not have 4 as I was originally told. In fact I have 18! A year ago they never would have seen all the other little gangsters. Now they can. The doctor gave the impression he had never seen so many! I had a cosmic mask of my head made that will strap my coco-nut down and immovable while the zippy zapper swings around precisely radiating the tumors. It will take ten days to complete this treatment. Today is day one. It’s kinda cool. They’re not going to do anything about the body until the brain is squared away. They don’t seem to be too antsy about having to wait. And for extra bonus points, I’ll lose my hair for a while; but not my new cool beard! Wait and see.” -Michael Sheridan
Super serious fast forward again (WAY too much in between the last part and the next part to even include silly anecdotes!)
His weight takes a serious turn for the worst. We made a deal in the very beginning of this journey that we weren’t allowed to lie to each other. And up to this point I believe we stayed true to that. However, I knew that he had taken a turn for the worst when his weight drops even more and he begins to lie to me about it. I finally call him on it when he’s all drugged up on morphine one night. “Dad, how much do you weigh?”
“I’m holding steady at ___ lbs” -Dad
“Are you telling me the truth? Because I happen to have two eyes that work impressively well.” -Bobbi
“No, not really. But I don’t want you to know.” -Dad
“I respect that. In the future, please tell me that.”
Then a week later Toni, his assigned (and incredible) hospice nurse, notices that dad’s pain meds are disappearing in record amounts. She’s seen these signs before. A veteran who doesn’t admit pain.. not a new concept. This most certainly isn’t Toni’s first rodeo. Bottom line: he’s in pain, a lot of it, and he doesn’t want Bobbi Shell to know it.
The next morning (Friday) he starts his day by talking with his daughter Kelsey on FaceTime. He begins lashing out on both Kelsey and I. Dad is downright determined to do yard work. I ask that he doesn’t because that will require that I go out there and supervise him and quite frankly, I can’t do that. Did I mention that I was hosting a workshop at my house the next day and hardly anything had been done yet because we were worried about dad? He’s mad and wants to drive. He tries to but then realizes that he’s not being safe and leaves the car in the driveway (I’m sorry I didn’t hide the keys) and begins yelling at my mom some non-sensical stuff. He’s gone from needing to do yard work to needing to drive to needing the bucket because he needs to wash and wax his car. He washes it, tries to dry it, waxes 1/3rd of it before he says, “I can’t reach that, can you finish Bobbi?” Absolutely dad, I would be happy to wax Scarlett! (I bought him his dream car when we moved him here: a 2001 red Honda Prelude).
Frustrated with his weak body (he hasn’t eaten in 6 days), heads back downstairs and well… I don’t remember what was next. All I remember is Toni the nurse calling me and suggesting in-patient hospice care. My gut said yes. My heart said no. Then I remembered what his sister Cathy (who cared for Momzie, their mother, at the end) told me, “Inpatient hospice is a flat-out gift from God himself. If I’d known then what i’ve since learned, I would have never made that promise.”
Dad’s initial response to Toni suggesting it. “F**k no you’re not taking me.” She suggests it again, “Did I not make myself clear the first time? F**k. No. You’re. Not. Taking. Me. Just load me up with morphine and send me on my way.”
That’s when I broke down crying, “Dad, I’ve hit my limit. I’ve given you everything I am capable of. I am officially no longer capable. It has become too much and I cannot do it. I need for us to do this” Up to that point, I had never really told him, “no, I can’t do that.” My dad had this theory of me, “if it shall be done, then number one will do!” (I’m number one because I’m the oldest of his kids)
He stops, takes a second to process and reluctantly says, “Alright.”
Whoa. He just did that to protect me. He’s going to die somewhere he doesn’t want to die because he’s protecting me. This was big to me.
My dad loves music more than anyone I know. So I grab his cell phone and start playing dylanradio.com. What song comes on? “Open the Door, Homer” by Dylan. Dad and I both stop everything in our tracks and kind of collapse on his couch. We hold hands and sing it. Here’s the line that we both knew was coming, “Take care of all of your memories, for you cannot relive them. And remember when you’re out there trying to heal the sick that you must always first forgive them” —Bob Dylan Yeahhhh… whoa.
We both cry and he starts to get himself dressed. The energy that took from him was too much. He sits down in the rocking chair that was his mother’s mother’s rocking chair that I proudly inherited. I’ve never seen him actually sit in it until then. We sit there for a few minutes. He says he’s ready to go (the EMTs are standing there waiting to get him up the stairs in this fancy stair lifter) but then “City of New Orleans” by Arlo Guthrie comes on. And we both stand down. I look at the EMT guys and say, “after this song please.” We hold hands while he listens with tears in his eyes. Then again, ready. He gets in the fancy stair chair and they strap him in. I say, “Dad, you look like a combat controller right now strapped in to the side of an airplane!” He looks at me with all of his Mikey charm and a sly smile then gives me a big nod of approval. Thanks for that dad. I needed that. I can sleep at night because of that one motion. Thank you. Big time.
They go to roll him up the stairs and he looks at me with a panic, “Play Jimi! Bobbi, Jimi!” I ask them to stop so I can get Jimi going. But they don’t because they’re all talking too loudly and too much to hear me.
