Toasting you in heaven today dear sweet dad. I know you are at peace with angels by your side. Love you and miss you so.
The annually recurring date of a past event, especially one of historical, national, or personal importance:
Hard to believe on July 5th it will be the 1 year anniversary of my father’s passing. People always say “It seems like yesterday.” Well I have to tell you these past few weeks leading up to the anniversary date feels like deja vu. The emotional events all come streaming back to your mind so vivid and clear.
Last weekend was Father’s Day and we made a trip to Orange County to visit dad’s grave. My two siblings were able to visit the grave earlier in the week to pay their respects. My sister sent over a text with a lovely photo attached showing the flowers she placed on his grave. The next day my brother sent a text from his visit. While viewing his text an unexpected roar of laughter came from my mother and myself. My brother had placed sports items on the grave that my dad loved so much. My dad loved sports! He particularly loved basketball, baseball and golf. My father was a talented basketball player in his younger days. He was honored to have played on the Mt. Carmel Catholic High School CIF Championship Basketball Team.
Oh how we laughed when we saw all the items strategically placed around his marker. There was even a golf hat from St. Andrews in Scotland placed on the site. We always harped on dad to cover his little head from the sun. My brother signed the hat with a personal sentiment. My brother polished his grave (along with other family members buried in the same location).
Mom and I were to visit the grave on the next day, which was Father’s Day. We thought of bringing flowers however, my sister had covered that for us. My brother had covered the sports…or so we thought! There was one missing item to be added to the grave. A USC honorable mention! My nephew Ryan was placekicker for USC during the championship years of Bush, Palmer, Leinart. Oh dad loved this time. We attended all the local games here in Los Angeles and dad yelled from his living room chair on the away games. So mom and I came up with one item to be added to his grave. Again, strategically placed at the top of his marker is a photo of his grandson Ryan Killeen in motion kicking! FIGHT ON USC!
Mom and I walked away smiling! I looked over at mom and said ” you know dad’s actual anniversary is on 4th of July weekend, how can we top this?” Mom said, ” you just wait!” Love you and miss you dad.
Black and White….
I love old black and white photos. Nothing better! The hallway in my house is lined with old black and white family photos going back to the 1800’s. These old photos tell a far better story (in my opinion) then colored photos of today. When I look at these black and white photos, I’m transported back in time. These photos are some of my favorite of my parents. I really don’t have to write much about these photos. I think they tell the story of simple times, joy and love. Enjoy!
Change…Good or Bad?
Noun-the act or instance of making or becoming different.
February will be 7 months since my Dad’s passing. So much has changed for our family. My Mom’s life has of course the most dramatic change. Watching my Mom go through all the changes to her life, made me seriously ask the question “Is change good or bad”?
Due to my Dad’s passing and all the sudden changes that come with the loss of a long time spouse of 58 years; Mom has experienced so many “firsts”. First time sleeping alone in a house. First time eating alone in a restaurant. First time attending a social event alone. First time experiencing the holidays alone. First time cooking for “one” person.
Watching my Mom navigate through all of these “firsts” has been like watching a new puppy learning to walk. So proud! In reality, they really are NOT “firsts” for my Mom. Of course, over my Mom’s 84 years she has experienced all of the above mentioned “firsts” as young woman maturing. However, after such a long marriage; they surely do feel like true “firsts. Mom has handled all of this with grace and dignity. While Mom has good days and bad days…change seems to be making her and even stronger person. Not everyone can accept, handle or adapt to change. Some just manage…Mom is blossoming into an even stronger human being. Wonderful to watch!
Thanksgiving- The expression of gratitude.
Thanksgiving will be a tough day for my family this year. Missing the patriarch of our family will leave a void of monumental proportions. We as a family have decided to move forward with our traditional Thanksgiving feast in spite of the absences of my dear papa.
I have many feelings regarding the upcoming day:
You CANNOT recreate past memories, you can only remember the old ones with fondness.
You CAN create new memories.
Miss the person deeply who is not present; however do not mourn their absence in constant pain.
Give thanks for having the memories of the person.
We will raise a glass and toast you dear papa on Thanksgiving Day.
We will Live, Love and laugh.
FALL IN THE DESERT…start of season.
Fall in the California desert. Fall means season has started and all the snowbirds are returning. The scalping of the lawns begins. The start of 9 months of near picture perfect weather-we do not talk about those ugly summer months of triple digit temperatures- fall turns into winter and let the games begin!
My papa loved it here in paradise, especially the start of season. Sitting outside on the patio with our cocktails watching the golfers begin the season. Welcome back parties to all the seasonal residents, Oktoberfest, hiking, social events, twilight golf and the splendor of all the desert offers.
When I think of fall, I immediately think of Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin. Of course, Halloween is all about fall. The smell of burning leaves, even though we do not burn leaves here in Southern California-not a good idea, can you say October fire season! Carving pumpkins and roasting the pumpkin seeds. As kids, we waited for October to arrive. We carved the pumpkin and then roasted them in the oven with my Mom by our side supervising. The smell of scented candles in my house; pumpkin being my favorite scent for fall. Chilly fall mornings and perfect weather in the evenings.
This weekend was the first time in 4 years I brought out the fall decorations in my home. With me spending so much time at my parent’s house these past years, due to Papa’s illness, I never really saw the point of decorating my house. I knew my mom would bring her fall decorations out, so at least I was able to enjoy hers.
In missing my Papa, I thought to myself, he would have loved me following through with my fall decorations this year. You can never have enough candles. Papa always would laugh when I went around the house every night lighting candles. He used to say, “I think your candle crazy.” Therefore, here is to you my dear Papa. The smell of pumpkin candles are for you.