Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Daddy

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Year Ago Today...

A year ago today...the world lost an amazing man. A year ago today...some little ones lost their papa. A year ago today...many lost a loyal friend. A year ago today...I lost my daddy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Favorite Part of Christmas

My favorite part of Christmas is the lights. I love all the colors, I love the blinking ones, I love the straightly hung ones, I love the crooked ones, I love the displays, I love everything about them.

When I lived in Sandy, I would travel to the poorer neighborhoods of Salt Lake because I loved how gaudy they did their Christmas lights. There was often no rhyme or reason to them. They were thrown here, there and everywhere. They were often so tacky, but they were always my favorite.

I also love the people that go all out trying to have the biggest display in the county. Of course they probably also have the biggest electric bill, not to mention the most traffic congestion on their street. I have often wondered if their neighbors enjoy the display as much as I do!

We found a display in Hurricane that had lights set to music. We pulled up and turned the radio station to the assigned channel. The lights pulsed and danced...a Rudolph even talked. It was so cool...I don't understand how they do that! Technology is amazing.

There have been years when I have missed driving around to see the lights...too snowy, too busy, too sick. Sometimes my family didn't want to go...they had better things to do ;) It never felt like Christmas if I didn't get to see the lights. I remember a special time a few Christmases ago when I was out on a December date. The gentleman drove me up a dirt road on the side of a mountain. He said, "I'm not one for driving around aimlessly looking at lights. But from this point, you can see all the Christmas lights in the valley." It was beautiful and took my breath away. It was a new way to look at lights and I appreciated his thoughtfulness in doing this for me.

Either way, driving around aimlessly - like Brooklyn and I did last week, or sitting on a mountain top - Christmas lights are my favorite part of Christmas.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Solo Debut

So anyone who knows me knows I couldn't hit a correct note if my life depended on it. But last night at our Ward Christmas Party, I sang a solo. In front of 300 people. With a microphone. Thank goodness it was a comedy. We performed "The Twelve Pains of Christmas". My line was "Fiiiiiiive months of bills" repeated 7 times.

Last year I thought about putting "Learn to sing" on my bucket list, but I didn't have faith I could do it. I should have shot for the stars and put "sing a solo", then I would have had something to check off!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

He's Famous!

So last week a columnist from the Deseret News came into Wasatch Running Center and wanted to do an article on "Gifts for the Outdoor Enthusiast". Brandon was happy to help. He ended up modeling some clothes for her. We were excited yesterday to see the article in the newspaper and a huge picture of Brandon. He looked great! Funny how when I mentioned it to people that know both him and me, they said they didn't recognize it was Brandon because they were choking over the $350.00 price tag of the coat. Yep, running enthusiast take their sport seriously and don't mind dropping the big bucks to keep themselves looking good!

These photos only appeared in the online version of the Deseret News:

Brandon said he has already been contacted by two modeling agencies to model underwear. (wink wink) Good thing he has been working out!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Dream Come True

Yep, all these things were a part of my day today. Sunshine, 55 degree temps, and sandals. This is one of the reasons I moved down South.

In the beginning it just didn't seem right to be wearing sandals in December...I mean it is kind of like not wearing white shoes after Labor Day. Something is just wrong about it. But then I thought, if I was in Hawaii I wouldn't wear a parka just because it was December. So I am enjoying the warmth and living the dream.

Anytime I can put sandals on, it is a good day!


Brooklyn just completed the Hurricane High School play "Macbeth". It was phenomenal. The practices were long (14 weeks) and grueling. Some nights she wasn't home until after 10 pm. She played 3 roles: a bright angel, a soldier and a servant. I was proud of her.

The first night of the play, I made the mistake of sitting on an aisle. These unitard covered demons continuously slithered up and down the aisles on their bellies moaning and groaning. They gave me the heebie-geebies! On closing night I made sure to sit in the center.

Way to go to the entire Macbeth team. You all did an incredible job.

During this very busy time, Brooklyn managed to keep a positive attitude, and somehow keep her grades up. One thing that suffered however, was her room. Brooklyn is a orderly girl. She keeps her room clean and makes her bed everyday. During Macbeth, the chores fell through the cracks. I didn't nag her because I knew she was exhausted and doing her best to keep up with school. I was hoping she wouldn't fall into bad habits. Thank goodness she didn't. This is what her room looks like today!

