Thursday, November 29, 2007

The best hug

I just wanted to post this before it became a distant memory. The following is the reason I can cope on the days my kids are driving me batty!
One day last week we were at Mom's house and I was cleaning up after a day of unpacking. As we were unpacking, Mom was placing things she wanted on Fred's remembrance table into a basket. Somehow one thing - a letter - got taken out of the basket (I wonder how, Sophie!), and I picked it up off the floor, and, being the ever-curious one, I opened it. It was a letter from me to Fred. The background of the letter is that when I found out Mom and Fred would be moving to NY, I just felt that I needed to let Fred know that he was important to me and that I loved him. I was glad he never tried to take the place of my Dad, whom I dearly love, but was grateful for the parental presence that he provided in my life, among many other things. I don't think I sent it to him until they had moved (chicken!), but I did indeed send it.
So when I read it that night, I got a little teary.
(Incidentally, but I don't think coincidentally, Fred had found that letter just a week before he died and read it again. No joke. Again the hand of God!)
Sean was in the room and asked me what I was reading. I told him it was a letter that I wrote to Grandpa Fred. He asked me to read it to him, and I told him that I couldn't read it to him just then because it made me sad, but that it said that I loved Grandpa and that he was special to me. Sean came over to me and gave me a BIG hug and said, "That's from Grampa Freddy."
He melts my heart.
Love you, buddy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hello, Goodbye

My mom is a pastor in New York state. She received a call to a new church (which means they offered her a job) and planned the move (3 1/2 hours away) for the week between Thanksgiving and Advent. We spent the past 2 Thanksgivings with my Mom in NY so I thought we should probably stick around here, but it was just sticking in my mind that we should go so I could say goodbye to everyone at the "old" church that had become the closest thing to a church family to me over the past 4 years, and maybe we could help Mom and Fred move and have an early Thanksgiving dinner and still get home for the other family obligations around here. I just felt I needed to say goodbye, and maybe say a quick hello to the new folks, who seemed very excited to have my Mom accept the position. I was able to get the time off work, and Sean out of school, so we hurriedly packed and left on the Friday before Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately I said more goodbyes than I wanted to last week. My stepdad, Fred, who had been battling lung cancer courageously, unexpectedly passed away on November 21.

Self portrait circa early 1990s...

Fred and Sophie at Easter time this year. I'm glad he got to meet her. They had an affinity for one another that was very endearing.

Fred's headshot for his acting career. Circa late 1980's.

We got to spend some quality time with him this trip, and perhaps in another post I'll go into detail, but he was in great spirits and very excited about the move. Moving would be a three-day process (packing boxes on day 1, loading truck and driving to new house on day 2, unloading at new house on day 3). The movers did most everything, but Mom was pretty busy tying up loose ends so Fred was around more. Fred's the kind of guy who WILL talk on the phone, but it's so much more fun to be around him because of the interesting topics of conversation that pop up. Just a few days before we made the trip, I called him because I was excited that one of his favorite local restaurant chains opened a new restaurant in our tiny town. I told him I was looking forward to eating there with him next time he came to town. But I digress. We had lots of fun with Fred those days, but while he was getting ready for his day on Wednesday morning, he had some breathing trouble that turned out to be a heart attack that took him so much more suddenly than the cancer were we expecting to suck the life out of him. I'm very glad it was quicker and more painless, but I'm in shock that it happened so much sooner than expected. He didn't act sick, and he didn't look sick to least as sick as that first few months after his diagnosis two years ago.
I've done a lot of reminiscing over the past few days, and a lot of crying. But I really want to honor him tonight, and just let the memories wash over and comfort me, and to say again, "I'm thankful for you, Freddy. Love ya!"
Hope you're raising hell in heaven! :)

The one before the real one

I just wanted to say "I'm back." It's been so long since I've posted, the two of you who read my blog (haha) have probably given up on me, but I'll try to be good again, now that the computers and internet all seem to be working again.
Hope to be here more often!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Welcome to November

October was a busy month for it usually is...but I apologize for not keeping better up to date on here. SO many technical issues had me frustrated, and I had extra work this month that needed to get done (and it MOSTLY is now), and we're packing and getting more ready for getting out of the house, and Chip's been interviewing a lot, and Sean had lots of Cub Scout activities (two times selling popcorn at the grocery store, a campout, 5 meetings, and earning rollerskating and math belt loops and Bobcat badge) , and Sophie got 2 of her 1-year molars...on top of 4 birthdays to acknowledge (plus several others...Danielle, Bret, Brenda to name a few...we SHOULD have acknowledged)...and Halloween!

So, we truly ARE the October family. We hardly even noticed fall sneaking in because of the great temperatures, and now it feels like winter already! Where did the time go?

I don't have pics on this computer, so I'll try to post again soon on another computer by tonight, after yet another birthday celebration. Despite the busy-ness, I did manage to take my camera along to several of the events. :)