On losing my Dad
I’m so sorry for going dark these past couple of months, which simultaneously have felt like some of the longest of my life and also like no time has passed at all. The reason for that is because we lost my Dad over Thanksgiving. I haven’t been able to bring myself to write a post about it, but I also haven’t been able to bring myself to write anything else either. Even figuring out what the title of this post should be was too hard. I still haven’t figured out what words feel palatable enough to describe the fact that he is no longer here and what my family has been through.
I know I have always been an open book, writing about deeply personal topics in the hopes that my experience can help someone else, but family is so complicated, and the idea of writing any more about this just feels like too much. So I guess the entire point of this post is to explain my absence and to also say I’ll be back here on the blog soon writing about many topics (I think it will feel good to get back into the swing of things) but at this time, I don’t plan to write any more about this one.
On the flip side, posting on Instagram has felt more “normal” to me, for whatever reason– so in the meantime, you can always find me there @jesskeys_
Until then, I hope the words I shared on my Instagram post can help you know Bob Keys just a little:
Dad, thank you for everything. Thank you for teaching me that you should always chase the good things in life. How to be brave, how to always keep going and to always have reasons to smile.
People always described you as “larger than life” and I don’t think there’s a more accurate way to sum you up.
You were magnetic—the life of any (and I mean ANY) party, the star of Dad’s Weekend when you showed up in your cowboy boots and moose vest and crushed everyone at beer pong.
You taught us how to water ski, to put ketchup on tacos, you ripped up every dance floor, laughed big belly laughs as you drove the boat throwing everyone off the sea biscuit. I had never met anyone who wore shorter shorts (until I met Neal, how fitting.)
You always smelled like original Old Spice aftershave and spearmint gum. There wasn’t anything you couldn’t do, and nobody you loved more than your girls (mom included) and your grandkids. Nobody could give a better hug. That’s what I will miss the most.
This weekend, all who love you will be cracking Coors Lights, making popcorn and listening to Willie Nelson and Don Williams. (If I had any illegal fireworks I’d light some of those too but that’s frowned upon in Chicago.)
I love you Dad. You will be with me, always. I’m so thankful for all the good times we had together and for the life you gave us. Like our favorite Don Williams song goes, “my love for you will never die.” ♥️
Thank you for your continuous kind words, love and patience.
(And especially for the dm’s you’ve been sending me with pictures of yourselves drinking Coors Light in his honor. ♥️ How did I get so lucky to have such a wonderful support system?)
See you back here soon, and cheers to Bob.