From a Father to His Daughter

For my first Father’s Day without him…

Hannah Jane Nancarrow

An array of e-mails, a smorgasbord of commercials on every TV channel and radio station, a plethora of fancy cards and decorative balloons haunting each checkout line at the grocery store — all reminding me of Father’s Day. Reminders of it everywhere, and yet I’d never noticed them before —  why would I have?

I’d usually spend a full hour picking the perfect card, and several more hours hand-selecting songs for my annual Father’s Day CD (which my he always kept in the CD changer of his car for a full year or more). This year will be different. It will be my first Father’s Day without my dad — and it aches more than I anticipated.

Feeling nostalgic and a little lost in all the Father’s Day bustle, I thumbed through some old photo albums and boxes of keepsakes. Then I found it, tucked in the back of an old shoebox. A note from a father to…

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Hannah Jane Nancarrow is a San Diego State University alumni, with a B.A. in journalism and new media. After graduating in 2011, Hannah worked in local T.V. news before her dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Hannah managed and contributed to her dad’s incredibly popular blog ( and social media platforms before he passed away, after 11 months of bravely battling and blogging. The diagnosis was a catalyst for her own writing and for following each whim and dream. Today, Hannah writes her own blog and has been a keynote speaker at San Diego Women's Week, Relay for Life, and a top fundraiser for cancer-related causes throughout San Diego. Hannah also has a passion for health and fitness, since losing 75 pounds in 2011. She earned her Spinning® and group fitness instructor certifications, and teaches weekly cycle classes in Encinitas, California. Hannah also earned her real estate license and works in the family business, Nancarrow Realty Group, in North County San Diego.

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14 comments on “From a Father to His Daughter
  1. Patricia Hagen says:

    This is fabulous. I wish I had something of my dad. Cherish it! It will help you thru the day

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Monica Way says:


  3. Diana Israel says:

    My late husband and I knew your father quite well. Evan, my husband, passed from GBM/GSM 9/8/06; we fought the good fight just like your family has fought. Evan fought for three years. .Dr. gave him 6months but GOD gave us 3years.
    Evan and I owned NORTH SAN DIEGO MAGAZINE, your dad was gracious to us; if I had a question about beneficial nematodes, or some such organic alternative to help educate our readers,I could always count on your Dad. He educated San Diego viewers
    He was Proactive in all he did.
    When Evan was diagnosed I was blindsided. We lost the magazine, health insurance and our home so I had to take the helm and I learned so much from that.
    Bless you Hannah. have graciously taken the helm and your course is steady. God bless you and your family. Sincerely, Diana Israel

  4. April says:

    We keep going because they would want us to. Whether it’s the 1st year or the 20th, you still feel it on Father’s Day…just a little less raw. You still have to remind yourself that it’s not him occasionally when the phone rings.
    The last thing my Dad said to me 4 months after being diagnosed with a brain tumor was, “Everything is going to be alright.” He was both right & wrong. Nothing in your future will be the same. It’s not alright that he never met my three children. It is alright that they grow up hearing stories about their grandfather and knowing how much he would have loved them. As my oldest get married and my youngest graduates from high school this June, it’s different than I would have wished. But then it’s alright, because more than 20 years have passed and he’s still been an influence on their lives.
    Celebrate this Father’s Day the way he would want you to. Because he’s still with you ♥.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is so touching Hannah. My heart aches for you and your family. My children lost their Dad 3 1/2 years ago to the same horrible cancer. Stay strong and God Bless.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I love that you posted the actual hand written letter from your wonderful Father.

  6. OMG. OMG. OMG, Hanna!! Words that are so very very special and hold so much meaning…heart-warming to the fullest extent.
    Thank you for sharing.

  7. Beth Linge says:

    Yes Hannah, that first Father’s Day is extremely hard!! I remember mine, shortly after my dad died while shopping with my friend, Susan. I had this major brain fart, as I held a shirt and said, “Oh this would be a great gift for my dad for Father’s Day!” And I looked at her said, “Wow, what was I thinking?” I was thinking that, even tho he’s not a part of this world, he IS and always will be a part of me and my life. The playlist is perfect, Hannah; surround yourself with things you would have done with and for him on that day.

  8. Cat says:

    Honey, I so know how you feel. Your dear daddy and I were born just a few months apart, so you know how old I am. I lost my mom and best friend in 1986 and my dear dad in 1998. All of the holidays are tough, so I lean a little harder on those who are still with me. You have a wonderful family and you will all hold each other a little closer. Your virtual friends, such as myself, are always ready to listen to you, too.

  9. Julie says:

    I know your pain and lonliness missing your wonderful father. He was a true inspiration to thousands of fans. You are a good example and will carry on his legacy. The too loss my father at age 12 and the loss has never gotten easier for me. I share with you that I feel my father beside me almost daily. I feel him at night watching me sleep. You will have your father’s spirit with you always as I do with mine. God bless you and keep the faith, your father is still with you in spirit.

  10. Therese Ebert says:

    Hello , Dad is with you Always in your heart . As time goes by the (missing ) …… different . I Too Know……… Without you he wouldn’t of been a daddy so celebrate You as he does from Above… May Our Lord Bless You & Yours Always. Why…( Our French ) Dream ?

    Thérèse J. Ebert +1-858-776-2440 mobile +1-760-8142968 home Email: therese.ebert@icloud. Skype: zezette1951


  11. Kari Davis says:

    I know how you feel. I lost my father last 6/13. RIP to our Daddies.

  12. Fran Jenkins says:

    I only know you through your blog and fb but you are an incredible young woman and your dad is very proud of you as he looks at you from above.

  13. Becky Baird says:


    Kids on stage productions


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