“STOP! EVERYTHING! NOW!” if you know me, you know exactly what that sounded like. I announce sternly: “This is important. We’re going to do this on his terms. We’re going to do this right. Give me just a second to make this perfect. Everyone put on your patient pants and chill the eff out.” Dad smiled again because he loved it when I got feisty with people in the same kind of way he is famous for ::proceeds to play Jimi’s cover of “All Along the Watchtower”:: Dad rests his head back, closes his eyes, and has the definition of a peaceful yet scared smile on his face and let’s them roll him up the stairs. We get to the top of the stairs when he asks for his beard comb. I’d already packed it for him because I knew he’d need it with him. He starts combing his beard as though it’s cathartic while they wheel him out of our home. Kelsey sees this happening on Snapchat and texts me, “Can I call dad?! Now?” I text her back, “YES! NOW!” The second he’s in the full sun and the weather is epicly epic, Kelsey is on speaker, dad is loving the sun, again I tell the guys wheeling him to stop so he can soak this up and talk to his daughter. At this point he was quite out of it but was loving the sun. They then loaded him into the ambulance and off he went. Phew. Phewwwww…
After the ambulance drove off on Friday I looked at my mom and Megan and said, “its going to happen on Monday. I just know it. He’s going to wait until I am done with these workshops. He knows I need him to wait for me.”
My mom looked at me, nodded and said, “well I’ll be there this weekend so you don’t need to worry about that.”
That Friday night I finally got to the hospice facility around 9pm after getting everything set up for the workshop. As soon as I arrive I was very quickly pulled aside and informed that he was making things “next level” difficult on the nurses. I knew exactly why he was fighting. I told them that I would talk to him.
“Dad I can promise you one thing: I will fight every tooth and effing nail to ensure you can hold on to every bit of dignity you can hold on to (and I must certainly held that promise!) but I need you to trust these nurses. I need you to let them help you.” He rolls over onto his side, and places one on his hands halfway over his face… and with the first sigh of relief I’ve seen since I got there, “I’m glad it’s just you and me again Bobbi.” [Me too dad, I love you]. “I love you” Those were the official last words he spoke. Be right back, need bourbon.
In that moment I realized I couldn’t leave him and was staying the night. I see a pillow without a cover in the corner, don’t think anything of it, and cozied up in the chair to his right, set my alarm so I wouldn’t be late to my own workshop and fell asleep by his side. Needless to say I hardly slept. Side note, halfway through the night I look at the pillow and it says “LEONARDS, 3/21/2017” and I realize that LEONARDS probably passed away on the 21st and that was his pillow. I think to myself, “Whoa! Oh well, I’m in too deep.”
The next morning mom came to my house and picked up some framed photos of his kids, blankets, my old CCT t-shirt that dad gave me yeeeears ago, and his robe. She spent the majority of her weekend with him while playing all of his favorite music. I wrapped up a most memorable workshop on Sunday at 7 pm and was at the hospice center by 7:20 pm. By the time I got there, things weren’t looking good.
I informed quite a few of his family members that they should call him asap. Each told him how uniquely special he was. He could hear them, I could tell. Though he was frustrated that he couldn’t say anything back. I’ve gotten to know him quite well very quickly these last two months so I tried to speak on his behalf. He seemed relieved that I could handle it.
The end was near. Very near. We both knew it. I then proceeded to pour my heart out, “Dad, I forgive you. You made things right with me. I know without a doubt that you love me and have always loved me. Please let this pain go. I give you permission to go in peace. Your Momzie is excited and ready to see you.”
I could feel it; he didn’t want me there when he passed. But I was incapable of leaving him. So… I compromised. At around 3:05am I looked at him and boldly announced, “dad, we both need to relax and take a nap. I’m not leaving your side but I am going to get some rest.” I curled up beside him in the reclining chair and the pillow I brought along and very quickly fell into an intensely deep sleep.
I was then awoken by the sweet voice of a hospice nurse named Connie.
“Bobbi, he’s gone.”
“Wait! What? How long have I been asleep?!”
“Only around 10-15 minutes.” She responded.
I woke up in a fog, looked over at him and said “You really did wait for me. Wow. This is big. Thank you for that.” I held his hand and thanked him for being my dad and told him how special and life altering these last few months had been.
I sent a text to my mom. “Call me.” She had already randomly woken up at 3am. I gave her the news and we cried together.
By around 6am the funeral home guy shows up. He refers to my dad as “Michael.”
I quickly correct him, “That’s Mikey.”
“Noted, I will comply.”
“Also, do you have a way to play Bob Dylan in your hearse?” I ask
“Of course.” He responds.
I didn’t want to see them wheel him off. I thought it would be too much for me. After all, I hadn’t yet shielded myself from anything, I thought maybe it was time to set some limits. I told them I would go sit in my car and come back in 15 minutes to gather his things.
So it was just me sitting in my car across the parking lot when I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye.
I quickly got out of my car to see it. I felt he deserved that. It occurred to me in that very moment that they were wheeling off the proudest veteran I will have ever known.
All of a sudden I felt strongly compelled to make sure that he left that building as the proud combat controller he was. Knowing I was the only vet around (as in, it was 6 in the morning and I was the only car in the parking lot so hey, take what you can get!), I stood at attention and popped up the best hand salute I had ever done in my entire life… while tears were pouring down my face. Once the hearse was out of my site I snapped into the position of attention and then melted into a parade rest and finally let myself full on ugly cry. This all sounds so over the top and dramatic but for me and for him, it was special. So quit judging. Thank you.
