10 Oct 2013

At the side of the road

At the end August, after a long illness, Tonia’s father died peacefully in his sleep. It was not unexpected. One day later, my father died, quite unexpectedly, while he was gardening. By the time I got the news the following day, my sisters were already making their way to my parents home in Boise.

My father’s funeral took place less than a week after he’d died. I was not able to be present. I couldn’t leave Tonia to face her father’s funeral alone, Tonia couldn’t leave her sister to face their father’s funeral alone, and the thought of facing my father’s funeral, without Tonia beside me, after five planes and twenty three hours of travel, was simply unthinkable. So I stayed in Wales, and grieved with my family remotely, by phone and Skype.

Due to our unusual circumstances of having been served up a double-decker grief sandwich, as it were, Tonia was granted an extended medical leave from work. Amazing, yes? Britain is so wonderfully civilized. We’ve spent the past month or so sharing our joint grief, taking turns propping each other up, gently. It has not been easy. There were weeks of broken sleep, and not much food, because nothing tasted of anything. For a long time it even felt impossible for me to knit. Grief is a funny thing though. Overwhelming at first, it feels as if we are moving through it, one day at a time. Life feels a little different now, as I enter the second month of a life without my father in it. Not happy. Not yet. But a little less unhappy.

For those wondering when is the next podcast, or whether there will be another one ever, I have no answers. In many ways it feels as though I’ve pulled off the main highway of life, onto a lesser road, with little traffic and fewer people. I’ve come to a full stop, on a country lane, and the parking brake is on. It’s nice here. Quite restful, in fact. I’m knitting again, and the view is okay. Sometimes, intermittently, life doesn’t completely suck. I am making progress, by standing still. For a perpetually moving person, such as myself, that you can move while standing still comes as a bit of a revelation. And there will come a time, I imagine, when I’ll feel ready to put the car back in gear and make my way to the main road. But that day isn’t today, nor will it be tomorrow. This is all I can tell you right now.

A few days after he died, my mom emailed me the obituary that my father had written for himself. The fact that he wrote his own obit made me smile, as it speaks volumes about who he was as a man. He took care of business the way he always took care of my mom, me and my sisters. Crossing those T’s and dotting those I’s. His version of his life, however, was little more than a list of names and dates and facts, with nothing to indicate who he really was, or how much he was loved. So, I rewrote it. The fact that I did this would have made him smile, I know, in return.

Dad and Brenda 1961Kenneth E. Ehlers, resident of Boise, was a man who worked in numbers the way an artist works in charcoal or oils. Balance sheets were his canvas, and accounting and finance were the mediums in which he worked, as well as the tools he used to help others make sense of their world. A highly intuitive person, Ken found an outlet for his creativity in a profession many would consider to be dry or dull. He never found it so. He loved the work that he did, and he generously shared his skills, and his deep knowledge of business and finance with a wide variety of charitable and community organizations, as well with his many friends, and his beloved family. His daughters would often call for accounting and business advice, asking, “Is the CPA in?” The answer was always yes.

Born on August 9th, 1937 in Blue Island, IL, Ken grew up in Southern California, graduating from Verdugo Hills High School in 1955. At the age of 18, he joined the Naval Reserve but, after a month of wretched seasickness aboard a naval Destroyer, he resigned from the US Navy and served his country instead in the US Army. Sadly, most of his daughters inherited his wobbly sea legs.

Ken’s work as a draftsman with the Army Corps of Engineers sparked a life-long interest in architecture which, though never pursued as a career, continued to fascinate, engage, and inspire him throughout his life. He was stationed during his enlistment at Fort Ord, California, Fort Belvior, Virginia and Fort Bliss, Texas. Honorably discharged in 1958, he achieved the rank of Specialist 5th Class. After discharge he attended Valley College in Van Nuys, California, courtesy of the US Government, on the GI Bill.

