There are no words

Dear blog readers, our wonderful Daddy passed from this life earlier today. Here is a video I made for him on Father’s Day 2014, just a token of the tremendous place he holds in the hearts of his four children. There will be no posts this week. ย Thanks for understanding.

Update, Monday 12:15 a.m. — Thanks to all for your kind thoughts, prayers and comforting comments. Please be assured I am reading the comments and will respond to each one as soon as time allows. Your friendship and support mean more than I can say. Please pray for our Mama who is having a very hard time after losing her husband of more than 66 years. She has depended on his loving support for so long.


  1. Chris

    So sorry, Julia. Love you, thinking and praying for you all. (shared this video with my folks, btw)

    • Thank you Chris, for sharing the video, being with us this week, and sharing our joys and sorrows. Our family is blessed with a rich and deep bond, which has comforted us immensely in our time of sorrow.

  2. Linda

    God bless you and your family, Julia. You will be in my prayers in the coming days. What a beautiful tribute for your Daddy. I’m sure he loved it.

    • Thank you, Linda. I am so glad I gave this video to Daddy last year. I had wanted to make this video for some time, and knew that I couldn’t be sure of having much longer with him.

  3. I love you. And I love your family. Heartfelt connections felt for you and your family. God bless you all during your time of loss. A great man and a great legacy, he made a big difference on this earth in so many lives. Mine especially.

    • Thank you Don. You are like a member of our family and I know Daddy cherished his friendship with you, as do we all.

  4. Jill Bortell

    Julie, so sorry to hear of the death of your Daddy. May you and your family feel the comfort promised by our Jesus for those who mourn.

    • Thank you Jill. We are indeed being held together by God’s comfort and grace, as well as the warm thoughts and kindness of friends such as you.

  5. Ann

    Julia, what a wonderful tribute to your dad. Thank you for sharing him with us. He left quite a legacy behind him.


    • Thank you, Ann. Daddy’s life was interesting and full, and we are grateful for so many wonderful memories.

  6. blseibel

    What a wonderful life. Hugs to you.

    • Thank you, it has been a real comfort to read these comments and share our sorrow.

  7. Thinking of you and sending much love. Just remember to keep telling the stories about him… it really does help!

    • Thank you so much. You are so right, It really does help to remember the many wonderful stories. Our family and friends have found strength in the sharing.

  8. hilzonsix

    So sorry for your loss. May our Lord encourage you with His Grace and Strength.

    • Thank you. We are being give strength for each day and for that, we are all grateful.

  9. I’m so sorry to read about your loss. My condolences. May you and your family know God’s comfort like never before.

    • Thank you, Timi — God is indeed taking care of so much for us right now. We are doing well, all things considered.

  10. A beautiful video. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Thank you, Jena.

  11. So sorry for you loss. I have never seen or heard such a beautiful tribute. RIP, bless you and your loved ones.

    • Thank you, Patricia. I am so happy you liked the video — it is from the heart, for sure.

  12. I am so sorry for your loss xx

    • Thank you, Wendy.

  13. What a wonderful tribute. The pain of loss never goes away. I am sending heartfelt condolences for your grief.

    • Thank you, Marlene.

  14. Julia, my condolences to you and all your family. โค

    • Thank you, Merry.

  15. Mary Ellen

    My deepest sympathies, Julia. May our Heavenly Father hold up your hearts.

    • Thank you, Mary Ellen.

  16. Such a powerful and tender tribute. My sympathies for your and your family’s loss.

    • Thank you, Cynthia.

  17. Julia, I am so sorry for your loss, you and your family are in my prayers. May God comfort you and your family. Sincerely, Cheryl Lemon

    • Thank you Cheryl, we truly appreciate the prayers and are experiencing God’s mercy in big and little ways right now.

  18. MaryAnn

    Julia, I loved this video when I first saw it, now I have a lump in my throat. It is so poignant.
    I love you!

    • Thank you Mary Ann, Love you too!

  19. Judy in Pennsylvania

    Oh Julia, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your father, and yes I too will keep you, your mom and family in my prayers. Watching the video you made for him brought tears to my eyes — what a loving tribute to such a sweet, capable and inspiring father. I love the gentleness and humor that he shows through his eyes. May you all find comfort in knowing he had a life well lived and that he awaits you with his smiles and open arms in Heaven. He has flown so high this time, way beyond the clouds below. The view must be astonishingly beautiful.

    • Thank you Judy. You can tell how special our Daddy was (and is) to all of us. He was indeed a good-humored person, always able to laugh at himself, and told us many years ago that he hoped we would continue to enjoy our funny family stories about him long after he left this earth. Right now we are grieving his loss, but so grateful we had him with us for as long as we did. I fondly trust that he is now experiencing that astonishing beauty in which his faith never wavered.

  20. Rob Lane

    So sorry Julia for your family’s loss. My prayers are with you.

