This morning Mom sent each of us an email. She and my brother S_______ (who is living with Mom now) were remembering today would have been Dad's 94th birthday. S______ usually gets the morning newspaper for Mom before he leaves for work. This morning, as Mom stood on the porch, waiting for S_____ to hand her the paper, they noticed the flag was at half staff.
Mom and my brother thought it was a sign of remembrance…(as if we needed one). S_______pulled the flag down, fixed it, raised it to the top, and tied it off. He took a few steps back and saluted the flag.
I cried when I read the email. I cried because I am so proud of my family and we still enjoy our memories and love for Dad, Mom, one another. It may not be as easy to get together as often as it once was when we all lived under one roof; because we are now grown, have our own families and live further away from one another…but whenever we do get together, we pick up where we left off and always reminisce, laugh and enjoy one an other's company.
We all have a life time of memories together and are so very Blessed to have one another. We learned about life from our parents and the interactions of one another growing up in a large family. Mom and Dad had seven children and one son died very shortly after his birth. Grant was born after me. We still remember and celebrate him because he was part of us…
Each of us brings something so special and unique to our family…little seeds from Mom and Dad grown inside each of us to become who we have become.
I can't imagine or relate, but I hear stories from friends about the trouble within their families where so and so doesn't speak or come to family events if so and so will be there….or haven't spoken to a family member in so many years. I have heard about friends who have lost members of their family in tragic, untimely deaths… Honestly, when I hear such stories, I always say a silent prayer, thanking God for the family we have.
Today, we will celebrate and remember Dad. He was loving, eccentric, wise, mysterious, inventive, fun, a philosopher, a teacher, a man who loved the feel and smell of good soil and could grow anything anywhere…He told the best imaginary stories and tales of his childhood. He would welcome any stray pet into our family and would connect with not only all the animals but talked to the plants as well.
We all have memories and stories…I know I have mine and it makes me smile to think about it and see my Dad's smile in my mind's eye.
On my last visit to California Mom and I were talking and she told me she hoped I would find another purpose since I was no longer Dad's Patient Advocate. I became emotional after she said it, because I knew in my heart it was a labor of love to me and I miss having such a strong sense of purpose…but I will find another, I have no doubt.
So Happy 94th Birthday Dad! We love you and miss you... knowing your Spirit is everywhere now, but will always be close in our hearts.