In 1959 he met and married his beloved wife, Cathy, in southern California, and in 1960 the couple moved to Eugene, Oregon, so that Ken could attend the University of Oregon. While studying accounting Ken’s family grew rapidly, with the addition of four daughters in five years. After graduating with a BS degree in Accounting and Business Statistics, Ken worked full time for several local accountancy firms in Eugene, while at the same studying at night for the United Certified Public Accountant exam. He passed the exam and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1968.

In 1970 the family moved to Portland, Oregon, when Ken accepted a position with a large international bank, where he worked in the accounting department and as Assistant Vice President for five years. In 1975 he joined a CPA firm, in Beaverton, Oregon, as a principal, and then established his own CPA practice a year later. Successful self-employment allowed Ken to pursue outdoor passions, and he joined the Mazamas, and climbed most of the glaciated peaks of the Cascades. He also loved to ski, and took frequent mid-week trips to the mountains, finding peace in the solitude of nature, when the slopes of Mt Hood and Mt Bachelor were quiet.

Ken was active in his professional community, the Oregon Society of CPA’s, and was awarded a life membership in the Association when he retired. Campfire of America acknowledged his entire family, as both Ken and Cathy were group leaders, and all their daughters were members. Ken was also a member of the service club SERTOMA of Beaverton, Oregon, and served on the Washington County Planning Commission for 8 years during the 1980’s. While living in Portland he was active in the Duck Club of UO. He was a lifelong supporter of the Ducks, and Ken’s family find comfort in the knowledge that Ken will now be “in the huddle” at every game of the football team he loved.

Ken sold his CPA practice in 1995, retired from business, and moved to Sisters, Oregon with his wife. He continued to enjoy outdoor pursuits, skiing the slopes of familiar mountains, until a series of health concerns forced him to stop. He turned his attention to artistic endeavors, working in wood and stained glass, and was particularly drawn to Craftsman and Mission design. Extensive research on the life and work of Frank Lloyd Wright informed Ken’s carpentry and stained glass designs, and he created many beautiful objects for his home and his family. His daughters were the recipients of many of his works, of which they will treasure, always.

During the time Ken lived in Sisters he was active in community affairs, serving for five years as a charter member and treasurer of the Community Action Team of Sisters. For six years he served as treasurer and board member in the Sage Meadow Home Owner’s Association. He also assisted the treasurer of the Sisters Garden Club in obtaining its not-for-profit IRS status while his wife was president. In addition he served on the Financial Council and served as Secretary of St. Edward the Martyr Catholic Church.

Ken had a heart attack, and died on August 30, 2013 at the age of 76. He will be greatly missed by family that includes Cathy, his beloved wife of 53 years and his loving daughters Brenda Dayne, of Wales, Linda Jensen, of Virginia, Pamela Ehlers Stec, of Minnesota and Sandra Ehlers, of Alaska. Daughter-in-law, Tonia Clarke, and sons-in-law, Jerry Jensen and Adrian Stec, will miss Ken. He was a loving presence in the lives of his grandchildren, Christopher, Zachary, Erik, Edward and Alexander, who will also miss him very much. Ken had two younger brothers, Russell and Robert, who passed away recently. He was also preceded in death by both parents, Edward and Marie Ehlers.

At his request, Ken’s ashes will be scattered on Mount Jefferson, Oregon, where he will rest peacefully forever.

Funeral service will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church 2612 W State St., Boise, ID on Thursday, September 5th at 11:00 a.m. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Mary’s Church.