    • Thank you Rob. We can feel the prayers and good wishes of our kind friends, which are keeping us afloat right now.

  21. Jim Beavers

    Dear Julia, I am so sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you and your family during this time of grief.

    • Thank you Jim, I am so happy to hear from you! I hope you and your family are well. We so appreciate your prayers. God is holding in his hands right now and we feel the power of our friends’ prayers and good wishes.

  22. I am praying for you and your family.

    • Thank you Leslie, we so appreciate your prayers.

  23. Jack

    Peace and comfort Julia

    • Thank you Jack. The sorrow continues but the peace and comfort are there.

  24. Sheila

    Julia, we greet the day, but it’s tinged with sadness. We are here at Defeat Despair for the last 24 hours thinking of you and for your family. We leave our words and our tears that will now mesh with your beautiful words, pictures, photographs and quotes that you have shared with us for so long. I will cherish the many comments that were left here by Mr. Carlyle. My sincerest condolences to you, Julia, and the entire Hedden family. ๐Ÿ™ Love, Sheila

    • Thank you Sheila. It feels as if you are one of our family, and I know you have long sensed the special bond all of us had with our sweet Daddy. That bond continues to bless us as we endure the current sorrows and celebrate the joys. As ever — thanks for being here!

      • Good morning, Julia. I’m thinking of you, wondering how you’re doing. I shared Mr. Carlyle’s obituary with Bill. He remarked, “What an aviator!” Having been in the U.S. Navy also, aboard many aircraft carriers, he appreciated your Daddy’s many skills. I am keeping you and your family in my prayers, knowing these are difficult days. May sunbeams dance upon you today, sent from above! ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ™

        • Sheila, thank you so much. Your friendship and support have been such a strength to me! BTW I noticed that this month’s quote is from one of my favorite novels, The Scarlet Pimpernel. Have you read it? If not, I highly recommend it.

  25. Michael

    Julia so sorry for your loss. Great tribute clip. What a great smile.

    • Thank you, Michael. Daddy’s lifelong friend, who grew up with him, learned to fly with him, instructed Air Force pilots alongside him and and flew at Eastern with him, always called him “Smiley.” This man, who is pictured in several of the photos with Daddy, including the one with the birthday cake, is my “second Daddy” and his wife, who was introduced to him by my parents long before I was born, is my “second Mama.” In all the years of close association with him and his family, I never heard him call Daddy by any name but “Smiley.” As I’m sure you agree, it is an appropriate nickname!

  26. Amy

    Oh my friend. I am so sorry to hear of the death of your dad. I didn’t even see it until last night. I will be keeping all of you in my prayers. You know where to find me if you need anything. I love you.

    • Thank you Amy. I left you a voicemail earlier. Hope to talk to you soon.

      • Amy

        Got your voice mail and sent you an email via a message I had from HM. Hope you don’t mind my tagging you on to that message. ๐Ÿ™‚ God bless you my friend. I am sure your dad is in heaven. I like to think he has met up with my dad and of course they are talking about their wonderful daughters. Take care and we will reink our get together day. Love you.

        • Amy, I love your thought about our Daddys meeting up in heaven. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you and I will be able get together soon. Till then just keep smiling. Love you.

          • Amy

            I should start having Fridays off VERY soon. I can get someone to cover on Wednesdays if that works better for you. Let me know.

            • I will be in touch soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Dear Julia,
    I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your dad. Know that you and your family are in my prayers.

    • Thank you Alan, we do need and appreciate the prayers. We are taking things one day at a time and trying to line up some care for Mama right now.

      • All the best and God’s blessings a this time.-Alan

        • Thank you Alan. One of the things we mentioned in Daddy’s obituary was his love for the story of Don Quixote, and the song “The Impossible Dream.” That subject was how I first found your blog!

          • When I was a teen, my mom and I saw “Man From La Mancha,” on Broadway, after an annual visit to my polio doctor. That play and the music resonated with me. “The Impossible Dream,” in particular. I believe I identified with it and it with me. I know the lyrics by heart and hold them close to it. When I’m down it reminds me to get back up again.
            Thanks for the reminder and I’m happy “The Dream,” brought you to my blog.
            God’s blessings,

            • Alan, “the world will be better for this.” ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Dorothy Walker

    Dear Julia, so sad to hear about your dad. What a wonderful 66 years your parents must have had together. You are all in my prayers, especially your mum. Love, Dorothy

    • Thank you, Dorothy. We are grateful for your prayers. Mama seems so lost and sad without Daddy; he was doing more for her than any of us realized. Thanks for being here with us!