I love the pictures of her friends and family that cover the wall by her bed. Brooklyn is one of the most loyal people I know. If you made the wall, you got a forever friend in Brooklyn.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

HigHligHts oF tHe PaSt FeW wEEks

I love Halloween. This year I didn't dress up :( but my kids did. I have a scrapbook that has pictures of them each year in their costumes. I am glad they keep dressing up so I can keep adding to it!

For Thanksgiving, Brooklyn and I went to the Stewart's home. We were so blessed to have Brandon and Amber come to Meadow to join us. Ginger set a beautiful table with each individual place uniquely set. Brooklyn and Bailey made place cards for everyone and set them in a pine cone. The food was delicious. Thanks to Tyler and his dad, Vern for welcoming all of us into their family!

We really miss Justin and although we know he is serving the Lord, our thoughts are often of him. For Christmas he asked me to send him a pair of Nikes. Mailing to Nicaragua is expensive and often times packages don't ever make it. I did not want to risk sending him Nikes. One of his prior mission companions was finishing his mission and his mother asked me if there was anything I would like her to take to Elder Moore. She was happy to take him his shoes. I was so thankful to receive a picture of the two of them. Amy Brown blessed my life and his with her act of service.

Today is a beautiful day in La Verkin. The sky is blue and the sun is shining. It actually feels warm here in the middle of December. After church Brooklyn and I went over to Papa's grave and decorated it for Christmas. He was in the hospital last year at Christmas time and I suggested we hang a wreath or a stocking in his room. He defeated that idea fiercely...he didn't want any clutter around. He did let me hang Christmas cards on his t.v. armoire. Well, this year he couldn't tell me "No". So we bought a few Christmas decorations and enjoyed spending the time doing what he didn't care for :) Don't mean to be rebellious Dad, but we love you and have to find ways to show it since you aren't here with us anymore. I am thankful I live close to you and am able to do this for you and for all of our family who don't live close by. We love you daddy!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Dad's Birthday

Today I am thankful for the greatest man I ever knew... my father. It is his birthday and I will miss fixing him banana pudding, giving him a gift he will always return because he feels we need the money more than he needs the gift, and kissing his bald head. He taught me how to enjoy life, how to not sweat the small or the large stuff, and how to love. I miss your baby blue eyes, your cute little smirk, and your jokes that you told over and over again. I love you and miss you daddy.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pomegranate Heaven!

I have loved living in the warm climate of Southern Utah for many reasons. For months now I have watched the pomegranates grow on our neighbors' trees. They are beautiful. Big and red.

Today I seeded all the pomegranates we were given by our wonderful neighbors. They are so yummy. This is only about a third of what we now have!

I googled how to seed them and how to freeze them. It was so easy and quick...and we now have a bounteous crop of pomegranate seeds. Brooklyn and I plan to plant our own pomegranate tree next year...but until then, we are so blessed.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Reception

The reception was held at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. It was beautiful, fun and perfect in every way. It all was a direct reflection of Amber and Brandon.

They just had a good time !

One of the highlights of the evening was when they broke out in dance...these two goofy kids know how to have fun!

They left in a sea of sparklers. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

I am so thankful for Amber and her parents for making this day so beautiful. It was relaxing, it was fun, and it was perfect. Best wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Brandon Moore on their journey through eternity.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Sacred Experience

On June 30, 2011, Brandon and Amber were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.

I arrived on Saturday, June 25, to attend Amber's endowment session in the Draper Temple. I then spent the week staying in their basement apartment in Holladay.

On the morning of June 30th, Brandon and I awoke to a cell phone alarm going off. He realized he had Amber's phone in his pants pocket. It was 6:30 a.m. We had not planned to get up so early but it was the wedding day and neither of us was going back to sleep. Brandon crawled into bed with me and we spent some time chatting. I told him how proud I was of him, how he had done all the right things, how I loved him. I was excited for the sealing. I was also excited to feel my dad in the temple. I knew he would be there on this special day.

As we entered the sealing room in the Salt Lake Temple, we sat down. At the front of the sealing room are 3 chairs. The middle chair is for the sealer. The chairs on each side are for the witnesses...the men who witness the marriage. Usually the bride and the groom each choose their witness. Amber, of course, chose her father. Brandon would have chosen my dad if he was still alive. Because he was not able to be there, he chose his adopted dad, Skip Morgan. Skip has been a father to my children since their dad left. When Brandon returned from his mission, Skip invited him to move in with their family since we had moved four hours away from the town he had grown up in. Brandon did that. I knew Skip and his wife Jen loved him and treated him as their own.