Posted on October 10, in Blog


  1. Rae wrote:

    For some reason today I went to your site. And read your beautiful post. The year I did your logo was the year I lost both of my parents. My heart and prayers go out to you. To lose 2 people you are so close to brings you to your knees. I am glad you are taking it slow. I think I spent the first week in my pajamas. I can tell you that you will always miss him. I can also tell you that the grief while it never goes away becomes different with time. While I am still said that I can’t call my Dad to tell him something it is a different sad. I will keep you and Tonia in my prayers as you muddle through this time. Sending hugs and love and prayers…

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  2. I followed your podcast for a couple of years, and then lost it when you took a hiatus. But I missed you, so I came to visit once more. Finding your sad news makes my heart ache. And to be dealt a double blow such as yours…truly a sad occasion. I send warm hugs to you both. I want to tell you that when I first heard that you had Tonia in your life, I was thrilled. Because although, logically, I know there must be other lesbian knitters out there, I felt very alone. It is not an easy thing to find a wonderful, educational and engaging knitting podcast, let alone one done by a woman who so clearly loves her life-partner.
    So thank you for giving me hope, for both my knitting and my life. And my condolences for the loss of your father(s).

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  3. Tamara wrote:

    What a beautiful tribute and description of a fascinating father. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  4. Shannon T wrote:

    Thank you for letting us know. You’ve both been missed, but our hearts are with you on your rest stop. Enjoy some scenery, collect the stories, and know that you both are loved and missed.

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  5. AnnDS wrote:

    Grieve, breathe, be present. So sorry for your losses. We wondered where you were. Take all the time you need. Hugs from Ohio. Ann

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  6. Susan (sjanova) wrote:

    Oh, Brenda and Tonia, what a challenging time this autumn has been/is being for you both. I am so sorry to hear all this. Take it slow and easy, do whatever you can. I fully understand the pj’s all day, not knitting, not eating much/anything, etc. Did that myself when my mother died in January 2012. It comes back, not all of it but mostly, in time. Do know that I’ll be thinking of both of you in the days and weeks to come.

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  7. Lara wrote:

    So sorry for your loss. Although grief has not cascaded in this way for me, I have experienced the reshaping in the aftermath of a loved one’s sudden passing. Profound but necessary change is what came. I am a recent audience member, and thank you for sharing in such a beautiful way.

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  8. Debbie Q wrote:

    Oh what a lovely tribute for a well loved father. Funny that today I had looked at your podcast in my iPhone and wondered if I would ever see another new episode and why you had been absent for so long. I am so sorry for the loss of both your fathers in so close a period of time.

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  9. Stephany wrote:

    And, just like that, your heart is a different place, and so is the world. I am so sorry for your unexpected loss. I really feel there ought to be signs of some kind that we can wear to alert others to a “grieving, not fully here, be gentle” state. Thinking of you and Tonia both.

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  10. Kathryn Gearheard wrote:

    I’ve been worried about you, now I know why. Bet he got a kick out of being the father of girls and the grandfather of all boys. He raised some good ones, didn’t he? Sympathies and understanding of the malaise to both you and Tonia. It makes no never mind that you missed the funeral. He understands.

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  11. Laurel wrote:

    Oh Brenda, how sad and how beautiful. You were blessed with a wonderful father, and he with a beautiful daughter. My thoughts, prayers and tears are with you and Tonia.

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  12. Karen wrote:

    My prayers and sympathy with you both. You were missed in our online community. *love*

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  13. Juliann wrote:

    The one statement that rang true for me was that he died in his garden. My father came into the house after working with his tomatoes. He sat in his chair with a beer to cool off, and he had a massive heart attack. I always think of it as wonderful that he still had dirt on him from his garden and a beer in his hand. Your father sounds as if he was a wonderful man. He will be in your heart forever.

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  14. Felix wrote:

    This is a beautiful tribute to your dad, and a very moving account of where you and Tonia are at, and how things are for you both right now. I am sending you both lots of love and thinking of you loads, I hope there are less and less sucky days ahead and I am glad you both have a little bit of time and space – and each other – at this time. TURBOLOVE XXXxxxXXX

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  15. Sivia wrote:

    My heart goes out to you and Tonia. That’s the kind of togetherness that no one asks for. I hope that tenderly, slowly, you will help each other until your hearts can open again. Your father sounds so wonderful. I would have liked to know him. Please grieve as much as you need. Time stands still when you are in a valley such as you are in. I love your tribute to your dad. It’s beautiful and honest and speaks straight from the heart. Sending you so much love…

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  16. Renee wrote:

    I saw the news that you and Tonya both lost your fathers, and I send my condolences. To be so far away only adds some to the pain and challenge of the grieving. Take your time, and your knitting, and rest awhile. Your body and spirit will know when it is time to re-engage with the world. Bless the British for seeing that grief work is real and time is needed!