I was proud to have been given that honor. And I knew he was proud that he had a daughter that could. Knowing my dad was driven off with respect as the USAF paratrooper badass that he was felt right. Did I mention that he’s done nearly 800 jumps? He says he lost count after 750.
I went back in to gather his things and when I got back into my jeep to drive home, Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” covered by the Lumineers comes on the radio. I shook my head and smiled big remembering when we sang that song (the original of course) on our epic aforementioned January road trip (for those who follow me on snapchat you may remember this) singing that song (all the while trying equally hard to impress the other with our knowledge of the complicated fast-paced lyrics) was the first time we were actually in sync. Serendipitous!
“I wouldn’t have all this, if I didn’t have [this cancer]. If today is my last on this planet, I would move on as a happy and content human. I could not have said that from 10 years ago until 3 months ago. As big as any other epiphany I’ve ever had. Although I always think of Jimi Hendrix’s line ‘If I don’t meet you no more in this world, Then I’ll meet you in the next one. And don’t be late. don’t be late.'” -Michael Sheridan
Ohhhh dad. You sure were something special to a lot of people. But for now I’m going to be selfish and thank you for what you gave to me these last two months. I will never be the same, and for that I am grateful.
Michael Francis Sheridan
October 23, 1957 – March 27, 2017
“May your hands always be busy, may your feet always be swift. May you have a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift.” –Bob Dylan
I love you dad.
That was perfect. You served him well. Love your heart.
First, I love you.
Second love and light shine upon him and his family as he enters into the bright light.
I have stalked/followed you for years. You are an amazing photographer and when I found you on Snapchat, I felt like I got to know you personally. You hold nothing back, what you see is what you get. And you’re prettying awesome.
When I woke up this morning and saw your simple photo of his glasses, I knew.
And I cried. Sobbing tears for you, your father, for me and my Dad. I spent the weekend without my parents and I noticed my Dad is older, thinner,and aging fast. The photographer in me wants to capture him, right now. Thank you for that.
As the day went through, I checked Snapchat for your updates. Ironically, I was picking out glasses when I saw the post.
I waited until I got home, sent my husband out and began to read. I got in 2 sentences when I stopped. I poured myself a Guinness, put Bob Dylan on Spotify and read. I read it with tears streaming, wrote these words and will read it thrice (it’s a word for 3) more.
I will hug my Dad tight when I see him for you, but mostly for me.
Thank you for sharing this Bobbi. My dads name was Mike too, did I ever tell you that? I’m so sorry you had to join the club but you did a wonderful and brave thing. While your story is so different from mine, so much that you write hear rings sadly familiar. Sending you lots of love and hugs. You’ll never be the same. Love to you my friend. And ps, I love that he named her Scarlett. Perfect.
Shhhhhiiiizzz. I’m full on ugly crying. There are few things as beautiful as healing and loving… I’m glad you got both in these past months. My dad (also born in 57!) passed away almost 9 years ago, we loved each other with a depth I can’t explain but we had some rough years until about the last 3 before he passed. I’m in MI and he was in VA. It was sudden and it was tragic and my heart shatters often but knowing that we had healing and love, the pain I feel always brings a side of joy for the moments we had. Anyway, this is about you, and I just want to say thank you for sharing this journey… I have laughed with you and cried with you (on Snapchat, lol) but it has been an honor. Sending you light and all the good “badass” vibes, Bobbi. Rest well, Mr. Sheridan.
Absolutely beautiful. I lost my Dad two years ago, and I’m full-on ugly crying at your experience. I’m so sorry..
Thank you for sharing your story. You are in my prayers and thoughts. Sending you much love and strength. The workshop this weekend was amazing and I feel honored in hearing your story and meeting you.
Tears running down my face.
I am so very very sorry for your loss.
Bobbi, I am so sorry for your loss! I cry reading your incredible connection to your dad. You are so lucky for having that… as some of us have not been so lucky. My heart breaks for you… but even more for someone like me. Cherish every single moment you’ve had and I have no doubt you will… but also allow yourself to grieve. It sounds like he was one hell of a “badass” man! RIP Michael Sheridan
Bobbi you are quite possibly the strongest person I know. That was such an amazing tribute to your dad and he would have loved every single second of you retelling it. (In only a way that YOU could.) You’re amazing. You’re special. And your dad will be missed. Stay strong. You’re an inspiration.
Wow! Beautifully written! I am seriously ugly crying over here. I wish I had gotten a goodbye like this with my dad. It is perfect! Big hugs!!
You are amazing. My heart goes out to you…and your fab dad. Much love.
So sorry for your loss. You are an amazing daughter and person. Your love shines.
sending much love and many prayers your way
My kid’s screaming in her high chair, throwing food everywhere and mad because she wants down, but I had to stop and read. I’ve followed your journey with your dad since the beginning. Though I’ve only met you once, through the power of social media I feel like I’ve gotten to know a new friend.
When I saw your posts throughout this weekend I couldn’t help but to cry with you. Today I sit with my child yelling so hard I can’t think but I’ve got the straight up ugly face going because I can’t help but relive the moments you speak of and feel your loss.
I’m always at a loss for words in these situations and feel the standard “I’m sorry for your loss” quotes are just to fill the empty silence, but truly, I am sorry you’ve lost such an incredible man in your life.
Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life Bobbi, and rest easy Mikey.
