kit hinkle a widows might memorializing their dad


Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.

Exodus 4:12 (ESV)

It was the first day of school in 2007, and we homeschooled.  Four sweet faces looked up at me from the kitchen table.

Just ten days before that morning, I sat with my laptop open at a café around the corner, preparing lesson plans for this day. Fire trucks screamed by, and within minutes I discovered they were headed to my neighborhood where my husband had just collapsed from a massive coronary.

No school plan, no desire to teach…not even little ears wanting to learn at this point.  The stale scent of funeral flowers still lingered in the air.

But God planned the lesson for that day, and for every day after.  Even when it seems a situation can’t get worse, He interjects your panicked sense of “what do I do next?” and inserts His brilliance. Why should that surprise me?  He used Moses, a man with a speech impediment, to speak up to Pharaoh, and taught Moses what to speak.

That morning I had no choice but to leave the unfinished lesson plan to God and just let Him take over.  Grabbing the easel and some markers, I wrote at the top of the flip chart…DADDYISMS and turned to face the children.  “Quick! Tell me your favorite Daddy sayings and habits!”

They looked at each other with questions on their faces.

“Daddyisms!”  I said.  “You know—the stuff Dad always said and did. How he made you laugh!

Recognition flashed in their faces as the oldest said, “At least he didn’t charge you!”

I wrote that on the flip chart as they laughed and explained how that was Tom’s answer when one of them would complain that his brother hit him for nothing!  I turned and asked for another.

“The belly button of the butter!” another said. “That’s what he called the swirly part of the margarine that you see when you open the container!”

No sooner did I write it down, when another idea got blurted out…and another, and another, until the entire chart was filled.  We taped it to the wall and started on the next, and then the next, and then the next.  Until nine glorious flip charts of daddyisms decorated every available wall surface of the first floor of our home!

The boys exhausted every daddyism they could think of, and we sat quietly for a moment.

“This,” I said, pointing to the nine flip charts on the wall, “is our lesson plan for the first semester.”

The boys were puzzled until I explained how each daddyism would become one of our school writing assignments.

And from these writings, the Daddyism book was born.
Eighty pages of glorious photographs of their father and the funny things he would say and do.  What a wonderful therapy the book became for them.  Each time one of the kids missed his father, we had that book to sit down and leaf through together and bring his memory fresh into view where we could peel apart our feelings and have a healthy laugh or cry over him—whatever served to help heal at the moment.

And those charts?  Interestingly, they comforted us for the months that they remained on our wall—serving to remind us of the wonderful memories of Dad and how blessed we were with the time we had with him.

A family friend came to visit and found himself feeling awkward at the sight of them.  “I get it,” I told him.  “You aren’t around enough to have to deal with the loss of Tom and his presence around us.  So I get why you’re uncomfortable.  But think about it,” I added. “You only visit here, and so it’s easier to be sad when you think of Tom.  We are better off facing our sadness and learning to remember him with joy.  In time, the flip charts will come down, and what will remain is the joy of his memory in our hearts.”

Lord, You provided inspiration at a moment when I had none. And out of that inspiration came a family legacy that will continue to help our family for years to come. Thank you.  Please help the dear widow who is reading this and needs inspiration in her journey Perhaps give her an idea for a legacy project, memorializing her husband.  Sometimes, working hands can make the sharing of emotions a more welcome experience for everyone.  Amen.


017_HinkleKit Hinkle is the Founder and Ministry Lead for A New Season Ministries, Inc., and an author and speaker. She has lived through corporate careers as a chemical engineer and a management consultant, but now finds her finest career as a home school mother to four teen boys–one of them launched in college. She loves Pilates and her best friend’s Bosanova Christian yoga-style stretching. Her longing for walks on the beach with her chocolate lab has led her to Charleston where she’s now starting her new season.  To sit with another who is walking through her tough road and show that woman Christ, brings joy and fulfillment to Kit. It’s such an honor to participate in His kingdom.
If you are interested in having her speak, please contact her via email at 

If you are interested in having her speak, please contact her via email at 

Other articles by this author:

Would you like to read more about creating legacy items?  Here are some articles you might try:

Memorials by guest blogger Darlene Crowl

The Last Gift by Liz Anne Wright

18 replies
  1. Sherry
    Sherry says:

    Kit, I needed this article today. I’m in the car driving home form my first visit with Cristina since I dropped her off. I was called to remember Bills sailings and mannerisms and it is wonderful to keep their testimony alive. Thanks!!!