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  17. Brenda and Tonia my prayers and thoughts go out to you both. I also lost my brother in August and though somewhat expected, it is a shock. Brenda your tribute to your father was wonderful, it makes all of us think what will be said about us when we leave this earth. Time is suppose to heal, and I think it does, but we have to go on through it. It is wonderful that you can stop and just be. Our love ones will be with us always in our hearts.

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  18. AllyB wrote:

    I send my condolences to you both. I cannot imagine your sorrow. I would, however, like to thank you for all nights that your soothing voice has kept me company when I couldn’t sleep. Wishing you peace.

    Posted on 10.10.13 ·
  19. Robyn wrote:

    How incredibly difficult this time has been for you and Tonia. My prayers and condolences to you both. Grief is in itself a journey with no timelines binding its length, or depth. Taking time to acknowledge and process is a gift only you can give to yourself. We will be here waiting with hugs, thoughts and wishes for your return in whatever form and shape that takes. We care and will continue to do so. We remain faithfully yours Knitsib ……….

    Posted on 10.11.13 ·
  20. LaurenS wrote:

    Dear Brenda and Tonia – my condolences to you both. I feel your pain. I couldn’t knit for a year when my Dad died … with my mom, the knitting came back a little faster, and was more of a comfort. Maybe because I’d been through it once already.

    Its been over ten year since I lost them … and I still feel like an orphan.

    Lauren xox

    Posted on 10.11.13 ·
  21. Laura wrote:

    And one day later on August 31 my dear beautiful grandmother passed on. No matter the age when someone passes, you never have enough time with them. What a beautiful re-write of your father’s obituary. He knows your heart and he is with you in spirit. I have had precious realizations that Grandma is watching over us. Your pain will pass. It will take time. And life marches on for us all despite the anguish of grief. Much love to you and Tonia.

    Posted on 10.11.13 ·
  22. So sorry.

    Posted on 10.11.13 ·
  23. Lisa C. wrote:

    I was so sorry to hear of your & Tania’s loss. Please know that you both have been, and will remain, in my thoughts and prayers.


    Posted on 10.11.13 ·
  24. Megan F. wrote:

    Oh Brenda! I’m so sorry. I hope that knowing that I, and so many others, are praying for you and thinking of you will give you and Tonia some comfort. I like your “country road” analogy.

    Posted on 10.11.13 ·
  25. Vicky wrote:

    Hugs to you and Tonya. I also lost my dad this year. Life is starting to suck a little less each day.

    Posted on 10.11.13 ·
  26. MzTallulah wrote:

    My most sincere condolences to both of you. I had wondered where you had disappeared to, and missed hearing your voice and reading the blog. Your obituary is a lovely tribute, and I’m certain your father was well loved and will be missed by many. I hope that in your car by the side of the road there are a nice radio and a huge picnic basket to carry you through these difficult times, and please do make sure that you stay in there for as long as you need to, we’ll be ready to welcome you back.

    Posted on 10.11.13 ·
  27. quiltercaroline wrote:

    Dear Brenda and Tanya – I am so sorry for both of your losses and the complications that distance has brought you in this time of grief. Thank you for a beautifully written post which is such a reminder of what is really important and how we should all take whatever tine we need in our grief. Thinking of you both C xx

    Posted on 10.11.13 ·
  28. Bekah wrote:

    Brenda, so sorry to hear this. My sincere condolences to you and Tonia… I can only imagine what a tough time this is for you both. Take all the time you need (that is what the audio archive is for, right? 🙂 ) and take care of yourselves. Sending big hugs from Nottingham 🙂

    Posted on 10.11.13 ·
  29. Jennifer wrote:

    I’m so very sorry to hear this Brenda. I lost my father last month and it has been devastating. I too have three sisters and my parents were married for 58 years. Even though my father had been an invalid for years the grief is so very real. And so much more difficult than I ever would have guessed. my heart goes out to you and Tonia.