Bobbi, I am so in awe of the strength you have shown the last few months. After what you have been through the last few years…I believe you could move mountains! Your Dad and I are the same age…I knew that, but didn’t? As I have told you I weep for you and am joyous for him. And as is my way…I have been praying today. For him, for you, for your family. Please know how you are in my thoughts.
That was perfect. Absolutely perfect. Sending up prayers for peace for your grieving heart. I’m so very sorry for your loss.
I’m weeping. What a gift, each to the other. Beautiful words and poignant images. You’ll carry this experience with you always. (I’m thinking thirty year goggles..) Be on the lookout for many unexpected signs and memories he will send you. (Like the Dylan song on your way home). He knew how much you loved him even if you had not had the chance to say it.
I’m so happy for you that you did get to show it and say it. Wishing you strength and peace.
Just had Karlyn pour out a dram of whisky for the both of us to toast your Dad. You did good, Bobbi. He must have been so proud. He must still be ❤
Bobbi – I’ve been following you for years. Thank you for sharing your story. This touched my heart deeply. No judgement here as an army wife of a career officer – in fact, the part where you saluted him turned me into a faucet. My thoughts are with you and your family.
This is such a beautiful story, Bobbi. It took me awhile to read it — a lot of crying involved on this end. You are an amazing daughter. Tonight, when Jeffy & I were driving around, I put on all the Bob Dylan songs. I told him that was for Bobbi’s daddy. God bless you and your family.
I never got to say goodbye to my father. I never got to tell him I forgave him,and that I loved him so- but he knows. Your journey with your dad was an amazingly bittersweet gift and my heart breaks for the path you’re walking right now.
Bobbi, i first want to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. Second, I think you could not have honored your dad any better. This is so beautifully written. Death of a loved one takes so much out of you, but to be able to be there with him towards the end of his life, to be able to talk about things that were important to both you and him, was a very special gift to have been given. People say that in time his death will be easier to deal with. I don’t want to lie to you, it won’t, it leaves such a large hole in your life. You’ll be flooded with so many memories. I try to write them down in a journal so I will be able to reflect back on them. Your strength is not only beautiful but amazing. Again , I’m sorry for your loss. Hugs and love to you.
Bobbi, I’m crying with you. Mike is looking down on you, your family and yes even all of us knuckleheads and young Airman (back then) who were mentored by Mike.
You took Mikey’s bad assery to a level I’m sure he was proud of. With your level of engagement and love to take care of him. Your fire for taking care of your Dad mirrors the gumption it took to become a CCT. From me and my family we send our respect and love along with our deepest sympathy.
Mike we love you
Mark and Chelly Smith
Tears streaming down my face. What a heartbreakingly beautiful tribute.
I lost my father 3 years ago to lung cancer, just two weeks after he found out. There were so many parts of this story that I could identify with.
I’m so glad you have the ability to see the gifts, the good – amidst such a difficult experience.
Hugs and prayers to you….
You are an incredible daughter born of an extraordinary man. Thank you for opening your heart even more than you already do and sharing this story with the world. I’m so so very sorry for this heartbreaking loss, Bobbi. You and your family are in my heart and mind. xoxoxo
Wow. He died well. He did it right. So did you. Feel proud and rest up! Thinking of you.
Hugs to you Bobbi! Take care.
Wow… read the entire story. Thanks for sharing. ?
Bobbi, I am so very sorry for your loss.i can’t even imagine what you have been through. I sit here with tears streaming down my face, grieving for a man I’ve never known, so please know that this post has touched many I’m sure. I will be thinking of you.
This is beautiful! I think of the strength you had to do what was needed and then to do it with such love- wow! What a gift you have and in return received. Makes me teary thinking of you guys. A beautiful ending indeed. All the love and prayers and hugs from me to you! Grieve well friend!
We lost a warrior today blue sky’s Mikie
You are an angel Bobbi; Blessings to you and your
Father until you meet again? Love you
Peace and comfort Bobbi. I hope Mikey meets Bob. My Dad was a Veteran. Korea. And a fine man. Oddly, his cancer and hospice were some of the greatest days of both of our lives. Bless you in the next season.
My Word. Beautifully written. I’m wiping away tears, and I didn’t even know the man. And honestly, I know I hardly know you also in the grand scheme of life, but I am so impressed by this. And you. and i’m so sorry for your loss. My heart is aching for you, and for what it’s worth, my prayers are with you and your family now. <3
With tears streaming down my face for a man I never even met, I just want you to know this was beautiful, Bobbi. Such a powerful testimony of love and grace, and my goodness, it is just beautiful. I’ve been thinking of you a lot this weekend, and praying his end, whenever it came, would be peaceful.
You, my friend, are spectacular. Brave, unencumbered, and spectacular.
You are an amazing and strong person!! Thank you for letting us join you on your journey. Chris and I are thinking about you! Big hugs!
That was a wonderful tribute to your dad. I love his love of music and holding on to the moment. Sending you my condolences. Bless you and your family.
This is such a beautiful piece, Bobbi. You have a special magnetic personality in which people trust you and feel comfortable around you.
Oh Bobbi. Bobbi, Bobbi, Bobbi.
This is maybe the most beautiful eulogy I’ve ever read.
I am so proud of the way you shepherded your Dad through his death. I cannot imagine the strength that took. You’re just…incredible, through and through.
All our love,
Gail and Nick
“Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.'”
I have no words only tears and a hurt in my heart. Hugs from Nashville!
Beautiful tribute… Treasure the time you had with him….
