Friday, November 2, 2012

More random thoughts

I have had some other random thoughts lately that I wanted to share. These are kind of all over the place, so bear with me. It helps that I finally uploaded all my iPhone photos onto my computer this morning.

My first random thought is about the last gift we gave to dad. I saw an idea on Pinterest that a girl had done for her dad. For her dad's 60th birthday she asked friends and family to write down little memories and fun stories. Her goal was 60 envelopes with a different story in each one. I decided this would be the perfect thing to do for dad. Not for his birthday, as that is in February, but just something I hoped would make him smile and a fun reflection on life.
So I got some email addresses from mom and sent out a little note asking for help. Then those people forwarded it on to others they knew who knew dad. I immediately had several emails back from people who were excited to help with this project. I was so excited that this might actually work! For the next 2 weeks it was like Christmas morning for me every time I got my mail. I had about 3-6 letters every day. My goal was to collect 63 stories because dad was 63. We got 80!!!!! I was a little sad I didn't get to see dad open up all the envelopes, but mom and Chris said he really enjoyed them. My goal had been to give this gift to dad, but now, really, the stories are a gift to all of us. Mom had put all the letters in a binder once dad had read them, so I took the binder and copied the stories and made a binder for Chris, Carrie and myself. (Merry Christmas brother and sister!  ;)  ) It is so awesome to have these precious memories from so many friends and family. They make me cry, they make me laugh, and definitely give us an insight into different sides of dad. Who knew he used to drag race on the roads outside Sheffield growing up?! Such a blessing that all those people were willing to be a part of this project and took the time to share their memories, and such a wonderful gift for all of us.

That week while dad was in hospice I had posted a status on Facebook praying for peace, comfort,strength. I posted this picture later with the caption, "Grandma said Ella could sit in Papa's chair this morning. Ella said it was comfy cozy". Aaron's Aunt Jana commented that that is part of the comfort I was praying for. It just stuck with me that day. :)

We had some fun while at hospice too. Have to with little people to entertain. They had a lovely little walking path around the building so we would take the kids outside. Here is Uncle Chris and Ella being goofy.

One fun surprise of the week was that my mother-in-law and her friends had gone on a girls week to New York City. Their first morning there they went to the Today show and Paula was selected for an ambush makeover! Such an amazing experience for all of them and such a fun diversion for us. 

Mom had decided to take the girls for a walk over to a park. She had received inaccurate information from a nurse as to how far the park was. What she had thought would be a couple of blocks was actually about 10 blocks. But I guess the girls were troopers and made it all the way. They had a good time at the park, though since it had taken so long to walk there they ran out of time at the actual park. Oh well, still a nice afternoon with beautiful weather.

Luckily my girls are perfectly happy as long as they have a handful of little figures to play with. They could play with their little princesses and Star Wars figures for hours.

This isn't even in good focus, but they both have such nice smiles I had to share it.The closed door in the background was dad's room.

Uncle Chris taking a nap. The girls decided he needed something to make him a little more comfy. So here he is cuddling Ella's bunny and covered in her sweatshirt. Tee hee. :)

Mom's friend Mary Ellen had a new puppy, Maddie. She was so nice to bring Maddie over to hospice house for the girls and Owen to play with. Ella loved that cute little puppy. She kept asking if Mary Ellen could bring her over again. Here they are playing at Grandma and Papa's house. I call it puppy love therapy.

That is all the pictures I have to share, but I do have a couple more thoughts to share.  At the visitation so many people came to pay their respects. It was so nice to see so many people I have not seen in years! And meeting so many of dad's co-workers and putting a face to the stories they had shared for our gift of memories project. We joked with Doc before people started arriving that there would be 2 people to stop in to see Chris. Always have to give Chris a hard time. Its fun. :) When Chris's high school basketball coach stopped by I had to laugh and tell him he was one of Chris's two people! Even though we could count him as ours too because he was my government and economics teacher as well. But we'll let Chris have him. A little while later, Sully, who was a teacher and coach, but who I never had came through and told me that Coach Schulte had his Xavier football team say a prayer for dad and our family at practice. So sweet. A couple people later, there was Coach Schulte. Now I did really well holding it together through the whole visitation. I got a little teary when my aunt Nancy walked in with red eyes and when my friends who drove from 2 hours away came in. But when Coach walked up to me I almost lost it. He was one of my History teachers, Theology teachers, and my basketball coach. I actually think I only played 1 year for him. My senior year I decided to just be the statistician or something. But I have such respect for this man, that seeing him come and take the time to talk to each of us really affected me. I still call him Coach. I cannot think of another coach that I still refer to as Coach. I think that title deserves respect, obviously from current players for any team, but that is takes a truly great person, great coach to keep that title even after you no longer are part of that team. Coach Schulte and his Xavier football team are playing tonight for a chance to go to the UNI Dome. I will be anxiously waiting to see the scores from tonight's games and maybe we will get to take a little field trip to Cedar Falls next week. Go SAINTS!

Okay, I guess I have one more thought to share, but I think it deserves its own post. Thank you everyone that has 1) taken the time to read through my lengthy posts and 2) all those that left such sweet comments, either on the blog or on Facebook.

Random thoughts, to be continued....
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