Letters To My Papa


Ashley Hertzog Embry

A personal story of hope, grief, and love

Daily letters written from a daughter to her father ensuring that, despite sustaining a major brain injury, he would never miss a day. She would account for it all, and tell him his own unbelievable tale.


Ashley writing in notebook

SYNOPSIS


Hospital Bed

A personal story of hope, grief, and love – comprising daily letters written from a daughter to her father ensuring that, despite sustaining a major brain injury, he would never miss a day. She would account for it all, and tell him his own unbelievable tale.

The book begins as Ashley Hertzog Embry tells her “Papa Bear” how he narrowly cheated death. With her father still in a coma, she wrote to him when she couldn’t talk to him, clinging to the faith that one day he would wake up and read her words. He did awake, and the words kept coming. She wrote to him every day throughout his recovery, encouraging his progress, and keeping tabs on the day-to-day details that his recuperating short-term memory struggled to retain.


When Papa’s recovery took a sudden downturn, his devoted daughter picked up her pen again, holding out hope for a miracle that never came. With a broken heart surprisingly filled with gratitude, Ashley continued to write through her loss to provide an intimate account of the grieving process one day at a time. Read along as she journeys through seasons of hope, joy, fear, sorrow and, most of all, love.

Ashley's Journal

READERS FEEDBACK


Ashley's Headshot

MEET THE AUTHOR


Ashley Hertzog Embry resides in Nashville, TN, working full-time in music publishing, documenting life’s little moments in her spare time, and loving the family life with her adoring husband, Mason.

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Paperback and ebook versions available.

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15 hours ago

Letters To My Papa

It never comes when you expect it.

The grief.

Yesterday I found myself more focused on celebrating my husband's second Father's Day than on mourning my seventh without my dad. I selected a photo of Papa, drafted a post, and published it. I missed him, but I didn't cry. I thought about him, but I didn't dwell on his absence.

Then this evening, I show Noella his picture and she recognizes him immediately, and it occurs to me to play a video of him for her. She's seen pictures of him. And she's heard his voice. But never the two at once.

So I pull up a clip of him speaking at the 2009 ELCO Homecoming pep rally. She starts repeating "Papa, papa, papa" even though I only ever call him Grandpa around her. (She also calls Grandma "mama." 🤷🏼‍♀️)

For some reason, the sound of my daughter (his namesake) calling him what I called him most of my life creates an out-of-body experience where I feel like I'm watching my own inner child call out to her father.

Just as I feel myself teetering on the edge of the emotional cliff, Noella says, "Happy, Papa?" (Checking in on everyone's happiness is quite important to her these days.)

And I fell. Right off the cliff.

The tears that were nowhere to be found yesterday came pouring out. I didn't see it coming, because I made it through the milestone holiday with no trouble. But that's the thing about grief. It's ALWAYS bubbling just under the surface. Even when it feels a million miles away. You're always one unexpected moment from a breakdown.

***this clip is all I was able to capture after I composed myself again.
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Comment on Facebook

I wish I had video of my dad. I would love to share him with my girls. Thank you for posting this. It strangely makes me feel better ❤️

Oh my. My heart is happy, yet hurting. Hoping Dad sees her excitement and giving you heavenly huggers. Huggers from me Babe. Love you. 😘😘

This had me tearing up reading it. You write so that people imagine and see these scenarios so vividly. I’m so sorry for your grief. I do love her excitement for her papa. 💕 thinking of you.

Oh my goodness, Ash. I have no words. Just sending lots of virtual hugs your way. ❤️

Ashley...your way with words constantly moves me...so much. Thank you for sharing what you do.

Hugs to you 💜🙏🏼

Hugs!

Oh, sweet girl!!!!

Those moments hits you at the oddest times.

💙💙💙

Oh what a moment Buckwheat Jr! And he is smiling down 🙂

I envy the closeness to your father

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2 days ago

Letters To My Papa

This is my father. My dad. My papa. This is one of my absolute favorite pictures of us because his laugh is practically audible. I frequently think about things he would find amusing these days, but I don't remember his laugh often enough. Yet when I look at this picture, it echoes through my mind.

I can still hear you, Papa. But I'm terrified the day will come when I can't.

And I love you so...

*May you always remember them out loud.*

❤💔❤

#father #fathersday #family #grief #loss #bereavement #laughter #remember #rememberoutloud #love #papabear
... See MoreSee Less

This is my father. My dad. My papa. This is one of my absolute favorite pictures of us because his laugh is practically audible. I frequently think about things he would find amusing these days, but I dont remember his laugh often enough. Yet when I look at this picture, it echoes through my mind. 

I can still hear you, Papa. But Im terrified the day will come when I cant. 

And I love you so...

*May you always remember them out loud.*

❤💔❤

#father #fathersday #family #grief #loss #bereavement #laughter #remember #rememberoutloud #love #papabear

 

Comment on Facebook

❤❤❤❤❤❤❤