    Posted on 10.11.13 ·
  30. Marie wrote:

    Brenda & Tonia, my thoughts are with you both. Take time, support each other like you are doing and I have no doubt you’ll find your new ‘normal’ through the grief.
    Love and hugs, Marie.

    Posted on 10.11.13 ·
  31. GeekKnitter wrote:

    My heart goes out to you, to Tonia and to all of your families in this hard time.

    My mother died 22 months ago. In fact, today is her birthday. I’ve taken the day off of work to cast on a pair of hot pink socks in her memory.

    The best advice I got, early in the grieving process, was to let got of the idea that I’d ‘get over’ it. To realize that I’ll always miss my mother, but that I’d get better at missing her. That eventually the good days would outnumber the bad ones, and to carry her in my heart wherever I went.

    Be good to yourself, give yourself all the time you need. You’ll get better at missing him, I promise.

    Posted on 10.11.13 ·
  32. Marisa wrote:

    Dear Brenda,

    My deepest condolences go out to both you and Tonia. It’s remarkable how cruel the universe can be in piling these terrible things on top of one another like this. Take your time with you family and with your greif. Greif is an awful thing to deal with and not nearly as linear as I think we wish but allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling without judgement at any given point. I think as some other commenters have said, that it doesn’t really go away, it just gets easier. Like a broken leg that is healed but still throbs in the rain. You will get through this, but you don’t have to do it today.

    You are all in my thoughts.

    Posted on 10.11.13 ·
  33. penny wrote:

    May you and Tonia and your extended families continue to find comfort in your own times and means. {hugs}

    Posted on 10.11.13 ·
  34. Wink wrote:

    Oh Brenda, I have been wondering where you have been, and I’m so sorry the both of you. I hope you can care for each other and grow through this time. We will welcome you if and when you are back in our headphones.


    Posted on 10.12.13 ·
  35. liz wrote:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your double loss, but glad that you have Tonia at your side. Stillness can be wonderfully healing. I prefer you take care of yourself and not worry about your knit sibs. We’ll be here when and if you’re ready.

    Posted on 10.12.13 ·
  36. Heather wrote:

    Brenda, he sounds like a really lovely guy. You have some great memories. Thinking of you both.

    Posted on 10.12.13 ·
  37. Kyle wrote:

    Brenda and Tonia,

    It’s certainly been a year for you both. I hope you can find some solace in the following:

    “Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in Heaven
    Where the love of our lost ones pours
    through and shines down upon us
    to Let us know they are happy”

    Sadly I lost my Mom in June of this year; I guess it’s that point in our lives where we take the lead and keep forging ahead.

    Take care.

    Posted on 10.12.13 ·
  38. Tbird0123 wrote:

    Brenda I am so sorry, I lost my mother suddenly in 2009. I know that shock, sickness, and sadness. Please don’t sit in that car by the side of the road for too long, your going to have to pee.

    Posted on 10.12.13 ·
  39. Gaidig wrote:

    Hugs. So sorry for your loss. Having the two occur together is especially painful. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man.

    Posted on 10.12.13 ·
  40. Doreen wrote:

    Dear Brenda and Tonia, sorry for your losses. We miss you but of course you must take time for yourselves, each other and your loved ones. Blessings.

    Posted on 10.13.13 ·
  41. Cynthia wrote:

    Brenda and Tonia,

    We lost my mother and father in law within a 4 week period, and followed that up by almost losing our 3 month old granddaughter less than a month after that. Thankfully, she survived her surgery and is a healthy, happy 2 year old now. But more to the point, I am so glad you were there for each other and have spent time just being a comfort to each other. My thoughts are with you both.