So many tears. You are incredible and your father is too ❤ Thank you for sharing.
What a beautiful beautiful post. Hugs from Maine.
Bobbi, you are amazing and tough.
I’ve only met you once, but I love to read anything you post. You are so strong and spirited and unimaginably kind. I’m sure that your father had something to do with that.
I’m so glad you got to spend time with your father these last couple of months and heal and forgive. I can’t imagine a better ending to a story.
He’s no longer in any pain or tied down to a failing body. I’m sure Jesus is overjoyed to have him dancing in heaven tonight.
God Bless and Blue Skies Mikey.
Oh, Bobbi. You so perfectly honored him. You should be so proud. You each lived the moments you were given well. Big, big hugs to you, friend!
SIerra November (Mikey) worked with/for me at Little Rock and Elmendorf. I was his CCT commander and team leader. He was my go-to guy for all things jump related, especially our HALOs. I trusted him and put my life and that of the team’s in his hands many times, including the night as jumpmaster he put us out of the plane 6 MILES BEFORE the drop zone!! (One of those great, “No sh_t there I was ” CCT stories.) His face, his personality, his smile, and love of the Washington Redskins all come flashing back as I read your description…and I’m bawling my eyes out. I’m sorry for your loss, for our loss. First There.
Beautiful. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of my old teammate Mikey.
Jym (Flame) Golden
This a a powerful tale filled with Love, honesty, & strength in times of adversity. I admire your ability to not only convey your raw emotions but to have the foresight and courage to share such an inspirational story; in spite if your heartache and grief. It’s utterly important to celebrate one’s life and to cherish the relationships and influences they’ve had in others. There’s little doubt in my mind, that he was and will continue to be, so very proud of the person you are. My deepest coldelences are with you and your family. With this glimpse into your father’s character & spirit, I forsee, that once the initial feelings of loss and greif have subsided, you’ll be filled with endless memories that will warm your heart with pride as you were truly blessed with having such a remarkable father.
Sierra November (Mikey) worked with/for me at Little Rock and Elmendorf. I was his CCT commander/Team Leader. I trusted him and he was my go to guy for all things jump related, especially our HALOs. I put my life and those of the team’s in his hands many times, including the night when as Jumpmaster he put us out of the airplane 6 MILES BEFORE the drop zone!! (One of those great CCT “No sh_t, there I was ” stories. 🙂 ) His face, his expressions, his smile and his love of the Washington Redskins come flashing back as I read your description…and I’m bawling my eyes out. I’m sorry for your loss, for our loss. First There.
Oh Bobbi. .This was perfect. I cried. Still stinging from my Dad’s transition in June and your words covered so many emotions. Am closing on his home, my childhood home, on Thursday. Expect to have that big ugly cry then. Have held out because so much had to be done to get to this point. My prayers are with you. You are rich beyond dollars, wealthy beyond wealth. You have grown more than you know and will be able to thank God for this experience. You are as badass in a wonderful way as your Dad. Love ya dear.
If you ever want to share tears, I’m here.
Such a beautiful testament to you and your father. I worked with Mikey at LRAFB and remember his love of music very well. Thank you for sharing this. RIP Mikey! My sincere condolences to you and your family.
Goodbye Mikey! Bobbi, I am so sorry for your loss and so happy you got to spend these last few months this way. May God give your family peace.
Your father will live on through your story and photographs. I’m sending you so much love! Xox
Oh, Bobbi. I don’t even know where to start. This is an amazing story that you just shared, not just for all of us reading it today, but for you for years to come. You are so loved by so many.
The moment I saw this image of your dad (on FB) I teared up and then proceeded to read your blog with tears streaming down my face. While I can only imagine how difficult/happy/sad the last few months have been for you, I am so glad you were able to be your dad’s person and be with him to the very end.
Thank you for always being so open and sharing the good, the tough, and the heart breaking. You are so loved.
Rest well Mickey. ♥
That was amazing, powerful and a priceless tribute to your father. Thank you for sharing!
I have been flowing you and your Dad’s story since you first announced his illness and I just have to say Thank You for sharing this chapter in your life with everyone. While not easy as many of us saw, it was truly beautiful to watch you reconnect with your Dad. I am so sorry for your loss, Bobbi. But I think that you were given these last three months so that you could have your Dad as apart of you again. This made me ugly cry. Sending you lots of love.
This is absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking. Your Dad was an amazing gem and I thank you for sharing his bad-ass-ery with us. Hugs and love to you.
Such a beautiful ending you gave each other. Much love to you and your family while you heal and live through missing him.
Oh Bobbi, I’ve been following your journey via Snapchat since this began. I lost my dad to cancer almost 3 years ago and his journey was long and hard but he fought hard. Reading this brought back so many memories of my own dad and his process. You’re an amazing daughter and your dad is so lucky to have you. Your dad seemed like an amazing man with so many talents (based on your Snapchat stories) Thank you for sharing this journey with us. Lots of hugs and love to you and your family during this.
Oh.my.heart. Bobbi, I am so so sorry. Long time follower of your work (amazeballs) and this is heart wrenching. What a gift you were to your father. The photos are just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart, and your dad. Praying for you and your family. <3
This is supremely beautiful. What a gift to have this time with him. I’m thinking of you, my friend.
Sending you love and light. What a blessing you were to your dad. And he to you.
You have my condolences
What an amazing tribute to your dad. Hope those memories you have of your time with him bring you peace.