  29. tpeastin

    Dear Julia,

    Thanks to Cherie of Inverness, FL who posted your sad news on the Upper Room site. From so many of your posts about your dad and from your dad’s comments on various posts, I believe I had a good sense of who he was. When a beloved ‘rock’ leaves your life, your world is changed forever…and there will be a hole in you that can never completely be filled. At the same time, there is a part of your dad that will always remain in your heart. God bless you and your family…truly, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Pat XOXO

    • Thank you, Pat. I’m glad Daddy was such an active part in this blog, especially in the early days after Jeff’s diagnosis when Daddy’s health was much better than it became over the next two years. As you say, we are already missing him so much, and yet in a very real sense, he will be with us always. That’s why I loved that song so much (the one in the video, which, incidentally, was sung and recorded by a high school friend of Drew and Matt back in 2002). Even then I knew I wanted to make a Father’s Day slide show for him with that song. I’m so glad I was able to do it before he passed from this life. I so appreciate your friendship. Special thanks to Cherie for letting the UR family know. Your prayers and good wishes are a tremendous comfort to me right now.

  30. Marlowe and Glenda

    You and your family are in our prayers.

    • Thank you, Marlowe and Glenda. Across the years and the miles, we keep you close in heart with many fond memories.

  31. There be no more lovely memorial than this video. Your dad and Jeff have a lot of physical similarities, I believe. I am pleased to see the love that shines from the eyes of your loved ones. A fine fellow to have taught his family what love is all about. God bless you and your mother, as the rest of the family too. Love Alice

    • Thank you Alice. We got your sweet card and I have been meaning to reply, but as you now know, circumstances got in the way, as they so often do. We appreciate your friendship, prayers and support. BTW many people have remarked that Jeff and Daddy look somewhat alike; one person who saw our wedding photos many years ago said “Well, he (Jeff) certainly fits in with the other men in your family.” I guess it’s the dark hair, although Daddy’s hair had gone almost completely white by the time he died. Love and hugs to you — I will sincerely try to answer your letter soon. The short version is that Jeff continues to defy all the odds, and is still working full time, but we will know more after his next scans; the CEA isn’t encouraging but the chemo has continued as often as his blood counts will allow it.

  32. Dearest Julia, I’ve just written a private note. Holding you in my thoughts, dear one. xox

    • Thank you Alys. I will look forward to receiving it. โค

  33. Karen Lowry

    What a beautiful tribute. Blessings and peace to you, dear friend.

    • Thank you Karen, it is wonderful to hear from you. I hope you and your family are well. I appreciate your being here with us.

  34. Ann

    Continued prayers for your mom and and the rest of your family.

    • Thank you Ann, we continue to need those prayers as we negotiate the emotional and logistical changes following the loss of one who was such a source of strength to all of us. We are trying to line up care for Mama who depended on Daddy even more than we realized.

  35. HarryS

    Condolences from this cyber friend.
    My heartfelt prayers are extended to and for you and your’s.

    • Thank you, Harry. I appreciate your presence here!

  36. LB

    Julia, you do not need to reply as we’ve touched base via FB, and hopefully the card I sent arrived (meaning I hope that I had the right address). Just wanted to send continued thoughts and love. So very sorry for your mother as well. Blessings to all of you,

    • Laurie, I did get your beautiful card, and it was a comfort to me. Thanks for being with me in happy times as well as sad ones!

  37. Heba

    Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” Surat Al-Baqara 2:156

    My sincere condolences to You Julia, your mother & to the whole family. I pray that God grants your beloved father mercy, and may your hearts are blessed with serenity and patience to overcome his loss.

    Leave you in peace…

    • Thank you, Heba. It means a great deal to have the good wishes, prayers and consolation of people who care. I’m glad you are here with us!

  38. Susan

    I am so sorry for the loss your family is facing. You had an awesome dad, full of love, goodness and support. You can treasure the many memories in your heart. He was a blessing to many and I am praying for comfort and strength for your family.
    Take care, in Christ’s Love,

    • Thank you Susan! I appreciate your kind words about Daddy, and your understanding of the huge role he played in our lives. Your prayers are greatly needed and we are so grateful you are here with us, sharing our sorrow, joy and faith.

  39. Thank you for a wonderful tribute to your father. I am sure he is smiling in heaven at the love you have for him. God bless

    • Thank you, Daryl. Your words are a comfort to me tonight. I appreciate your joining us here.

  40. So sorry to hear about your loss, Julia. (And also sorry that I am this late to respond.) I can imagine how this would have affected and will be still affecting you. I remember seeing his pictures and comments in your pages. The passing of our parents are one of the most difficult turning points in our lives. May God give you enough strength and faith.

    • Bindu, thanks so much for your kind words and warm wishes. It was well over two years ago when I read your tribute to your own father and felt so many common threads. Since that time we both have lost our fathers, and that gives us something else in common. I went back and re-read your post that was written soon after your father died, and again it was a comfort to me. As you shared with us then, the gap left in our parents’ passing is wider and deeper than we are able to imagine beforehand, yet also there are consolations. One of which is knowing that others do understand. Thanks for being here with us!

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