    Posted on 10.13.13 ·
  42. Barbara wrote:

    Oh Brenda, I’m sorry for your and Tonia’s loss. Wishing you peace and healing until the sun shines again in your little corner of Wales, and hoping that you can slowly knit your heart back together.

    Posted on 10.13.13 ·
  43. SarahP in Toronto wrote:

    Dear Brenda and Tonia,
    I’m so sorry for both your losses. A close father-daughter relationship is a very special thing, and it seems you were both blessed in that way. Your obituary is a wonderful tribute Brenda. You two are in my thoughts.

    Posted on 10.13.13 ·
  44. SarahP in Toronto wrote:

    Just wanted to add that I’m working my way through the archives, and today listened to Occam’s Knitting from New Year’s Eve, 2009. You mention your Dad: a Boxing Day conversation when he talks about loving his 50s, as encouragement to you on the approach of your own special birthday. What a great guy. Love it that the Universe lined up his cameo like that.

    Posted on 10.13.13 ·
  45. sharon wrote:

    so sorry to hear of the loss of your father Brenda, your obit was a lovely tribute to him. hope your detour is not a forever one, i miss your voice in podcasting.

    Posted on 10.14.13 ·
  46. Vickie wrote:

    My condolences to both you and Tonia. Sorry to hear of your losses. So glad you have each other for comfort.

    Posted on 10.15.13 ·
  47. Merri wrote:

    Brenda what an amazing expression of your father. Thoughts and Prayers for you and your family. ~M

    Posted on 10.15.13 ·
  48. Mary wrote:

    Crying for you and Tonia today as I hear the news.
    I am so glad that even if it’s hard to knit, you were able to use your writing to help you heal, to find your breath, your voice in that quiet place.
    They would want you to know that you are loved. You are loved. Unconditionally.
    Not knowing your situation, not presuming to know anything past the universal grief of a lost father… I humbly suggest you both get out of the House of Grief once in awhile, see some other people. I felt astonished for a while how the world continued turning around me, Things were still happening. How could it all just go on? When everything inside me had stopped? But I think in the end the current of Life sweeps you forward and it’s better. Take your time. We will all be here when you want to share more of your lives with us. I wish there were more I could do for you than offer anonymous support. I wonder if there’s a way to send a casserole to Wales? Nothing will fill the empty spot in your heart, but to use that heart to honor their memory. You are their legacy. And you are enough, just as you are. Keep breathing.

    Posted on 10.15.13 ·
  49. Lori on Little Traverse Bay wrote:

    What a lovely tribute to your father. My condolences to you and Tonia for the losses you’ve both suffered.

    Posted on 10.16.13 ·
  50. Laura wrote:


    So sorry to read your news. Love and best wishes to both you and Tonia.

    Laura x

    Posted on 10.18.13 ·
  51. Joanna wrote:

    Many warm hugs, Brenda. So sorry for your sudden loss.
    Whatever you decide to do in future, know that you have brought much enjoyment to so many. We miss you but we understand.

    Posted on 10.19.13 ·
  52. Sarah Y wrote:

    Oh, Brenda. I’m so sorry. Daddies are so important to their daughters, and yours sounds like a bosom friend and warm and tender spirit. This must be such a sad time for you both. I hope grief turns to splendid memories and laughing toasts soon, since both sadness and joy are better shared.

    Posted on 10.21.13 ·
  53. LoriAngela wrote:

    When we lose a parent, we grieve for our past, and for the future we hope to share with them. Your father’s love was enough to stretch out over long distances, and I believe yours was too.
    You and Tonia are in our thoughts and our prayers.
    You have given us so much with your ground breaking podcast. If your creativity finds itself in another pathway, I only hope to be able to read/see/listen to it.
    Thank you for sharing what is so painful, and I hope the healing will find it’s way to both of you.

    Posted on 10.22.13 ·
  54. Jennifer wrote:

    I am so very sorry for the losses you and Tonia have had. My thoughts are with you both.