Skip has multiple sclerosis. He often uses a wheel chair. He entered the sealing room in the wheelchair and stayed in it for the sealing ceremony.

As the ceremony began, I looked at the two witness chairs. Greg Adamson, Amber's father, was in one. Skip was in his wheelchair leaving the other witness chair empty. I knew at that very moment that my dad was sitting in that empty witness chair. I did not see him, but I could feel him.

It was a very emotional time for me. The ceremony was beautiful. Brandon and Amber are now sealed together for time and all eternity. The day was everything I hoped it would be for them. I was so grateful, that even though my dad has passed beyond the veil, the temple knows no boundaries. He was there to enjoy this wonderful time with all of us.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The last few months...

The last few months have been filled with so many good things. I didn't want to share until I could start from the very's a very good place to start! As most know, it takes a little while to get wedding photos, and that is what I was waiting for to document the wedding of Brandon and Amber.

On June 29, we had the dinner at the Hidden Valley Country Club. The food was wonderful, but the really fun part was the photo booth which was set up. Here are a few pictures from that crazy night:

These two were made for each other!

Brandon and his boys...

The cousins:

The ladies who raised the boy:

The newlyweds of one month:

There were so many more pictures I could share, but I think you get the idea. It was such a fun evening full of personality and laughter. Photo booths rock!

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend began on Saturday for me. My son Brandon and his fiance Amber came down to join me and Brooklyn for a night. We had a nice lunch on the outdoor patio - nachos and strawberry shortcake. Then we met up with Grandma at the cemetery. I have never been to "Decoration Day" as I have never lived by any of my families' graves. Now that my father is buried nearby - and he was a Vietnam vet - we were able to go and pay tribute to him. We decorated his grave and talked about the heroism he had as he flew 4 missions over Hanoi allowing many American prisoners to be released. He flew over 360 combat missions as a navigator/bombardier on the B-52 bomber. I know my dad doesn't like froo-froo, so hopefully the grave was to his liking.

The next day, Sunday, was my little sister Ginger's wedding. This date, May 29, was significant because it is my mom and dad's anniversary. She married a wonderful man who knew and loved her children before he even knew her. The wedding was held on Tyler's property in an open air barn. The ceremony went beautifully, but then the wind started blowing, the rain started falling and we all started freezing in the 46 degree weather. We chattered as we ate the BBQ lunch and finished off with the beautiful cake Ginger's friend had made. I had some favorite quotes during the wedding and reception. The mayor, who was marrying Ginger and Tyler said, "I have never seen two people more anxious to get married." Tyler said, "I do" at least 3 times before it was time to say I do! The mayor finally said, "I will tell you when it is time." He is a darling man and wept through the ceremony. He is so in love with Ginger and her with him. Laynie couldn't stop smiling. She said her smile was frozen on...and although that could have been true, I think everyone was just really happy for this new little family. Ginger and her kiddos will now call Meadow, Utah home. It is only two hours from here, so I know I will still see them often. Congratulations - and Tyler, welcome to the family. I hope you like us as much as we like you :)

The fun continued into Tuesday when we made a quick trip up to Sandy for Amber's family bridal shower. I had to work that morning and the next afternoon, so when I say it was quick, I mean it! The shower was at her Grandma's house and it was fun, delicious and beautiful. We had enchiladas, taco salad, key lime pie, chocolate covered strawberries and lots of other yummy food. The party was fun and Brandon arrived for the last half. It was so fun to see those two kids again. I am so excited for them to begin their married life together. Their marriage has been five years in the making as they began dating two years before he left on his mission. As the dutiful mother-in-law to be, I gave them their bedding with some fun bedroom games. Let's hope they don't open them until the night of June 30th!

We stopped by the old neighborhood to drop off a few wedding gifts and were lucky to see a few friends. It was nice to see their smiles and feel their hugs. And then we were off again to drive back South. We stopped and stayed the night in Meadow at the newlywed's house. They didn't mind us crashing there as we helped them move in some stuff and got the beds set up. Thanks Stewart family for hosting us while you were still on your honeymoon!