I’m so sorry for your loss. But I’m so happy you were able to have that time with him. Praying for you and your family ❤
Bobbi, I met you a few weeks ago at Kristen and Adam’s wedding… I’m the fan girl with the husband with dimples. Anyho, I just want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry for your loss and everything you are going through. Thank you for sharing. Much love and light to you!
The most beautiful words I think I’ve ever read. I lost my mom 7 years ago and this brought me to tears. You gave him such a touching gift to live the end of his life with compassion and dignity. Hugs to you!
Beautiful words, Bobbi. You will be in my prayers.
I’m sorry for your loss. Love from Mexico
so sorry for your loss Bobbi
Oh Bobbi M. Sheridan I know you made him one proud father. What a wonderful tribute. We are all here for you if you need anything at all!
An incredible read. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
Beautiful Bobbi M. Sheridan. I was going to ask the other day if he was waiting for someone… (then I thought it may be too personal) turns out he was waiting for you. XXOO
Thanks for sharing such beautiful parts of your story. ❤❤❤
I’m very sorry for your loss. Your words have brought on the tears. I can feel the love. ❤
Bobbi you just introduced me to an amazing man! My heart aches for your loss…the world’s loss really. Thank you for sharing his story. You made me cry!!
Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Much love to you and your family. ❤
Amazing stories for sure! Thank you for sharing such a personal heartbreak. Prayers for peace and comfort.
You’re so incredibly strong to be able to share this story. Thank you. And Dylan’s SHB is the greatest song ever!!!
As another follower of yours that lost her father to cancer nearly 4 years ago, I feel your pain. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story. Glad you were there with him as he passed- the father/daughter bond is such a strong one. Sending you love and peace.
What a beautifully written tribute. I am so very sorry for your loss Bobbi-
Thinking of you. ❤
Bobbi, your words are amazing. I am so happy you had this time with your dad and he had it with you. My heart breaks for you, but your strength is unbelievable! He must be so incredibly proud
Oh Bobbi, I will never forget seeing your dad at Reset and how he was so proud of you! What a gift it was to be there and hear his speak of you at your class. Thinking of you during such a difficult time. What a gift you both have been given with those moments together. I am sorry for your loss!
You are so special, it isn’t surprising that your dad was a very special man. What a blessing to share those last months with him. Sending love and peace to you.
I’m so sorry
That was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this part of you.
I am so very sorry, Bobbi. So very glad you were able to have time together. Praying for comfort now for you and you family.
This is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL, raw and heartfelt tribute, I have EVER read! My dad lived, and died and I never had even 1/100th of the connection you describe! I love that you have shared that it’s never too late to take the time you need to really know those you love, or tried to love! So tearfully happy you had that time! And Damn, Woman you are such a great writer and photographer to bring him to life for all that love you too! How can you craft together words and images to make us feel such intense sadness but at the same time immense joy for the time you had! Love and hugs Bobbi!
Just wow….what love and gratitude is encompassed in this beautiful perfectly written tribute!! You have done him beyond proud!!
I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this journey, and so many others, with us.
So sorry for you, Bobbi. Beautiful words to remember him by!
First of all, big hug for you. What a journey… And what a wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing with us. ❤️
Sending you lots of love! I’ve been following your journey on Snapchat. I lost my dad on December 31 of last year. I can relate to so much of your story. ❤ You wrote about it beautifully.
You are as eloquent with your words as you are with a camera. As painful as all this is , it was also a gift. You can be proud of the moments you have shared. You are an amazing human with so much to offer. In my thoughts and prayers, Jeri B
I’m doing that big ugly cry over your beautiful tribute to your Dad. All the best Bobbi.
I am so sorry for your loss.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story, Bobbi. I am so sorry for your loss.
This was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. I’m ugly crying laying in bed with my husband and very sick 3 year old squeezing them both extra tight tonight. Sending you love and lots of hugs!
I’ve followed your work for YEARS and I’ve watched your journey and struggle with your dad and his health. I’m sitting here reading about your last minutes with your dad and I’m sobbing. How special it was to be with him in that very moment. My condolences to you and your family during this difficult time. Know that you served him well, and rest easy that you made his passing as comfortable as possible. Your dad seemed like an astonishing man. 🙂
Oh, my heart. This is beautiful. Tears running down my face, but so worth the read. Hospice is ❤
Oh my goodness, I couldn’t stop reading your story! Thank you for sharing and pouring your heart and difficult moments for all to see. You are blessed to have had these final moments with your dad. Praying for you and your family! Hugs!
I am so so sorry for your loss. I almost didn’t believe you blogged the day of, but it’s something I would have done too. Getting it out, I’m sure it helps some. I pray God brings you peace and you’re made whole again soon.
So many tears flowing. I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story – it was beautiful ❤️
A beautiful loving story told by a loving daughter. I’m so sorry.
I have never read something so beautiful .
Much love to you .
Beautiful words Bobbi. I’m so sorry for your loss.
Great tribute, Bobbi — hang in there
I am so sorry for your loss. I have followed and admired you for many years. I lost my mom in 2015 and your story hits home.
A million hugs coming your way. ❤❤❤
thanks with all my heart
I am crying an ugly cry with you right now. I’m so very sorry for your loss! This was a most beautiful and badass tribute all rolled into one. Your dad is proud! Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. Godspeed Mikey…
I sat with my Dad while he quietly slipped away. Major hugs to you. You did it perfectly! Hugs.
