Sunday, June 7, 2009

:: One Year Later ::

My husband, Jason, posted this note on his Facebook page today, and I thought it would be a wonderful tribute on this, the one-year anniversary of his parents' passing.  I hope that all of you are enjoying this beautiful day and spending it with the people you love. Happy Sunday everyone. :)

One year ago, today (6-7-08), my parents both passed away.

We've had a year to process our loss, and the good news is (as my dad often used to say) "... life goes on." I miss my parents, and I am grateful for what they gave me: life (with, and from, God), reasonable intelligence and a dry sense of humor (from dad), and art (from mom). Both of my parents taught me to be grateful for what we have. Life has brought us many things, but I am most grateful for the love of my family and friends.

My mom (above), with my son Benjamin. Ben's 'Nana' loved him very much, I am sure. She was in the middle of what would become 10 full courses of chemo-therapy when Ben was born. My mom was a fighter, and fought the good fight until the very end. She gave me a love for art, and the creation of art. My very first knowledge of art, joy of creating art, and technical skill came from her. I am an artist, today, because of her, my mom. You know, my mom never smiled more in life than when she was sick with cancer - this was a good thing. THIS is the way that I prefer to remember her, smiling ... and with a heartfelt, familar, yankee-accented, "Oh, Geeeeze?!" as she used to say, smiling.

My Dad (above), shown here holding his grandson Benjamin at their very first meeting. Ben's 'Grandpa' loved him so much. My dad would hold Ben, and laugh with him, until they both were tired out. My Dad gave me a love for laughing, the ability to see things in other, more humorous, ways ... and all, while sharing his incredible gift of intelligence and quick wit. It took brain cancer (and the resulting brain surgery) AND three heart attacks (the last when he found my mom, passed, we believe), to take this 'iron man' from our world. My dad, simply put, is the finest man I shall ever know. To me, he was: a best friend, a loving father, and mentor like no other. It sounds cliché, but if I can be 1/2 of the dad, husband, and man that he was, I will be an astounding success. My Dad would often say to me "I love you" and "I'm proud of you, kid." Today, as I raise my own son (with a lot of help from my incredible wife, Melanie), I am working hard to keep my dad's words and truths (my last and best memories of him, his voice), alive. I miss my Dad with everything I have, and I always will.

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