It was a very busy four days, but I wouldn't have traded any of it. Each event signified that families are the most important thing in this world.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Brooklyn's New Ride

Where does the time go? My baby girl will be sixteen in a couple of weeks. I was surprised when she said she wanted her first car to be a truck. She said she wanted to haul around her dog and garden supplies! She gets embarrassed when I say this, but she is working so hard to make the backyard look nice. I do the front yard and she does the back yard. She researches different flowers, buys and plants them, and even learned how to hook up the drip system. She is a very hard worker and it shows with how the yard is taking shape. We even hung the tire swing this week!

We could use another vehicle in the family, so we were mui excited to find this 11 year old truck that looked brand new and nearly was with only 69,000 miles on it. After purchasing it, we took it to a repair shop for inspection and they said they couldn't find one thing wrong with it...SCORE!!!

I love that Brooklyn now gets to do her practice driving in her own car instead of mine :) We have been driving about 45 minutes a night to get her practice time in...and with gas prices what they is pricey!

We were able to go to the city dump yesterday and bring back a load of compost for our garden because we now have a truck in the family. Sad thing was, Brooklyn had just washed her car the day before. Oh well.

Enjoy your new car look good in it!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

One Blessed Mama

Mother's Day rocked for me this year. Actually it rocks for me every year because I have 3 great kids.

Brandon surprised me on Saturday night by showing up at the door at about 9:30pm. I was jumping up and down, squealing with delight. I was even more excited when he said he would be able to stay until Tuesday morning. I had a beautiful time with him and he even took me on a date! Thanks Brandon for being the perfect son for me. You made your mama so happy :)

One of the most magnificent blessings that comes with being a "missionary mama" is that my son is able to call me on Mother's Day. This year we were able to skype. It was wonderful to see his face and hear his voice. Because the electrical outlets in this house burn up my computer cords, we have to plug the computer in the bathroom GFI outlet to charge it. We spent 3 hours skyping with Elder Moore and much of it was spent sitting on the toilet with the laptop sitting on the bathroom sink. This shot was in the beginning before it died! It was so fun for Justin to be able to skype with his brother and sister, cousins, his aunt and his grandma who were also here for the big event. He was also able to meet Ginger's fiance Tyler for the first time! Elder Moore, thanks for spending time with me on Mother's Day. I love you and am so proud of you.

Brooklyn gave me a beautiful red geranium for Mother's Day. I love it...but the best gift of all was watching her receive her Young Women's medallion. She has worked so hard to complete her Personal Progress (with little help from me) and I am so proud of her. She received her medallion on Mother's Day and the next Sunday she was honored at an amazing Stake Recognition Night. The decorations, the speakers, the feeling of it all was perfect. Brooklyn is a wonderful daughter and she brightens each day of my life.

This year my mom, Ginger and her fiance Tyler and her kids came to join us for Mother's Day dinner. We had yummy Coconut Chicken Curry with mango salsa and some delish banana splits for dessert.

When I was a younger Mom, Mother's Day was always a painful day. I do not know if I expected to much from my children or from myself. I have learned to not have just let the day flow. When this happens, I am always blessed to overflowing. This was a perfect day. I may not be the perfect mom, but my children let me know I am the perfect mom for them.

Thank you Brandon, Justin and Brooklyn for giving me the best gift in the world...that of being a mother. I love each one of you with all my heart.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Live Your Best Life

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Clarifying Life

My life this past year has been a weeding out process. There was too much pain and chaos circling around me. I realized I needed to do some damage control in my own I made some pretty drastic decisions. I find I am more quiet than I was in the past. I don't need to explain my thoughts or actions. I can just "be". This quote brought clarity to my soul:

There are times when it is best to take action… to explain yourself, have your point of view heard, look at all the angles, and hear what the other has to say.

There are also times when it is best to remove yourself from the situation and let the chips fall where they may. Let the other players bump up against the void that was once you. Let the other players make a choice that would open the door…or not.

Action is often short-sighted. Sometimes it’s best to let the chips fall where they may without your hand attempting to direct everyone involved.

From Beverlee Garb's Sole Purpose Community

Friday, April 8, 2011

My Paralyzed Heart

I didn't expect to become so paralyzed by the death of my father. I do have a testimony that I will see him again, I do know he is free from the discomforts of his mortal life, I know all these things. But I still need him!

