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I Finally Smiled This Week

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My Dad passed away on October 26, 2012. 9 weeks ago. Yesterday, New Year's Day at 1:30 AM, was the first time I was able to finally look at photos of him & smile-a big accomplishment for me as I have cried each & every time I see his photo. I think I was even able to tell a memory of him without crying.

I've been given the job/honor of sorting through the many many many shoe boxes of photos my parents had taken & collected in the 63 yrs they were married. When I'd get to ones with Him in it I'd have to turn the photo upside down & put in a separate pile to scan onto the computer. Had to turn them upside down so I wouldn't cry as I saw them; even managed to scan them perfectly without looking at one. Sad-huh?

After coming home from a New Year's party the sky was perfectly filled with stars & I suddenly felt some peace come through my body. So, I rushed up & grabbed some of those photos, along with a big warm quilt & gloves [3 degrees outside here in Nebraska] & went & sat-wrapped in the blanket-on my front porch & looked through those photos. Occasionally I'd look up at the North star [Dad's star-he & I would wish on it together no matter if we were together or not] & I could SMILE as I looked at all the photos of him & remember where each one was taken. Some were taken in the mountains, by a lake & I knew that those were his Heaven on earth. I just had this amazing sense of peace come over me like it was finally ok & that I know now that I & my family can & will go on without him & that Mom will be ok, too. He's watching out for all of us. I could even laugh at a couple of them too.

I think that was his New Year's gift to me. I still tear up-tearing up a bit writing this-but I can smile through those tears. I know what an incredible man he was & we will always have those memories & he'll be right here in my heart forever. I can even laugh thinking of him & some of our adventures.

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Dear LisaAnnB,

I am so sorry that you lost your Dad only nine weeks ago, yet I am very happy that you found your memory of him something to finally smile about while looking at photos as you looked up at the North Star while sitting on your porch wrapped in a blanket. I know how cold winters can be in Nebraska being an Iowa girl myself.

It’s a wonderful thing you are doing by scanning the photos of your Dad. I really like the idea that you consider it an honor to sort and scan your photos. I helped our kids do that after my Jim passed away and we made a timeline of Jim’s life and when we had the memorial for him the timeline wrapped around the room for all to see. It was fun listening to the kids cry out: “oh, I remember that”, “no, that wasn’t me!”, “Dad had hair then”, and on and on it went. Everyone took home a smaller copy of the timeline and all seven kids have that memory of their Dad. What a long life together your Mom and Dad shared. Keep smiling as you scan those pictures.

I know you will continue to have good memories of your Dad. Know that you have this place to come and share with us anytime. Anne

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