Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My dad

We've all heard a picture is worth a thousand words, and I think these pictures capture what truly made my dad the happiest. Here are some from the past few years.

Grandpa holding Kaylee. This picture just looks like he is so proud of his little grand baby.
This was Kaylee Jo's first check up. Grandpa thoroughly enjoyed this! I love his smile in this picture as he listens to her chest. This was always a face he made when he listened in his stethoscope-I am so happy I have it captured when he was listening to Kaylee.
Two proud grandparents checking out Jaynee for the first time. This will be one of the hardest parts of losing dad. I always knew dad would be there to hold the babies right after they were born. He always held them just like he is in this picture. I love his face and smile. This picture captures so many feelings for me.

Grandpa and Emmie. She was such a fussy baby-this was actually "happy" for Emmie and I am so glad this was captured in a picture with her grandpa!
This is a favorite because it shows how he played with his grand kids. This was taken a few years ago in Idaho. I love his sandals and socks-so him! What could be better than a grandpa who will play in the sand and build a castle with you?
Dad loved to take bike rides. In fact, he usually rode his bike to work any time the weather permitted. This was taken a few years ago when Kaylee Jo was learning how to ride. He loved to go down on the trail by the river to the lake with all of his grand kids and mom. He would take up the rear, as always, so he could watch them all and laugh at the silly things they did and saw along the way.
Dad has been the Easter bunny for as long as he has had grand kids old enough to hunt for eggs. He would put on his ears, hold his giant basket that he and mom filled with eggs, and hide them all over the yard. My friend who lives behind mom and dad said it was one of her favorite things to see-Dad's pink ears peeking over the fence in the yard as he went around the yard hiding eggs.
The "Easter bunny couple." Such a great picture! Mom and Dad loved doing this and this is one of the memories my kids have already talked about. They loved how their grandpa wore his funny ears and hid the eggs. Mom and dad are such a wonderful example of love towards one another and their family-they did these kinds of fun things all the time.
He hid them all over the yard-in the bushes, under the bushes, in the fence holes, in the hubcaps, in the trees, up the rain fact, mom found one months after Easter was over!
This picture was taken on the fourth of July (08). Jaynee stayed with grandpa the whole time and was very concerned about the loud noises, but I think she felt very safe in grandpa's arms; I can relate.
Jaynee and grandpa at South Fork this fall (08). I love her smile-she was just so happy being with her grandpa. His face is so happy to me-just so content.
Granpa played softball with the kids all the time. He was always the pitcher and would do some crazy wind-ups to try and fool them into when he was going to throw the ball. I snapped this picture and after taking a closer look, am so happy I did-look at his face-that is just him. He paused the whole game to smile at Jaynee running through the middle of the field-so patient and so happy to have them all around him.
Grandpa having a conversation with some of the little girl grand kids. He always made them laugh when he would talk to them about them being his little squirrels. He would tell them they all had bushy tails and they would just laugh and laugh. I know they never wondered if their grandpa loved them.
This is one of my favorites. This is my dad-a protector. He has always been that role in my life-a protector, my safety net, always quietly there. This is Kaylee, Jaynee and Emmie and Grandpa watching them as they sit by the river.
This is our last family picture taken. This was taken in July. I think my dad looks so happy here; surrounded by his little squirrels and all of us who felt his happiness and love everyday.
Here he is on Halloween night. We took a drive over to grandma Allen's little care center, and dad had already taken Halloween candy over to her before we all got there so that we could trick -or-treat her. Dad is sitting beside her trying to fix her hearing aid so that she could hear us. He took such wonderful, careful care of grandma.
It's tradition. Grandpa's squirrels go to his office every Halloween and trick-or-treat. Dad always dressed up-from Mickey mouse, Colonel potter, superman and this year-his letter man's jacket and his jeans rolled up with white socks. It was a highlight in his day whenever we came in. He would always stop doing what he was doing, and make sure we were taken care of, had a treat and many times he would introduce us to his patients and tell them all about the grand kids.
This is the last procedure that he performed for our family. Jaynee broke her arm on Friday and I am so glad she did or we wouldn't have these pictures. I will never forget these moments he tenderly took care of her arm and gave her a little tiny pink cast. I hope Jaynee will always remember this also.
If you came to the funeral, you heard me tell the story about dad's one blue Christmas light. Dad loved blue, he was color blind but blue was one color he could see. For years he has wanted to put up all blue Christmas lights, but comprimised with a red, green and white assortment. However, for the past 4 years, he has managed to put up one blue light and hide it somewhere among the others. Each year he would finish hanging the lights and then tell mom that she had to go and find the one blue light. Dad passed away 2 days before Christmas, and so the lights remained on through the holidays of course. I found his one blue light the night he passed away and found myself giggling and crying at the same time. It just felt like he was right there with me.
My parent's neighbors gave this tribute to my dad. A friend of mine took the picture and sent it to me. That night they put one blue light on their house and kept it up until they turned their lights off after the new year. Thank you Hoffmans! It says so much of how you feel about my dad. You can be sure you will find one blue light on my house at Christmas time from now on.

This was a hard thing to do, but I am happy I have posted this. Doing things like this make it real; I know that may sound strange-but sometimes it is like I am trying to hide from the reality of what has happened, and then doing this makes me face it and really see that it has happened. I just want to express that I am so happy that I have so many incredible memories-recently and from the time I can even remember being alive. I truly have the most wonderful dad anyone could ask for, and I am so thankful that I got 30 years with him.