In the beginning after he died, I dreamt about him every night for about 3 weeks. The dreams were mostly nightmares. One day I just yelled, "Leave me alone!" And leave me alone he did. My dreams of him stopped.

As time went on I heard my sister, my aunts, and other people say they had felt my dad's presence. I didn't. But I also knew why...because I had told him to leave me alone. One morning while sitting in sacrament meeting, I began to wonder if my dad was around me. At that very moment, a little toddler walked from the other end of the pew, holding a hymn book. She laid the book down beside me and turned and went back to her mother. I looked down and the hymn book was open to "Have I Done Any Good?" This was a hymn my dad requested for his funeral service. At that moment I knew he was there with me.

A few weeks later my mom and I were driving back from St. George. My mom was saying that she knew my dad was watching over me and my sister as we were struggling with being single women and all that entails. I told my mom in no uncertain terms that I didn't feel my dad was watching over me. My life had not been any easier and things were not looking any happier. That night as I slept, my dad entered my dreams again. He came into the living room. My sister, my son and I could all see him, but no one else in the room could. I took this as a sign, that at that time, he was watching over and helping the three of us.

Little things like these two stories, help me to feel my dad. I miss him so much. One of the greatest blessings of moving to Southern Utah is that my home is only about a mile from my dad's grave. A few times a week I go there to talk to him. It is very difficult for me not having a priesthood holder in my life anymore. My son Brandon holds the priesthood but he is in Sandy and my other son Justin holds the priesthood, but he is in Nicaragua. I do not have a husband to give me blessings of comfort and of strength. And now I do not have a dad to call upon. But when I go to the grave, I feel like he is there. wrapping his arms around me, giving me courage to face the day.

I do know that in time, I may begin to move a little easier, to feel a little more joyful, to find peace...but right now I just feel paralyzed missing him. I love you dad. You were my quiet presence and my gentle rock. I didn't know how hard it would be to let you go.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Perfect End to a Perfect Life

Carrying out some one's wishes is very fulfilling. Knowing that my dad had planned his own funeral, made the time between his death and the service peaceful. He had arranged the prayers, the songs, the speakers, and the pallbearers. And can I say, "He did a wonderful job!"

A few days before the funeral, we went to choose the flowers. My mom chose "The Yellow Rose of Texas" for his casket spray and adorned it with a ribbon that said, "Loving Husband." The flowers from the grandchildren were patriotic in honor of his and our love of this great country. Their ribbon said, "Perfect Papa", which he was to them. As daughters we gathered to pick out the children's spray. We wanted it to be perfect, to have meaning. This meant going back and forth through the books trying to determine what our last tangible gift to him would be. We finally decided on a custom bouquet. I picked sunflowers for his ever-sunny disposition. My sister Lori chose yellow roses to continue the theme of his heritage, and my little sister Ginger chose some blue flowers to symbolize the Texas blue bonnets. Our ribbon said simply, "Our Daddy". The flowers were all beautiful and meant something deeper to us.

Tuesday night, December 28, 2010, was the viewing at Metcalf Mortuary. We stood in our family line, oldest to youngest. As different friends and family members walked in, I was overcome with love. My dad was a joy to be around; he loved people. But I was still surprised as people drove hours round trip to pay their respects to this great man.

I kept gravitating back to the casket. It seemed like the only place I wanted to be. It was a sacred place. Although there were many people there, I had the opportunity to spend much time alone there. I was touched by the note that my 6 year old nephew Jake had brought all the way from Tennessee and tucked into the casket beside his Papa's arm. He shared the note with me, it said he loved him and that he had lost his two front teeth. I know my dad would have loved that.

The viewing room was anything but reverent. We had over 100 family members come from coast to coast. The grandchildren were great in number. Although my father lay there and everyone took multiple turns strolling back and forth from casket to family to chairs, there was a feeling that my dad would have been happy. He loved laughter, he loved to see people enjoying each other, he loved family...but he most especially found joy in his grandchildren.

For his display table, we each did a picture frame of our life with him. There was one from his family growing up, one of him and my mom, and one for each of us kids. We also included his Air Force awards, his cowboy hat, and other memorabilia from his life. It was easy after browsing the table to see he had a very fulfilling and rewarding life.

