Graciously Bowing Out


Robert Clyde 1955-2019

After seven and a half years of laughing and joking, complete faith, prayers, and love, our brave Dad and courageous husband to Carolyn, Ollie Clyde, decided to be the bigger man and graciously bow out of the fight with cancer on October 18, 2019.




I knew you were loved. I knew you were an incredible man. Today, I realized you were more than loved, more than incredible. I have been humbled by the outpouring of love being shown to you. I bet it’s the same on the other side. Only they get to be with you now, while we’re going to miss you.




You have left a mark.

You’re my hero.

You will not be forgotten.

We love you always, Dad.



Dad’s last ride. 🖤 

We said goodbye to the man who was larger than life

and began a life where he is a guardian angel.

As my sister, Brooke Clyde-Balbuena, said, our dad was a legend.

The Day of the Dead

“The Day of the Dead is a rare holiday for celebrating death and life. It is unlike any holiday where mourning is exchanged for celebration.”

So here’s to celebrating the vibrant, one-of-a-kind soul you are, Dad. If you hear this prayer, let your spirit hang out with me tonight.


Someone Always Has to Carry the Story


My sister-in-law, Jena, sent this beautiful star for me to hang in my home in honor of my dad. The etched inscription is from one of my favorite authors:

“Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story.” ~J.R.R.Tolkien

I hope I am half the author of life that my dad was. 🖤








10.18.19 to 11.18.19


It’s been a month, but it feels so much longer than that. Four weeks, but it seems like yesterday. I still can’t find the right words to accurately articulate the ache of missing you.

Two months have slipped past since you told me your story was coming to the end, that the book would close for a final time. I’m still trying to find the correct arrangement of letters into words, words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, to write an epilogue worthy of the story of your life. Because you weaved tales that were bigger than life. Because you were larger than life.

Another Loss 12.7.19


This is our more-than-an-aunt, Sherry, our mom’s sister. We said goodbye to her today after an unexpected but brief illness. Sherry was a constant in our lives. She had no children of her own but loved her nieces and nephews with a fierce and unconditional love. She never missed a birthday, holiday, special event, or even just an opportunity to get together to celebrate life.

When she came to my dad’s funeral, she held me while I broke down. I told her later I was sorry for crying all over her. She told me, “It was an honor that you shared your grief with me.” Sherry, as much as this hurts to say goodbye to you, my grief for you is a symbol of being beyond honored to be your niece. You were an incredible influence on me—from inspiring me to get my master’s degree to simply being kind and generous. I love you. I will miss you every day.


Happy Birthday in Heaven

Dad always told me he was a “looker.” Well, that statement is evidenced by this adorable picture of him! 💞

1A5BA6AE-1926-451A-B6ED-6B3CF522AC02Okay, Dad. I believe you now that all the girls (particularly one blonde cheerleader named Carolyn) were in love with you. Even though you’re gone, you’re still making me laugh.

A friend recently asked me what you had done in life to have made such an impact on so many people. All I could reply is that you were… you. You simply lived and served and took care of your family and friends. And you were crazy and wild and brought your sense of humor to every situation.

And that on one particularly dark night, you found me and brought me home. And you loved and were loved so much in return. You were so full of life that you should have been able to live forever.

You should be here today, celebrating another year. Instead, we’re here without you, celebrating the life you lived. Happy birthday in heaven, Dad. 💔


10.18.19 to 12.18.19

F9652DB3-F079-4272-B9A3-EC5336BF0372Seven years ago we celebrated your best birthday. After months of diagnoses, treatments, hospital stays, and prayers, you were cleared of lymphoma of the brain. You had won the battle, and you had done it all with humor and that larger-than-life personality that defined who you truly were.

But now, in this aftermath of a seven-year war, the biggest cost has been the loss of you, a person whose joy for life radiated in every space he entered.

How do I celebrate a battle won but a war lost? These aftermath scars are etched into our bones, aching with the cold, twinging at thoughts of why and what if.

It’s only when I remember that you chose to lay down your gloves, your guns, your bow and arrow. When that memory of a single tear in your blue eyes floods over me, reminding me that you told me you couldn’t do it anymore, and I knew I couldn’t ask you to do it anymore, either.

So I will treasure these scars and remember what they cost, remember that we wore chainmail once, but it was never promised to be impenetrable. Seven years had been a long enough fight, and the time had come to bow out and leave us here to carry a legacy of a name, of you, of a man who didn’t despair because of the disease he had to fight, but because he had to go on without us.

You have left a mark on everyone who knew you, especially on those of us who called you Dad.