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Noelle Barrett

Hi! I'm Noelle Barrett, a staff reporter at the Press And Journal. I started here as an intern in January of 2012, before joining the staff last July.

I spend a lot of my time sitting at my desk, clicking away on my keyboard and talking on the phone-- but the reward of this job is getting to meet new people and hearing about their lives.

I really do believe some of the best stories come from people just like you and me. It's probably why I'm such a big reality TV junkie-- I love those shows about the couponers and cheapskates, inmates and hoarders.

I was born and raised in Girardville, a small town in coal country--yes, I'm a "Skook." Ever since I was a kid, I always asked questions, which suits me well in this job, but drives my friends and family nuts.

I sort of stumbled into the world of journalism during my college years at LVC, where I also played on the rugby team (I was a hooker).

That's enough about me, but I'd love to hear about you--so feel free to comment on my blog posts, or send me an email. :)

For my dad on Father's Day

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I'm going to get a little personal. This is for all the kids (young and old) on Father's Day who lost their dads. This is for all the dads who have lost their children. No one should ever have to feel that pain.

Today is Father's Day. To many, it's a day to take out your dads, and tell them how much you appreciate them through greeting cards and dinners. To others, it's a day to wonder, "where is my dad?" or "why did he leave"? And for some, there is an emptiness, because your dad has died and you can't pick up the phone, visit, or shop for one of those silly cards.

It's a club no one wants to be in, but it's what I'm facing for my third Father's Day. My dad died unexpectedly when I was 21. The first year Father's Day rolled around, it didn't feel real. I woke up thinking, oh I have to call my dad. Then the realization hit that I couldn't, and sometimes there are moments when I think of calling, and I remember.

Remembering he's gone is the hardest, but remembering all of the good makes today so much better. My dad was the funniest person I ever met, with a quick wit I couldn't match. He loved the Green Bay Packers and the New York Mets, and I follow him in that regard (through thick and thin with those Mets, of course haha). His laugh was contagious, literally, and he was so smart. He could win so many of those trivia radio challenges. He loved the outdoors, fishing, and camping.

We weren't always close when I was a child, to be honest, but in the last few years we grew a lot closer, and I'm so thankful for that. Those memories I will cherish, although to be selfish, they surely aren't enough. I think anyone who has lost a parent or a child can completely understand that. Just the feeling of wanting more days.

After my dad died, I learned how much he meant to so many other people, and I also learned how much he truly meant to me. It was comforting and heart wrencing all at the same time. He worked for the US Postal Service, and they brought a truck to his viewing and parked it outside. People shared memories, all positive, most funny, and some inappropriate. But that was my dad.

So, I want to wish my dad a Happy Father's Day. To the first man in my life, and the one who always made me laugh. To the man who accidentally caught a nun's habit on fire with a bunsen burner in school. To the guy who would always let me bet each week with him during football season, even though I was awful. And to the person who always loved me, even when I may not have been worthy of that love.

As a writer, I can honestly say it's impossible for me to do him justice through this post.

Some days I wish we had more moments to share, but I'm so glad there weren't less. Thank you. I love you.

And to those who have their fathers, and to those fathers who have their children. They love you, even when they don't show it. Spend the day together, build memories, laugh. Appreciate the day, the moments because as they say tomorrow really isn't promised.

Happy Father's Day!



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