As the night wore on and people began to disperse, we began to make preparations for the funeral the next morning. We knew that would be the hardest day of all. The viewing on Wednesday morning, December 29, was much more reverent than the night before. I knew, as did everyone else, that this would be the last time I would be able to physically see and touch my father. At the conclusion of the viewing, my mother, me and each of my siblings, went up to say our final goodbyes. The crank on the casket was turned, lowering my father lower into the casket. The top was closed, and one final lock was twisted to seal him safely inside. It was so hard to experience all the emotions at that time. The sights, the smells, the sounds of that moment are etched into my memory. My Uncle R.B. gave the family prayer and then we slowly followed the casket into the chapel.

The service went just as my father had directed. It felt good to be able to fulfill his wishes. My brother Jon gave an incredible eulogy. He talked about how my father lived, loved, learned and left a legacy. It was truly a tribute to my father both as a husband, father, comic, hard worker, priesthood holder and Son of God. My daughter Brooklyn wrote a beautiful poem for him titled, "Through My Eyes" and he had requested she read it. The grandchildren sang and sobbed through, "I Am A Child of God" and "Families Can Be Together Forever". His testimony was evident through his hymn choices of "I Believe in Christ" and "I Know That My Redeemer Lives". My cousin Allison played the guitar and sang my father's favorite song, "His Hands". I was surprised when my dad had requested we sing, "Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?" It seemed an unusual song for a funeral. Yet as we sang that hymn, I was overcome with tears as I knew that every word of that song represented my dad. He truly went about serving others. His final concerns before he died were had he been a good man and had he endured to the end. He had!

As the service let out, we walked to the entryway to watch the pallbearers put the casket into the hearse. It was raining and it did not let up for us. As I was driving to the cemetery with my son and his fiance I said, "Some say when it rains it is because the angels are crying. But I don't think they are crying today." My son, Brandon said, "Yes they are mom. Papa is telling them jokes and they are laughing so hard they are crying." I could see that being true.

As we arrived at the cemetery, what I saw took my breath away. There were many uniformed men standing at attention. All for one father. The feeling was one of utter sacredness. Even the drizzling rain seemed to add to the feelings I was feeling. We stood silently as the flag draped casket was carried to the grave site. The gun salute was given, "Taps" was played on the bugle, the flag was folded and presented with some comforting words about service to God and country to my mother. Then my brother Jon dedicated the grave to be a place free from destruction and to house my father's body until the resurrection when spirit and body would be rejoined to form that perfect union. Tears were shed.

The pallbearers laid there boutonnieres on the casket and my mom, I and my sisters and the granddaughters placed our long stem yellow roses on the casket.

Then I was able to pay the final tribute. Texas is our homeland. It is the land of my father's birth as well as my own. My Aunt Elaine and my cousin Maria, were kind enough to send some dirt from their Texas gardens. I poured this dirt under my father's casket so he could be buried on Texas soil. It seemed only fitting that if he couldn't go to Texas, Texas could come to him. What a feeling of home that provided.

Slowly the crowd dispersed. I kissed the casket as my final goodbye to my perfect father. I am so grateful to live just a mile away from where he is buried. Even though I know his spirit no longer resides there, I look forward to the days I can go there and talk with him and feel close to him.

There are some things I will really miss. I will miss kissing my daddy's bald head. I will miss seeing his twinkly blue eyes and his great smile, I will miss hearing his jokes - he got better at remembering the punchlines, and I will miss his thumbnail. Last year he accidentally drilled into his thumb. His nail never healed properly and was wavy and bumpy. While he was in the hospital and while he lay at rest in his casket, I would keep rubbing his thumbnail. Call me crazy, but it gave me comfort. But more than anything, I will miss just knowing he is there...on the other side of the door, or on the other end of the phone, or ready to twirl me as we danced, or anxious to lay his hands on my head to give me a father's blessing, or his open arms just waiting to envelop me in a comforting hug. My dad was always there ready to receive and love me in any way I needed.

The day of my daddy's funeral was one of no regrets. I wouldn't have changed a single thing. He lived his life beautifully and this day commemorated his life in the same beautiful manner. How blessed I was to have had him for my 45 years, and how grateful I am to know he is my daddy forever. I will always love and honor you. Rest in peace Dad, and I will try to find peace as well, until we meet again.