  2. jey
    jey says:

    Great book Kit. My kids don’t want to talk about daddy nor look at his photos. I haven’t got done to printing the photos either. Bought an album for the photos thou’. told the kids to write about dad & they put the thoughts away. No mention of him at home. No opening his stuff. Pain is too much I suppose. Will they forget him?

  3. Doris
    Doris says:

    This is great idea. My daughters have children of their own, so my grandchildren will love this. They adored their “papa”. Thanks so much:-)

  4. Nancy
    Nancy says:


    I love this idea! Actually my boys and I began a list of “daddyisms” soon after Mark died, but it was just too painful and we put it aside. I think now, after 20 months, we can laugh more than cry as we compile it. And the book is a perfect way to showcase those funny, one-of-a-kind sayings that daddys and boys (and girls) share.

    Hugs to you and the four young men in your household!

  5. kathy....
    kathy.... says:

    Thank you Kit,,, You have spurred me on to write my book for the girls. My daughters were 2, 4 and 6 when Chris was killed in a plane crash… Immediately I wrote down all memories I had of the girls and their daddy and there was many.. But they are still are on lots of yellow paper in a box.. Now my youngest is graduating from high school and the oldest from college… So it is time to write. thanks again….

  6. Kit
    Kit says:

    A legacy book for a grandchild would be precious and would hug them for years to come. Imagine how his great grandchildren would learn about him through this gift!

  7. Sylvia Anadon
    Sylvia Anadon says:

    What an awesome idea. Our kids are older and out of the house with families of their own. Our grand kids adored their “papa” and this would be such a good reminder for them. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

  8. Kit
    Kit says:

    I would imagine it would be very special to your oldest son, Anne. When I made the books for the two sets of kids, each time I gave a copy to my mother in law. I know it brought up the painful loss to her, but it was also such a blessing to her too.

  9. Anne
    Anne says:

    I love this idea. My children were all grown and married when we lost my husband. But this is still such a great idea for them to have pictures of their dad and them through their growing up years. I am going to try to make one for each of them. My oldest son is 40 years old now and it has been 3 years since my husband passed away but he is still having a hard time with it. So this might help him. Thanks for all you do for us widows.

  10. Angie
    Angie says:

    This is a beautiful idea and I am grateful you shared it. I had been pondering how to keep his memory alive for my kids. They are so young and are forgetting him. I think I have found a project now to keep his memory alive. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Candy
    Candy says:

    What a “”God” idea your Daddyisms charts and book were and what a beautiful way to walk with your sons through the loss of their dad! Thank you for sharing this.

    • Kit
      Kit says:

      You’re welcome, Candy.

      I actually did a second book too–that one for my stepchildren. Those children were a dozen years older, so their childhood memories with him were so different. I gathered photos from their childhood–nearly all of which were before their father met me. Older kids need these legacy keepers as well!

  12. Liz Anne Wright
    Liz Anne Wright says:

    Oh Kit! What a comfort! We did a book similar, but I put in it all the wonderful comments that everyone told me at the funeral and after. Testimonies of a wonderful man of Christ that my boys have forever to remind them of their dad and how he walked the walk and talked the talk and touched people by doing so. Even more awesome in your blog was the information about how others deal with the grief…how it is part of us but makes others uncomfortable. I have likened it to dealing with an amputation–you are comfortable with it, but others have to adjust to it. I think it is a blessing to continue to deal with the memories and the life of someone who was so meaningful to it. I am not sure if anything can be seen from heaven, and if Keith can watch us at all, but her certainly is here with us in the way we relate to life, and live it according to the plans he and God had set up for our house and our family. Thanks for all your writings. they touch me so!

    • Kit
      Kit says:

      That works really well, Liz Anne. Especially for the smaller children who need reminders to help them remember how he looked and what little things he did.

Comments are closed.