Thank you for sharing.
Oh Bobbi. Sending you love and light. ?
Oh Bobbi. <3 I am so sorry for your loss. Hugs and prayers <3 xo
A great tribute to a great man; a great Combat Controller.
Rest in peace knowing you will not be forgotten. Not forgotten by birth family and never forgotten by your CCT Warrior family.
May he rest in peace. On behalf of all USAF Combat Controllers, past and present, we offer our prayers and sympathy. He was a crusty old-school CCTer, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. 48, 49, 50… (the old CCT will get it).
That was so incredibly beautiful. I’m sat here feeling like I know a stranger.. I’m so so sorry for the huge loss of your dad.. ❤❤
Oh mercy… should not have read this at my desk at work…. nope… nope nope…
I am so sorry for your loss… such a beautiful tribute to your father. Bless you & your family as you get through these next few days, weeks… years… learning to adjust without your daddy.
I’m going to go stand in the sun & bask in it & listen to some good music today for him.
I can’t thank you enough for sharing this story of your final journey with your awesome dad. Hugs to you- sending peace and light from one state over (STL). ??
Mickey was a hoot! He did it “his” way.
This tribute is beautiful! He’s blessed to have a wonderful daughter such as you.
You nailed it!
We’ll see him on the other side.
Ugly crying in the worst way right now. I can’t even imagine loosing a parent yet … or ever. My dads name is Mike too and this story hits me like a semi truck.. I am terrified yet a little more prepared for the circle of life .. beautiful story.
Lost a great friend today. Bobbi, that was an amazing story, and I thank you for making his last few days a blessing for him. Please let me know when the funeral is, I will attend.
Beautifully written. Sending thoughts and prayers.
Such a beautiful tribute. My thoughts were in the lyrics of songs as I finished reading this.
I dont know if you believe in God, but I keep thinking of a Mandisa song – He is With You.
There’s a time to live
And a time to die
There’s a time to laugh
And a time to cry
There’s a time for war
And a time for peace
There’s a hand to hold
In the worst of things
In the worst of things
My mom had cancer too, but she’s one of those that beat death. When she lost her hair, I thought it was over for me, but she kept fighting. And I truly don’t think we would have made it without God. I don’t have Bob Dylan words to offer you, though that last quote is beautiful. I just have the words of the only One who has been with me throughout my storm… “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Cor 12:9.
Prayers for you during this time
Sending you so much love, Bobbi!
Music has a way of speaking when we just can’t find the words. And, it has a way of healing the heart and soul, too. <3
I never had the pleasure of meeting your father, but this says so much about him and how lucky he was having you as a daughter.
May he rest in peace.
It is a gift for the Lord, to be able to spend those last moments together. What a privilege.
So, so beautiful, Bobbi. What a gift you were given and what a gift you gave back. <3
Bobbi, I don’t know you hardly at all. I attended one of your workshops last spring but really, I don’t know you. But I want to tell you how sorry I am- for this loss. For this kind of a loss. And I want to tell you how amazing your tribute is to his death story and more importantly to his life. The words–the images– so beautiful. And so important for you later on–to revisit as you process all that’s happened.
I lost my father, going on four years ago. Different illness, different process (one that spanned 10 years), different story- but I get just how hard final goodbyes are, and how hard it is to not have your father here in this world with you. And to live those moments when you wake up totally fine and then you hear a song while driving the car to the store and tears start streaming. Still after four years…
Thanks for sharing something so close to your heart. I found this blog post helpful. Maybe you will too. http://johnpavlovitz.com/2015/10/31/the-day-ill-finally-stop-grieving/
Holding you in the light my friend.
Wow how very powerful and what a great tribute. I lost my Dad almost a year ago and we did in home hospice I know how hard it was on my mom and I was there for her especially at the end. May God bless you both until you meet again.
Bobbi, thank you so much for sharing your heart and this incredible experience. I only hope I can raise my children to be just like you. You served his memory so well, and have just raised the standards of an amazing daughter.
One Courageous Combat Controller! God
God Bless .
I have read, and re-read this post close to 10 times. I think it’s magical how you remembered all these details, of all these experiences and you were able to capture it in this post. Something you can look back on, and forever remember. I feel like when my dad died, I was in such a fog, and every now and then when I try to remember those last few weeks of his life, almost all of them are gone. I’m so happy that he asked for you that day. I’m happy you had these months to connect in a way, that would have never been possible. Life has a funny way of spinning things around on you (I know you know this all too well) and despite all the pain of losing him, I know you wouldn’t trade what you had of him for the world. The night your dad passed, he was on my mind a lot. I had a dream about my dad (which I never do) and another man. I couldn’t tell if it was your dad or not, but I’d like to think, that my dad was also up there with him, welcoming him with open arms. Much love to you friend. Thinking of you.
You did.-.. beautiful.
I don’t know you.
I didn’t know him.
I live on the other side pof the ocean.
And yet your words made me feel … every type of emotion.
Your testimony is beautiful.
I send you love, pease and time now <3
Just beautiful, Bobbi. He was such a lucky guy to be your pop. And I know the feeling was mutual. Loved this story, love your beautiful soul. xoxox
Bobbi, this is such a beautiful story, that you for sharing. Your strength and compassion is amazing. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
So beautifully written. Raw and real. Your love shines through. Dads are hard to figure out. It sounds like you two figured one another out in perfect harmony. Sending my love and good vibes your way sweet lady! Best, e
Thank you for sharing this story. I read this with tears running down my face.What a gift you were to your father ! What a great daughter you are. Putting Bob Dylan on now in memory of your dad!
