CEMENT, OKLAHOMA — They are still experiencing those painful firsts; weekends, sporting events, seasons where a husband and father used to be and where, now, he is not.
“He was diagnosed in September,” says widow Sandy Seibold. “He passed away in May.
“He’s a great person,” says his 13 year old daughter Saige before covering her face to hide fresh tears.
On the first Father’s Day since Johnny Seibold’s funeral, Saige and Sandy paid a visit to his burial site near the town of Sterling.
Johnny’s unfinished marker lies near his father’s and other members of the Seibold family.
Sandy thought it might be helpful that afternoon to release a bunch of balloons with a message.
The handwritten note asked the finder to please contact them.
“We thought the idea of sending balloons to heaven sounded good.”
Saige’s release didn’t go very well at first.
The ribbons tying the balloons together caught in a power line.
Sandy recalls, “It upset Saige and I just remember praying, ‘please God. Let these balloons fly for her.”
Then, minutes later, a gust of wind caught them and away they went.
Sandy and Saige left the cemetery, ran some errands.
It took a few hours for them to make the 25 mile drive north, back home to Cement.
Saige went downhill from their house to the pasture where she and her father often worked together.
There, tangled in a fence, was her message.
“It was right here,” says Saige pointing to a section of barbed wire a few hundred feet from the house.
The same letter she’d released earlier that day had flown on a southerly breeze straight home.
“What are the chances?” asks Sandy.
“I think I started crying,” she says. “It felt like a message from him.”
They are both still mourning, but after what happened on Father’s Day they both say they feel a little more free now.
It’s hard for them not to believe that Johnny sent them a message, that he is free now too.
“This has given us a lot of peace and good feelings about where he’s at,”