    Posted on 10.23.13 ·
  55. Em wrote:

    Brenda, your podcast helped to get me through a really hard time. Your voice kept me company in a way that no physical person could, and I really appreciate that. I’m not sure if this is how the universe works, but I hope you can find some comfort in the knowledge that there are other people all around the world, wishing you good thoughts.

    Posted on 10.24.13 ·
  56. KarenK wrote:

    Oh, Brenda, I am so sorry.

    Almost 3 years ago my Grandmother passed away (expected) and the next day my Husband’s sister took her life. I understand when you say that life has changed. As someone that has gone through a similar loss… I have no advice, but the thing that I have held on to for the last few years is the belief that Gran greeted Kayt on the other side with a big hug and unconditional love. Gran was 91, Kayt was 40. I cannot think of one without the other now.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers through this time. Take all the time you need. Then take some more. With Love, Karen (Spokane, WA)

    Posted on 10.24.13 ·
  57. Mary Zammit wrote:

    Dear Brenda and Tonia
    So sorry to hear about your double loss – we all send you our love and best wishes. My family have such great memories of sitting with you both, sharing our love of Dr Who! Memories are so precious, thanks for sharing yours with us here and over the years in your podcast. I hope we can be part of your journey again in the future.

    Posted on 10.26.13 ·
  58. ansleybleu wrote:

    Best wishes to you and your family.

    Posted on 10.27.13 ·
  59. Joan wrote:

    How inane the words are, aren’t they? – to express the sadness at your grief(s) shared and yet separate. You both must be so very proud of your fathers and all that they did to help you to become the wonderful womyn you are:)
    God bless and keep you both,

    Posted on 10.27.13 ·
  60. Robin McCoy wrote:


    After reading your version of your fathers obituary, I understand how lucky you were to have him in your life. Oh My the life he lead.

    Sorry for your loss


    Posted on 10.30.13 ·
  61. Cathy B. wrote:

    My heart aches for you and Tonia; what a huge loss. Thank you for sharing “your version” of your Dad’s life, and for all the gifts of words and stories you’ve given us over the years through your podcast.

    Posted on 10.30.13 ·
  62. Lisa Lee wrote:

    I was so sorry to hear of the loss of your father and father-in-law. Please give yourself & Tonia a hug, and keep hanging on. I lost my Dad in 2000, somewhat expected. On occasion he visits me in my dreams and we go fishing & rock hunting together. The dreams are a comfort and I wish the same thing for you and Tonia.
    Your tribute is lovely.
    Take care,

    Posted on 10.31.13 ·
  63. Audrey B wrote:

    I am sorry for your loss. Not one, but two almost simultaneously. I sounds as if Tonia and you are holding each other up bravely. As they say in my tribe, may their memories be for a blessing.

    Posted on 11.1.13 ·
  64. Hanna Jansson wrote:

    Dear Brenda.
    A year ago I was sick from food poisoning and laid in bed, knocked out with nausea. I realized then that what I wanted was your voice. “I want Brenda.” So there I was, on my back, completely still with my head tilted slightly to the left to keep the nausea under control, and Cast on in my head phones. It helped. Your pleasant, soothing voice; your entertaining and interesting show.

    I’m so sorry for your and Tonia’s losses, and the pain you’re in. I sincerely hope you both find something similar to what your voice did for me – it’s not a cure but it makes it bearable. (And of course I’m not comparing your situation with two days of stomach pains…!)

    Hanna, Stockholm Sweden

    Posted on 11.2.13 ·
  65. Christabel wrote:

    I’m so sorry to hear about both your and Tonia’s losses! I hope you’ll feel better in time.

    Posted on 11.3.13 ·
  66. wendy wrote:

    So so sorry. Warm wishes to you both. As EZ said

    Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises.

