We Honored Daddy at Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk

I have always looked forward to firsts. The first time I drove a car. The first time I saw my baby’s face. The first time I spent the night in my own house. But, not all firsts feel great. I am learning that some firsts really hurt. Like the first time you lose a parent and have to celebrate a holiday. I thought I was prepared to deal with Father’s Day. My family and I decided we were going to spend a portion of Father’s Day participating in the Capital Area Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk in honor of our Daddy/Pop-Pop who lost his battle with Prostate Cancer in January. Last year he was able to participate in this event and was so proud that he could walk along side his family and friends for the cause. We did not imagine that he would be gone in January.

Zero Prostate Cancer

Last year, my Step-dad (in the middle) was so proud to walk even a portion of the Zero Prostate Cancer race.

I was mentally prepared, or so I thought. Then the evening before Father’s Day came and I found myself in the card section of our local pharmacy. I was buying Father’s Day cards and realized I wouldn’t need to buy one for him. This realization hit me hard. He never cared much for gifts, but he always enjoyed a funny card. He loved the off beat ones and did his best to find the perfect cards for everyone else.

My heart swelled. I had to get out of the store quickly. I paid for my items and ran to the car. I dialed my sister’s phone number. The phone rang through the speakers of the car. She didn’t answer, so I hit end on my phone. Almost instantly the phone began to ring again. I groaned and thought perhaps I accidentally called her again. I glanced at my phone and saw that the person I was calling was not my sister. It was him. Daddy. I had not deleted his phone number from my phone (I can’t bear to do it).

I quickly hit end and the tears began to flow. I know some people might think this is crazy, but I felt like it was a sign. A message of comfort. His number is not near my sister’s number on my phone and I haven’t called the number in months. So, how is it possible? I know he would be the first to say there is a logical explanation or that it is a coincidence. But, I know in my heart that not everything is meant to be explained away.

I needed that sign. A reminder that he is still with me. A reminder that everything is okay.

It made Father’s Day bearable. I still felt the void, but I was not as sad as I expected. The Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk was a success. We were proud to walk the 4 miles in his honor and we could all feel him close. As my mother finished walking the four miles she said, “I felt him next to me the whole time. I pretended that we were holding hands and he helped me finish the race.”

Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk

This year, we walked in his honor.


Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger and business owner who lives in the suburbs outside Washington, DC with her husband and four children. She started her career as a journalist and copy editor. She also managed public relations and corporate communications for a national franchise company, but in 2006 started a child care business. In 2012, she launched Tiny Steps Mommy, a lifestyle and parenting blog that quickly gained a following and connected her to an expansive group of women-owned businesses. In 2013, she started a digital marketing consulting business that focused on growing community in an authentic way. Through those connections she was inspired to open Play, Work or Dash, a coworking space that also offers onsite childcare up to three hours per day. It is where like-minded professionals pursue their business goals with the extra level of support parents desire; a place where you "bring your kids to work." She is an active member of the Washington, DC blogger community. She has been published on The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode and Pop Sugar.




  1. hold on to the wonderful memories and keep doing the walks.

  2. Words cannot express how true this piece rang with me (and the tears it brought). I am walking a similar path with the loss of my father. Thank you for writing this. You are doing a wonderful job of keeping your father’s memory alive.