...how much I miss him.
Last weekend my aunt Vicky (my dad's sister) hosted our family's annual "Thanksmas" gathering. For those of you not in the know, we combine Thanksgiving and Christmas into one celebration and call it Thanksmas!
I LOVE spending time with my dad's family. I mean, they are fun and loving, obviously, but I realized during this trip it is because they love and miss my dad, too. He is special to them like he isn't anywhere else. My dad struggled with "getting" life. He didn't seem to know how to interact the same as other people effortlessly do, but he loved huge, just quietly. I didn't see or talk to my dad on a daily basis, so I feel like I forget that he's gone. I forget that I miss him. Even though my brain doesn't think about him constantly, my heart misses him and aches every single minute of every single day.
Like I said, I love being around my dad's family because they love and miss him, too. And it is okay to talk about him with them. And sometimes others (besides my sisters and I) have tears when talking, thinking and remembering him. And that makes me feel GOOD! Weird, I know, but I like when other people remember him and miss him, too.
That was never more evident last night. My dad's sisters and mom asked for all of dad's clothes when he died. Well, last night, they presented Renae and me (Kristine and Becky weren't there) with this:
Our "dad" quilts! There are pictures of dad and cut outs of shirts and jackets he wore and sayings about loving him/us. It is BEYOND! I don't even know how to put in words what I was feeling. It is exactly HIM. Dad was kind of skinny and his hugs were a little bony, but they were "dad" hugs, that I'll never get again. And I miss so much (what I'd give for just one more). This will be a close second.
And this is evidence that they miss Dad, too:
Vicky has this memorial table set up in her house with pictures of my dad and my grandpa! I feel so loved, even though it makes me miss him more. Sometimes not remembering is nice, but other times, the pain that comes with remembering is exactly what you need. When these times come and I stop forgetting how much I miss him and allow myself to feel that pain, I now have a blanket to wrap myself up in and have a good cry. Seriously, "thank you" seems so small, but I don't know what else to say. Vicky, Lisa and Grandma...thank you for taking the time and making the effort to make these for us. They will be cherish.
Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.