Counting Blessings: My Dad | The Zebra Blog

Counting Blessings: My Dad

As the year draws to a close… COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!

Many of my clients know that 2016 was a very difficult year for me because I lost my father. I have never experienced the level of emotional pain I felt when I lost the man who brought me into this world. I have never spoken of this in print because it has been too painful for me to discuss.

This has been a very tough year; the emotional roller coaster I have been on is something I have never experienced before and never want to experience again. I realize that death is a part of life but it doesn’t lessen the loss of my father.

My father taught me so much in my life. He was a force of nature that inspired me to be better. I admired him and he is what inspired my work ethic. He encouraged my love of animals. I can look back in my life and see so many ways that he shaped who I am and who I have become.

I am sure anyone who has ever lost their parent knows that there is a deep hole in your heart when you lose someone so special.

I was truly blessed to have time with my dad in the last few years of his life and something that I will treasure forever. This brings me to my reason for writing this Zebra Report… to encourage each of us to really take a good hard look at our lives and to count our blessings. If my father’s death taught me anything it was that you just don’t know how hard something will hit you until you are in it.

I was so fortunate and am grateful for the time spent with my dad. Over the last few years, I spent many mornings having breakfast with him and watching him spend ten minutes just cutting everything up before he took a bite; it is the small things like that that I miss the most.

My gratitude list would be as follows:

  • I am grateful that I could spend so much time with my dad during the last month of his life.

  • I am grateful that I have the clients I have that texted me daily with inspirational messages or just left me notes of encouragement while he was passing and when I was hit with the grief after.

  • I am grateful that my team supported me and held it all together so I could do what was most important: to be with my dad. I am grateful that my staff at The Lones Group is so incredible. I have always said that you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with and I am in good company.

So before the end of the year, I am encouraging all of you to sit down and write out what you are grateful for and count your blessings. Don’t end the year without reflecting on the important things and asking yourself what you have cultivated in your life that brings you the greatest joy. Counting your blessings and being grateful is an important step in being able to really see where you are at and where you need to go.

As I go forward into 2017, and I reflect on a very tough 2016, I just wanted to thank each and every one you for being a part of my world and for being there for me when I needed you most.

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13 Responses to “Counting Blessings: My Dad”

  1. This is beautiful Denise. I am grateful that you and I came together again this year.

    God bless you and I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Christmas together in every sense of the word.

  2. Yes I lost my sister last year so I truly understand how much you miss having your father in your life. We can all be thankful for the wonderful family members we have been blessed to have in our lives.

  3. Bonnie O'Brien says:

    Denise I am not sure how I missed your Father passing I am so very sorry ~You were there for me ~and I will never forget it~ yes a parent is so hard to lose ~ All my prayers are with you and I am so glad you got quality time on his last days ~I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a healthy happy New Year ~Love and prayers coming your way Bonnie O’Brien

    • Denise Lones says:

      Bonnie you have always been there for me and you know only too well what it is like to lose a strong incredible man, it is great that we can be here for each other. Let’s get together soon.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss, Denise. Sending you and your family much love and light this holiday season.

  5. Tony Santiago says:

    Dear Denise,

    Sorry to hear about your lose. I lost my mom 3 years ago this December 31st. So, I know the feeling. May Almighty God bless you and yours. I will include you and yours on my humble paryes.


  6. You were lucky, Denise. Not everyone can say that about their dad. Loss is hard.

  7. Coreen says:

    Dear Denise,
    I can completely understand the love and admiration you feel for your Daddy. May your loving memories carry you through those times of difficulty. He will live on inside you and everywhere around you. Wishing you and yours all the love and peace the season brings.
    With love,
    Coreen Lerch

  8. Gail Herstein says:


    Thank you for sharing and expressing your feelings. I think sometimes we forget to be grateful and this is a good reminder. You were such a support and strength when I lost my father in 2015 and I appreciate it. It is no question one of the hardest parts of life. I too am glad you had the time you did with him and can appreciate this. Family is most important, you are truly blessed with a wonderful family. Hugs and love. Here is to a fantastic 2017!

  9. Becky Elde says:


    So sorry to hear about your Dad, I think girls that have loving father’s are the luckiest girls ever. It leaves a big hole and I feel sad for your loss, the pain is deep and it is real, especially during the holidays. It is a good reminder to hold our loved ones close and appreciate our relationships.

  10. Holley Carlson says:

    I met you years ago (too many years ago) at an Ed Con event. I immediately liked your style and your presentation felt real.
    Your message about your dad, about surrounding yourself with good and counting your blessings was not lost on me.
    You are a blessing.
    Here’s to a healing 2017.
    Kind regards-

  11. Cari Franklin says:

    Hi Denise,

    I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I lost my dad April 5th, 2016 and my husband April 11, 2016, a double whammy.

    Your writing is with much emotion and sincerity . I am thinking about you and wish you the best. Hugs and prayers for a healing heart.

    Looking forward to a healing, healthy and prosperous year for all of us.

    Take Care,


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