So very sorry for your loss, Bobbi. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. <3
Never knew your dad but empathizing since my son Brian, sent your link to me. Kelsey and Brian have been dating a few months, and she told us about your dad.
What a lovely tribute you made.
We are fighting pancreatic cancer along with our dad. Its a bear!
As you all prepare to celebrate his life, together and individually. We want to leave you this hopefull message. You will see each other again!
ROMANS 8:34-38 JesusChrist who died, and was raised; who also intecedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? ….For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels , nor principalities nor things present, nor things to come nor powers,nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We pray for strength and peace for you and your family.
Doug and Maryse Whitsett
Totally ugly crying while sitting here in the bathroom (needing some away from my child time,) on the toilet, reading this
Bobbi. I have so many words and no words at all. This was the perfect tribute.
My deepest sympathies go out to you are your family. You are in my prayers.
Bobbi, add my heart to all the ones you’ve touched by sharing your story and his so vulnerably. Grace for you!
Do the world a favor and write it all down, Bobbi. This needs to be a book. You just leveled me. He’s as a hell of a man; and you’re one hell of a daughter.
My dear sweet friend. I can hear your voice and feel as though I’ve met him. I sit here crying knowing how much he had impacted your life and how music will always be a language of your soul. Even when words cannot be spoken. What a sweet sweet gift to have between the two of you.
I love you!!
Beautifully written. Sending love and comfort your way.
Big, ugly cry! That was an amazing way to shine light on death. Thank you for sharing such an intimate experience. I have been blessed
Bobbi…Mike and I were the best of buddies at Little Rock. I even got to visit him while he was in Alaska. The two of us went TDY together more time than I can count. All I can think to say now is “Well done, good and faithful servant”. GOD BLESS.
Ive never cried like that at a blogpost before. I lost my dad suddenly 17 years ago and i’m so glad that you had the chance to spend this extra time, although hard, with him. I’m so thankful he was able to leave this earth strong and proud and that he had you by his side. I hope you are doing ok bobbi. ❤❤
Beautifully written, tears streaming down my face. Sorry for your loss & im glad y’all got to spend time together those last few months.
This is SO beautiful Bobbi. Your being present in those last months and ever so aware of what he needed and what you needed is truly admirable. What a brave, strong women you are! These images are incredible and something you will cherish for the rest of your life. My dad died suddenly when I was 10 and I wish I had memories like this from his life that were documented so wonderfully. What a beautiful tribute. RIP Mikey.
I have been following your work for close to 8 years now and I have never commented on a post. I am so extremely sorry for the loss of your Dad. I sit here with tears streaming down my face not really knowing what to say. This was incredibly beautiful Bobbi. You have amazingly and beautifully told this story.
Bobbi, Your parents were wonderful friends to me in 1981 while we were all at Little Rock, AR. You were such a darling baby and your Dad glowed whenever he looked at you. It seems like that was a lifetime ago…and like it was just yesterday. This is a beautiful tribute. Much love and peace. xoxoxox
This is amazing.
I am overwhelmed with emotions reading this. How lucky he was to have you and what a blessing to be able to care for him in his time of need.
Thank you both for your service, rest easy Mikey.
i’m so glad that you had this time with your dad. Bobbi you took such good care of him. your beautiful words brought back memories. my dad also loved music and it seems to be in the same era. i have his albums hanging on my wall. we had a celebration of his life with his music playing in the background, his favorite beer on tap and much more.
the loss is immeasurable but so is the love left behind.
thanks for sharing.
Bobbi, I’m so sorry for you loss but I am glad you got to spend such a special time with him for the last couple months.
That picture of him in the hospice facility eerily reminded me of my grandpa’s last couple weeks just a few months ago. And oh how they sound so similar in their stubbornness!
Thank you for sharing your memories with us.
My prayers are with you.
Such a beautiful testament to you and your father. I worked with Mikey at LRAFB. Thank you for sharing this. RIP Mikey! My sincere condolences to you and your family.
This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I’m in awe of you.
Your way of telling a story is so beautiful. I’ve missed following you and I’m so glad you found your way back to us. I’m so sorry for all of your recent sorrows and can relate to some of them myself but I also know that, even though I only know you through my screen, you will use each of them to make yourself and the people around you better for them rather than in spite of them. <3
I’m not sure if you remember me, but we both kind of had a heart-to-heart in the middle of North Face about how you were feeling, probably around the middle of this story. I don’t think I’ve ever cried with a stranger before meeting you! I prayed for you and your dad several times after that day, and I am happy yet sad I stumbled across this story. You have a beautiful way with words, and he was very loved and cared for up to his last breath. You’re a very strong and courageous woman to endure this with your father. I’m so sorry for your loss and wish you nothing but the best.
No words, only feelings.
I was in some of the same classes as Mike whenwe were at Lake Braddock High school. He always said hello to me when we passed in a hallway or during an English lecture.To some that not be a big deal, but with a school of over 5000 students and a graduating class over 1000 kids, it was nice for him to give me a smile or wink as we passed. (It’s weird the little things we remember.)Mike was a sweet, nice guy.
Simply beautiful. He’s proud of you.