Another Memorial Day done. This will be our 5th one without my dad. I can’t say enough how time goes by so fast, but yet so slow.
The cemetery was beautiful. Now that my mom has moved I will probably only visit it on Memorial Day. We also went to another cemetery where my great grandparents are buried. It had an amazing flag display that was very humbling. I explained to Rachel what the flags stood for and that each one was for someone who had died in a war. Most about the age of her brother. 19.
I want to share a moment I had at my dad’s grave. I have written about how robins to me are a sign of my dad. I see them in my yard a lot and on our fences and feel like it’s my dad saying “Hi. I see you. I’m with you. I’m ok.” My husband just smiles when I say that, I’m pretty sure he thinks I wacko, but you can’t dismiss this. We were standing by my dad’s headstone talking with my uncle (my dad’s brother) and his wife and a robin just flies up and lands on his head. It just sat there for a couple of minutes. Not scared. Just looking around. Then he flew away. I was like “Did that really just happen!?” It gave me goosebumps.
They are still with us. Sometimes we just forget and just need a robin to land on our head to remember.
This was our 4th Memorial Day without my dad. It is still hard to comprehend that it has been that long.
These past few weeks have been hectic at our house with some big milestones. My son graduated from high school and my daughter was baptized. I remember one of my first thoughts after dad was diagnosed was that he was going to miss these specific events. The few weeks leading up to all this were hard. I would cry every time I thought about it. The graduation didn’t end up being as hard as the baptism. My dad would have been the one to perform my daughter’s baptism. Instead my brother did. Which was wonderful. We (My brother, Rachel and I) had a little melt down cry in the hall right before he did the baptism. But it turned out beautifully. My dad was there, we could feel the peace surrounding us.
When they posed for these pictures my mom said “Leave room for grandpa.”
We’ve been helping my mom clean out her house. It’s amazing what you can accumulate in 45 years of marriage. I found one of my dad’s journals he kept when I was 10-15 yrs old. I’m not all the way through it yet but it is comforting to be reading his words.
Thank you all for your kind emails and comments. I read them all and I apologize if I don’t respond immediately. I do pray for you and hope you all have peace in your experiences.
I can’t believe this was our 3rd Memorial Day without my dad. Memorial Day in our family has always been a big event. A lot of cemetery visiting, picnics and pictures. Yes, my family is one of those that take group pictures around headstones and all over the cemetery. In my teenage years (when I knew every thing) I thought it was pretty creepy and tried to stay out of those pictures. Now I understand. It’s about family. It’s about kids running around in the grass. It’s about my daughter sitting on my dad’s headstone and telling me how much she loves grandpa. It’s about hugs from cousins and aunts and uncles you haven’t seen all year.
I hate the fact that that headstone even has to exist. But I do appreciate the bond that was created with my mom and my siblings because of my dad’s cancer.
My mom is doing well. She is still serving a mission for the LDS church. She has extended her time and will stay out an extra year. She is always busy and doing fun things with the other sister missionaries. She is able to come up and visit us which is nice. I am glad she wasn’t called to serve farther away.
Thank you to everyone that emails me and sends me positive comments. I apologize if I haven’t gotten back to you yet. I will. Things have been hectic this past month or two. I pray for each of you and hope that you have peace and comfort.
It’s actually hard to believe that it has been almost 16 months since dad died. Those first few months I never thought I would feel happy again or enjoy life. That was a dark and bleak time. I miss my dad everyday. But I don’t ache anymore. I didn’t think I would ever be able to say that.
We went down to my mom’s for Memorial Day and went to my dad’s grave and my grandfather’s who just recently passed away. Many of my cousins were there. It seems we only get together for funerals and cemeteries this past year or so. It was good to see everyone. We had a nice lunch together afterwards. It was strange not having my dad and especially my grandfather there. Gatherings seem to be getting smaller, even if it was only by 2 people.
My mom is doing well. She has put in a request with her church to go on a service mission for year. So she could be leaving Utah and going who knows where during that time. She is excited. It is something that her and my dad wanted to do together. It’s not exactly how she imagined it, but she is looking forward to something new and a change. She will meet new people and probably other widows and maybe even a few widowers. We will miss her while she is gone, but are so happy for her.
I really thought that this day was going to be hard. But it wasn’t. I actually enjoyed it. Didn’t have a heavy heart. Had fun seeing family and friends. No tears. Cry scale actually a 0. I don’t believe that spirits just hang out in the cemetery. I am sure my dad was there with us, but I actually felt his presence more at the dinner we had before we went to the cemetery than while we were there.
I brought a beautiful lily that was the color of my wedding flowers and put a frog in the pot. (My dad’s nickname for me my whole life was frog.) It looks a little off-balance with all of the mums (I HATE mums) but I had to do something that was just from me. It made me feel better. My daughter brought her pin wheel and left it too. She wanted to give Grandpa something. She got bored but was very respectful. I turned around and at one point she was just sitting there on his headstone playing with a flower. Hanging out with grandpa.
I am still not used to Dad not being part of our outings. My husband had walked over to get some water from a faucet across the cemetery and I absentmindedly thought “Where did Tony go, oh he must be somewhere walking around with dad.” Then it was Oh yeah, I am here because of dad. I am standing at his grave site. Damn….
Overall a nice weekend though. Another first done and over with. It is getting easier.