Friday, June 24, 2011

One year later

Today is the first anniversary of Dad's passing away.  We didn't speak of

it at home; I didn't want to put it in Mom's mind, then leave her alone

while I worked all day.  However, though I wasn't exactly sad, I did think

of it off and on throughout the day.  My heart was heavy, but my

thoughts were mostly content, feeling like he was approving, and proud of

how we are doing.

It took awhile, but Mom has mostly come out of her depression, the

missing of her 65 year companion.  Yeah, he died the day after their

anniversary.  There were times that I didn't want to leave mom; us girls

had to make Mom promise not to take the easy way out; we are not ready

to lose her, too.  However, she could pull herself out of the sorrow to

enjoy when family came over; I wish there could have been more of that. 

I am sadly lacking as a companion.  Grief makes me uncomfortable in

other people.  So the past year has seen me sitting on my computer when

I am not working; or teaching myself how to paint.  Quiet for the most

part while Mom watched tv or read her book or even sat at her own


We have had to convince Mom that since she is sticking around, she

needed a new wheel chair.  She could also use a hearing aid.  If you come

and see her, you will find she laughs in all of the appropriate places,

smiles and nods her head, but if she attempts to join the conversation she

is sometimes hilariously out of sinque.  Movies are watched with closed

captioning.  But I have noticed she is enjoying watching the birds, playing

with her great-grandchildren; she will even take a turn at doing the dishes.

Time plays tricks on us; is seems that it was no more than 3 months ago

that he died.  So much has happened to our family in that time:  weddings,

babies, engagements, separations and growth.  All of us grow.  We suck it

up and do the next thing; we stretch and like (mostly) the way we have


For example, Anna has created a world in which she can take a photo and

make someone very excited with what she can do with it.  She has even

begun to see an income in this creativity.  Darcie is another one who has

been able to take an idea and run with it; the recipients of her efforts

are enthusiastic.  The thought that both of these girls can generate an

income from something they love doing is wonderful.  Or, look at Becki

going back to school to learn how to do better at the thing she loves most

outside her family.  Watching her develop (pun, in case you didn't catch it)

has been awesome.

Grandpa would be proud.  He would have opened his arms to Nick's new

daughter, and Darcie's new son.  He always found joy in his family.  But

he wouldn't have pulled punches in telling each of us when he thought we

could do better.

So on that note, I am going to look at myself and see what it is that I can

do better.  I am going to acknowledge to myself when I am 'a good boy';

I am going to give myself permission to start living outside the box.  There

are things that I want to do and places I want to see.  The same effort I

encourage in others also needs to be directed to myself.  I need to stop

sitting back and watching the rest of my family live and begin to take

part, take action.  The choices I have made have turned into

commitments, but that doesn't mean I cannot make this commitment to

myself.  The only chains around me are the ones I have in love placed

there myself.  Dad never would have wanted me to not love my life, would

have encouraged me to be happy; find that something that gives me joy.

What would he have asked of you?


  1. I can't believe it's been a year. Not even realizing it was the anniversary, Paysh and I both saw a onsie when we went to wal mart that said something about Grandpa's cutie pie. We both thought of him, and miss him. He would be proud of you mom and how youve held together and taken care of his home and his wife. Love you! Lets make plans and lets start the fun projects we wanna do and complete them!! We can do it!! lol :) I'll start by finishing painting the kids letters hehe

  2. Losing a spouse is hard. I buried mine in 2008 but we did not have a lifetime together as your parents did. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain. It is so good that she has you to support her and continue to show her that your father would want her to be happy and continue on in life.

  3. I still think of grandpa everyday but I know I'll never have known him the same way that everyone else has. Sometimes I think of that as a blessing, like its better I didn't have the same connection as him and his wife and his kids, or even his grandchildren because I don't have to go through the same kind of pain; more often then not though I'm sad I never had the chance to be closer to him. He was always smiling when I saw him and I'm honored to have been able to spend time with the man at all, it breaks my hart that Trevor, Razza and Emery will never know their grandfather. In the end I think that when we look on grandpa we should look with a smile and be content to know that we had such an amazing man in our lifes. He was a loving and dedicated husband for 65 years, a wonderful father and grandfather. He died content (hopefully)knowing that he had done what he could to teach us how to keep on living, keep on fighting, and most importantly, keep on smiling. Grandma I think your dad would be proud to know that you have everything anyone could for his family as well as yours and happy to know that you are going to work on doing what you can for yourself now. If he were here I'm sure he would tell you to go be a good boy and have fun, live your life to the fullest because for now at least it's the only one you have.

  4. Dad has been on my heart and mind so much the past couple of weeks. I miss him so much. Thank you, Collie, for so elegantly paying tribute to his memory here and for being there for Mom.

    I love you :)