Remembering Dear-Ole-Dad!

Today, August 15th, marks the 9 year anniversary of my Dad's passing. In some ways, it seems like forever ago since we've been able to see and talk to him. But then most of the time, it seems like only yesterday.
No matter how much time goes by, the loss of a parent leaves a hole in your heart that can never be filled in the same way again. You don't really ever get over it, but you accept it as part of the life process, and then life goes on. How would we ever experience the joy if we didn't ever experience sorrow and grief along the way?
I'll never stop missing and will always remember.....his big, friendly smile; his welcoming arms; his hearty laugh; his generous spirit; his integrity; his strong hands; watching him make his Famous Sour Cream Pancakes with such finesse; the joy, pride and love he felt for his grandchildren; his intelligence; his never-ending patience; his charming ability to talk to anybody about anything; his enduring faith; his love of a great party with lots of family, friends, and good food; his sense of adventure in trying new things; the good times at the beach at La Salina; he and Mom's many trips to Utah to visit us as Melissa, Brian & Michelle were growing up; his lifelong support of Jere, Nini, Joni and I; his devotion and love for Grandma & Grandpa; his unconditional love of everyone in our entire extended family. The singular thing I miss the most, is the feel of a big bear hug from him. It's also the thing I most look forward to...
Here's a picture of Eric & I on a gondola ride in Venice, Italy. Below that is a photo of Dad, also on a Venetian gondola ride! (About 18 years earlier)
Ti amo per sempre, Dad!!!
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