    The end of life honors life. It’s all one big passage


    Posted on 11.6.13 ·
  67. Julie wrote:

    I am so sorry to hear of your losses. I lost my mom in 1999, and my dad in 2001. I know well that path of grieving. You and Tonia are blessed to have each other, and wise to take all the time you need to process and walk it out. Do what brings comfort, believe that each day will bring just what you need to get through it, and if you want to just sit by the side of the road and watch the sun move across the sky that day, do it. Talk to your fathers. I talk to my parents; sometimes they answer me in dreams. (It’s amazing.) Hugs to you both, and I will be listening for you somewhere down the road.

    Posted on 11.7.13 ·
  68. Brenda,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I will pray for peace for you and your family, as well as Tonia and hers. We cannot ever understand all that life deals us, but we can be there to support each other through it all. Love from Flossmoor, IL.

    Debra Rogers

    Posted on 11.12.13 ·
  69. sarah wrote:

    Dear Brenda and Tonia,
    I never had a dad and I always wanted one. I can only understand a little bit about what a dad is because my children have a good one, but it’s not the same. I am sitting here crying for you both and your dads and myself a bit. Keep going, treasure your memories, I am sending you good vibes. All will be well.

    Posted on 11.14.13 ·
  70. Kathleen wrote:

    I’m so sorry for both you and Tania and your families. What a lovely goodbye you wrote to your father. Hugs to you all. Xoxo

    Posted on 11.14.13 ·
  71. Shannon wrote:

    Brenda, I’m so sorry for your and Tonia’s losses. Your father’s obit is beautiful, and I smiled through tears as I read it. You’ve been in my home so frequently I feel his loss, too, though certainly not anywhere near as keenly as you do.

    You’ve given me much joy over many years, have kept me company through worried nights as a single parent, through stressed days (and, yes, nights again!) as a grad student, and continue to do so as I sit at my desk at work. And, always, you’ve inspired me to push fear aside and to reach for what I want. That will live with me.

    If you decide to end your podcasting days you’ll be missed terribly but will be loved always.


    Posted on 11.15.13 ·
  72. Cam wrote:

    My condolences to you and Tonia both. Take care of yourselves. You’re both amazing women and we all look up to you.
    I still listen to your podcasts and I miss you terribly but I’m really happy to just hear from you (albeit through these unfortunate circumstances.)
    Radio silence is uncomfortable.
    Miss you and love you as a friend (knitterly friend). Take care, sending you lots of alpaca hugs.

    Posted on 11.24.13 ·
  73. Erin R. wrote:

    Lots of xoxoxo to both of you. It’s good to be quiet sometimes, necessary even.

    Posted on 12.5.13 ·
  74. Stephanie wrote:

    I am so sorry to learn of your loss. Through your podcast, I feel you are a distant friend, and I feel bad that I just learned about this today.

    I’m pleased that you and Tonia have each other, and can heal together.

    Sending you many hugs across the miles.
    (StephieJo on Ravelry)

    Posted on 12.5.13 ·
  75. Erin R. wrote:

    Just thinking about you today. I hope you are well.

    Posted on 12.12.13 ·
  76. Chris E wrote:

    Brenda, I know losing a parent is very hard, and you and Tonya have my sympathy and best wishes. Your father knew you from your very beginning. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt remembrance of him.

    Posted on 12.14.13 ·
  77. moey wrote:

    I miss you. I hope you are doing okay. Please come back. xx

    Posted on 1.3.14 ·
  78. Lisa Appleton wrote:

    Belatedly … so, so sorry for your losses! Time heals … but there’s certainly no way to predict how long it takes. Blessings and light to you and your families.

    Posted on 1.7.14 ·
  79. Cindy wrote:

    Hi Brenda,

    It’s been awhile since I checked in. I just read the latest post on your blog regarding your dad and Tonia’s dad passing away. Hugs to both of you. I realize it’s been a few months and hopefully you are adjusting to the newest reality. Just wanted to drop by and say Hi, and I miss hearing your voice.

    Posted on 2.1.14 ·

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