This blog is simply the story about my little life
with my sweet family that the Lord has blessed me with
and the day in, day out things that we do.
It basically is my online diary/photo album of our life.
I'm glad you're here!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Saying good-bye to my wonderful Daddy

On April 9th we had a memorial service for my dearly beloved father.
I had been under so much stress to get everything done and of all things, the two days prior to the service a big wind storm came in and we lost power for a full day again! Thankfully by Friday night the power came back on again. It had been really rainy and windy all day. I was very concerned about what the weather was going to do when we were trying to spread my parents ashes. It could rain and blow all it wants, but please on Sunday from 11:00am to 12:00pm let it be decent weather while we spread the ashes.

All the sudden on Friday evening about 7:00, my husband came into the house and said, "Honey, come out and look at this beautiful rainbow." I joined him outside and we looked at it together. He hugged me and said, "Everything is going to be ok." This rainbow was a beautiful sign to us from God. Rainbows have become extra special to us because we saw a huge full double rainbow moments after his mother died 2 years ago.
For the past couple of weeks I had worked hard on everything for the service and the events surrounding it and it was finally coming together with just a few more details. Sunday morning I cut these hyacinths from our yard and we took them to the spreading of the ashes service. I gave one to each person to throw into the water with the ashes.

I set out two special treasures my Daddy gave me because I was going to talk about them in my tribute to Daddy and show these items to people at the service. When I was about 13 I started collecting little tiny trinkets. I asked my talented father if he could make something small for me to put in my trinket box. He made me these darling owls sitting on a branch. He carved them out of wood and painted them ever so carefully. He wrote his "Lenny" on the branch, this was the nickname my mother called him.
The next item is this little button. In 1973 I was 12 years old and buttons were all the rage. I found a plain dark green button and I asked my Daddy if he could etch my name on it. He was happy to do it and he put my name, the date with a star. I feel like these are two little examples of how he cared for me. A silly small request from his daughter was not silly or small to him, he loved me and he cared about what I cared about.
I wore this on my lapel at the memorial.
Before the memorial service our family went up to Daddy's hometown and spread their ashes in the creek.
When we got to the church we set up two tables full of wonderful things in memory of Daddy, things such as family portraits, photo albums, some of his paintings, bird houses he made, wooden toys he made, wooden treasure boxes he made for the grand kids, etc. I am sad that I forgot to get a photo of the memory table.

We hung his old Navy uniform up for everyone to see. Amazingly, my Daddy saved everything including his Navy Blues, Navy Whites, his hats, his t-shirt and even his shoes and socks! When the men from the Navy and VFW arrived I snapped this picture of them next to Daddy's uniform. They were such sweet men. I thought we would just have one or two, but they kept coming in the door! A total of 10 servicemen came to honor their own. Of note, the young sailor's uniforms are exactly the same as my Daddy's. They have not changed in 70 years!
My Daddy as a strapping young Navy man. He served during the Korean war from 1948-1952.
The service was beautiful. Pastor Glen did a great job. He had been my Daddy's pastor for the past 20 years and knew my father well. We had four Easter lilies at the front of the church (one for each of us kids) alongside a portrait of Daddy and a beautiful folded American flag that the US Navy provided.
I read my tribute and it felt so good to honor Daddy. Again, just like it was for my mother's funeral, I did not get my tribute done until that morning and I felt like God gave me the words and it just flowed together.
My husband said the sweetest things about my Daddy and he even got a little choked up. He didn't plan anything, he just spoke from the heart and it touched my heart so much. My sister, Kathi, and my brother, Wade, also spoke. Then my nephew Harrison stood up and said a few words as well as my son Hayden. It was lovely.

The slide show was incredible and I was so moved by the song at the very end that my son, Mackenzie, had written and sang for his grandfather. It was so meaningful to me on many levels. It was a true gift of love from Mackenzie. After the slide show my daughter-in-law, Brittany, and her friend, Alicia, sang Broken Vessels, which is a variation of Amazing Grace. It was absolutely beautiful. Brittany sings like an angel.
At the end of the service the Military honored my father for his service in the US Navy. It was beautiful. They gave him a three rifle salute, which was almost more than I could handle.
They played taps on the bugle and unfolded and folded the flag.  It was a poignant heart-rending moment. There was not a dry eye in the place. After they folded the flag they asked my sisters and I stand in the front and they presented it to us on behalf of the President of the United States. We were so honored and touched.
It so very moving when they were done with their ceremony they each walked by Daddy's photo and saluted him and personally thanked him for his service. Then as the veterans exited the building they stopped by each of us girls and gave us a spent bullet shell, thanked us and saluted us.
I am so proud of my father and the service he gave for our country.
After we visited with everyone after the service at the church, just our immediate family came over to our house for an intimate gathering and to eat dinner and remember Daddy.
We  kept it simple and ordered a bunch of pizza.
For dessert I made a candy bar.
My Daddy loved candy, so I decided to serve all of his favorites such as black jelly beans, Almond Roca, cinnamon bears, Doublemint gum, licorice allsorts...
...circus peanuts, black licorice, red licorice, candied orange slices and chocolate covered rations. The family all loved this and it was amazing how each candy evoked fond memories of our Daddy and Grandpa.
I set up a little display honoring Daddy with wonderful items he once owned. I laid out his old thermos, hardhat and driver's log from his driving days. He was a problem solver and inventor and one thing that he did was create a thermos holder and cup holder for his truck out of wood. You can see the red thermos cup sitting in it. There's a photo of him playing the fiddle while his Daddy played the piano alongside his employee of the month plaque. I displayed some old jeans, an old shirt, a few of his hats and his old handkerchiefs. My father was very sentimental and he saved wood chips from the different mills that he had delivered to over his 50 year truck driving career. I am very sentimental too, so I saved all these things about my Daddy. I have them all displayed out in my little shop.
I set up another  little display with some of the old photo albums, a scrapbook, his books from the Navy, a sketch pad, some old bills. I wanted the family to be able to look through all these things as we celebrated him. We had a lovely time visiting, eating, laughing, crying and sharing about our wonderful father and grandfather. I feel like we honored both of our parents very well.
Goodbye my precious Daddy. I will love you forever.

"And now, dear brothers, I want you to know what happens to a Christian when he dies so that when it happens, you will not be full of sorrow, as those are who have no hope.For since we believe that Jesus died and then came back to life again, we can also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with Him all the Christians who have died." I Thessalonians 4:13-14

1 comment:

kelly ( serenity cottage ) said...

over the years I have felt like I have known your family and have grown to love this precious Daddy of yours, this was such a beautiful tribute.

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