Monday, November 14, 2011


Hey guys

I am not really going to post much this week due to a lot of stress and work. Also, this is usually the most difficult week of the year because it contains the anniversary of losing someone very special to me.

My sister and I lost our dad and our best friend 3 years ago this November 16th. I can promise you that loss does not get easier with time. In fact, it's hard to realize that he missed so many important moments of my life: my graduation, my 18th birthday, my acceptance into Carolina, and so much more.

I'm not going to sit here and write a depressing post, because 1) i'm sitting in a library and I don't want to bawl my eyes out in front of all these people and 2) my dad was such a happy person and he'd think that was dumb.

I just wanted to share with you a basic picture of who he was, why I loved him so much, and what losing him has taught me--because I promise you will take something from it.

My dad was Christopher Henry Spivey, a devoted Tarheel and Will Ferrell fan that lived to be a youthful 46 years old. I know he was destined to go to Carolina because his eyes were the prettiest shade of Carolina blue. He loved community politics, detailing cars, Saturday Night Live, making people laugh, and most of all, his two angels: my sister and me. He worked out everyday, had such a beautiful outlook on life, and never failed to cuss at the chicken trucks passing by that resulted in our yard being covered with chicken feathers (we're from a very small town).

He was my best friend and taught me the most important things in life: to always find humor and laughter in everything you do, how to bait a fish hook, that Dale Earnhardt Sr. was the greatest Nascar driver of all time, that taking your foot off the clutch and onto the gas takes time to perfect, that "Duke is PukeWake is fake, the team I hate is NC State" and the best team in the world is the Carolina Tarheels, that 70s/80s rock is some of the best music of all time, and that the bond between father and daughter is irreplaceable. 

He meant the world to me because I was his world. He never failed to tell me how much he loved me, he always believed in my dreams, and every single person I met at his memorial service told me that he always bragged about how proud he was of my sister and me--that we were his greatest achievements in life. 

He constantly ensured me I would change the world and always told me I would go somewhere with my singing voice, promising me that he would take me to American Idol when I was 16.

As unfortunate as it is that we were only short chapters in each other's lives, those moments we shared together will always stay in my heart.  

One thing I hope you all will take away from this is to NEVER take your parents for granted, always tell your loved ones how much they mean to you, and live life to the fullest. I ignored my dad the last few months of his life because I was consumed with teenage interests and I thought I would have so many more years with him--he promised me he would live to be 200. Don't ever ignore your parents or put them as a low priority. Small things in life such as break-ups, a bad test grade, or a party should never hold more importance than answering your parent's phone call or sitting down and just talking to them for a little while. When you're 70 and looking back on life, you regret losing precious time with your parents more than you'll regret missing that party.

Never fail to tell your mom or dad how much you love them and how much you appreciate what they do for you. They do so much to secure your health and happiness! I know it's hard to love them when all they do is nag or yell at you or make you stay in, but I promise they have a method behind their madness, and most of the time they are doing it out of love.

Lastly, live life to the fullest and don't ever let small things in life get you down. Time is precious and spending it with the ones you love/doing the things you love make life so enjoyable. My dad spent his last night on this earth out with friends and singing karaoke--so typical.

Now to the sad part: I lost my dad to a sudden and unexpected brain hemorrhage on November 16, 2008 and stayed by his side for 3 days before having to say my final goodbyes. Basically, this was the worst week of my life.

The happy ending that comes from his story though is that he was an organ donor and was able to save 5 lives and give 2 people sight. I will never forget how proud I was of him when I found out that he selflessly saved other family's loved ones! 

I hope you all have taken something from the post and hopefully been able to understand a little bit about the type of person my dad was! Losing him has made me a better person and more grateful for the amazing mom that I still have in my life. After his death, I always try to learn from my mistakes--because I am definitely not perfect--and make myself a better person. I try to always see the light at the end of the tunnel and try to help others as much as I can. Don't ever become consumed in being popular or rich or bringing others down, because in the end, you'll only have your close family and friends, and none of those things will matter. 

I'll leave you all with some of the last advice my dad gave to me. I always find it inspiring and encouraging!

I think of you everyday and miss you with all my heart. I am proud of the beautiful and intelligent little kitty cat that I helped bring into this world and who I know will help change the world that we now live in into a better place for all. 

Take those butterflies in your tummy that you will have tomorrow morning and release them for all to see the beauty that you possess inside...stay positive and happy!

I miss you dad, and I hope I'm making you proud at UNC! Love you more than anything.

- Little Tarheel (for Daddy)


  1. I love you and I'm praying for you this week Alexa!

  2. This is so inspiring and beautiful. I am a reader of your blog and this was incredible to read. I still have my father, but when I lost my grandmother I felt the same pain you felt and still do. I know I don't know you, but you and your entire family are in my prayers. Just know he is smiling down on you.

  3. I lost my dad 12 years ago (this week also) and I found your post very inspiring, you said everything I have wanted to say for 12 years, and even though I only had my dad for the first 7 years of my life, he will forever be held in my heart just as you hold your dad in yours.

  4. Hi Alexa, I'm a reader of your sister's blog and she directed me here... just wanted to comment because I lost my dad too.

    You said something at the beginning of your post: "I can promise you that loss does not get easier with time." My dad passed away from cancer when I was 11 years old -- 13 years ago this past summer. I haven't forgotten how painful those short months were, and for years I used to think about him every day. It seemed like every little thing triggered a memory. My friends couldn't understand it and didn't know how to act around me sometimes. When I thought about him in public I would hold back my tears and act tough, but for years I used to think the same thing: I'll never get over my dad's death.

    I was wrong though. I know that time has helped me to heal somewhat, and even though I'm still healing all these years later, I learned that it's okay to be sad about it. It was sad to not have him physically there at my graduation and when I moved to New York City and when I got my first job and when I got promoted, and it's going to be sad at my wedding and when I have kids and at every other milestone in my life. But what I forgot was that he has always been with me mentally, pushing me and loving me and protecting me.

    I know your dad is there with you too, and I trust that it will get easier for you and your big sis to deal with the pain of this monumental loss. Just remember that even though the pain will start to heal, it doesn't mean you're forgetting him.

    Keep writing,


  5. I normally just read blogs and don't comment - but your post was so moving and really touched my heart. I found your blog through your sister's and I'm not sure whose blog I enjoy reading more! :) You are SUCH a together girl (much more so than most your age - definitely far beyond where I was at your age!) and I'm sure your dad is smiling down! Your words were beautiful and made me appreciate the relationship I have with one parent and mourn the relationship that has been lost with another. I just had to post and let you know that you've touched people you don't even know - and thank you for getting involved in charity work! College is such a fun time and a lot of people get consumed in the parties and don't stop to think of others. I was excited to be your first donor for the dance marathon and I'll be donating more soon :) I think you're an awesome example of what a college student - and a NC girl - should be. Hold your head high always! :) You & your family are in my thoughts today.