Monday, August 29, 2011

3 weeks strong...minus my strength, [+] God's grace

It's been 3 weeks since Dad went Home,
and I'm thankful here's there, but sad that he's not here.

So here are some shots of things I/John and I/John, my mom, and I have done since that day.

A couple treats for Dad's birthday

Lake Michigan for part of our anniversary

Chicago Botanic Garden for my mom's birthday

and this weekend I'll have to figure out how to celebrate my own birthday. 
not sure how,
but that's the case pretty much every year.

I'll miss my dad's traditional, goofily out-of-tune singing of
"Happy Birthday" to me over the phone,
but I'll be happy to pray to God that He tells my dad "thanks" for
being a part of bringing me into the world,
and to tell God "thanks" for
putting Dad into my life.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Dad & Me, 1

Just some stories about me and my Dad. 
Many of them are from when I was little;
that's when I got the most time with him. 
I was an only child until I was 6, and my sister got my dad
all to herself for 6+ years after I left the house for college. 
I'm sure we both have great stories from
when we got to both individually take our turns as "daddy's girl."

---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  ---  

When I was little, my family and I (only 3 of us - it never got bigger than 4 until I married)
lived in a part of town that was near many things:
the grocery store,
the bowling alley my parent's owned,
the daycare I attended,
and the park.

My dad would take a break from fixing the machines at the bowling alley to
come get me from daycare for a walk to the park.

Our favorite things to do at the park
                                 - well, at least my favorite things to do -
were going on the merry-go-round and
going on the swings.

I remember Dad making me sit in the middle of the
to keep from flying off;
it thankfully worked, and I giggled like crazy every time
he pushed those rusty red and yellow bars. 

Despite how fun the merry-go-round was,
the best was when he'd push me on the swing.

After Dad got his second or third surgery, he
told me a lot of the same stories, and one of those was
how I'd always tell him to swing me "higher, Dad, higher!" when
we did the swing - the farthest one on the right.

It is probably borderline-illegal to push a twig-like little girl
as high as my dad did, but man - 
was that fun.

My favorite part about our trips to the park, though,
was the walks.
There was something about my dad having me hold onto his
two fingers instead of his hand
                                   - so I could actually get a good grip -
that just felt so special, even for a little kid. 

It's how I have little kids hold onto my hands today - learned from my dad. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

prelude: stories about Dad and, really, anything else.

It's hard for me to write when
it comes to really difficult topics -
topics that are difficult to express out loud or
even in my own thoughts.

So, as I prepare to embark upon documenting some things I want to remember
and things I hope others can use for their future struggles,
please pray that I find leading by the Spirit,
clarity of thought,
and ease of composition.

Because if there are a few things that are true about me, it's that
1. I don't think at all before I speak except for when I'm about to say the wrong things (extrovert),
2. When I speak aloud (and when I write) it's easy for nothing to be cognitively linear, and
3. When I write (not when I speak), it's hard for me not to let go of some of the rules
one learns when they study and teach in the field I have studied and taught.

I'm not going to write everything down here at this very moment, so
please forgive me for this obvious delay of the actual substance of my message.
I don't intend to draw you back through some blogging ploy. 

I'm hoping that,
with this little prefix to something more substantial and ongoing,
I can find a bit of courage to keep writing.

If I don't write,
my thoughts become muted and dim.
If I don't write,
my memories become distant and indistinguishable.

So, the next time I write on here, it might be about something particularly important
or completely not,
but I will write about these current and upcoming struggles.
They are struggles I just don't want to forget.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dad's Passing and Services for Him.

Hey all,

As many of you know, on Sunday night, at about 9:00 or so, my dad passed away.

After hearing testimonies from people whose loved ones struggled through unbearable pain and suffering, my mom, sister, husband, and I just wished and prayed for a peaceful passing.  With my father having passed into a coma on late Saturday morning, we wondered if a peaceful passing was actually what we were going to get.

On Sunday night, after over 24 hours of Dad sleeping in his bed, we got what we had prayed for.  His passing was so calm that it took me several minutes to realized what had happened. 

Dad took several big breaths right before he passed, as if he was getting ready to go on stage of a big show  or to step up to plate on the last out of the 9th inning.  After his last breath went in and out of his body, his soul went into God's arms.  He's now in Heaven, in a place where he will have a new body, a new life, a new home, and a new wonder and amazement of God himself.  For that we can all be eternally thankful! 
As these things go, and as my family knows all too well, any joy can and will be met with deep sadness.  My dad was a fisherman, an army veteran, an advocate for our local public school, a vocal proponent of the benefits of apple cider vinegar, a loving husband, a survivor.  I love my dad.

For those of you in the area, and those who simply want to know what's going on regarding my father's visitation and funeral, please check out the Caring Bridge site for details. 

Thank you to EVERYONE who has prayed with us, spent time with us, and kept up with this whole journey.  We couldn't have done it with out you, and we thank God that He put you all in our lives.

2nd Corinthians
 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

Update on my Dad

Hey everyone,

If you haven't heard by now, I want to let you know that my dad passed away last night as peacefully as he possibly could.  His peaceful passing is what we had been praying for, and we are so thankful that it happened that way. 

I may write something more detailed later, but I'm still not sure about that right now. 

For those of you who have been receiving these updates primarily via e-mail, I will probably be ending that method communication regarding this topic very soon.  I can't imagine writing much more about this other than stories and memories, which I think are better suited for a blog than a large group e-mail.

For further details regarding the visitation/wake and the funeral, they will be posted on the Caring Bridge site,

Thank you,
for your support and prayer over the last month.
It's been more than what we could have asked for.

I love you all, and God Bless.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

some thoughts.

Life is tough, and there's never been a promise from anyone able to give it that says
bad things won't happen to good people,
nor is there a promise that says that
good things won't happen to
bad people.

No person in life is exempt from bad nor worthy to receive every kind of good.

All I know is this:

If you live in God's will, you will see true goodness on earth and in Heaven,


God has never given up on you,
so why would you ever give up on Him?!