Tagged with "love"
17 Apr
2017
Posted in: uncategorized
By    1 Comment

Read Between the Lines

I sat at my aunt’s kitchen table surrounded by various members of my extended family attempting to write my grandpa’s obituary. I started with the bookend dates of his 88 years of life and filled in the years he served in the U.S. Navy and the decades he worked. There’s his wedding and number of children. There are the countless organizations he belonged to giving a glimpse at what he believed was important.

I’m rarely at a loss for words but struggled to write what needed to be shared. I listened to short video clips of my grandpa from the last year while attempting to do justice to a wonderful character of a man as concisely as possible. There were tears and laughter as  I enlisted family members to assist in the task.

An obituary is a straight forward document. I understand the purpose. It’s useful for the funeral home, the pastor and the newspaper. It’s meant to be the highlights of a life well-lived. The finished product is fine. All the parts, pieces and people that need to be mentioned are, but it’s missing so much in between the lines.

I want people to know the quirky bits of my grandpa that lie in between when he was born and when he left us. There are hundreds of unwritten words in those few lines of his obituary.

man standing on a U.S. Naval ship in the 1950s

His service in the Navy on the USS Hector was more than a source of pride for him. His time in the military was a crucial piece of the man I knew. There were always photos lining the walls of his house from the Korean War. The History Channel was forever in the background during a visit.

great grandpa meeting great grandson for the first time

We have countless photos of Grandpa with his numerous great grandchildren, and if there’s a baby in that photo, that man is not looking at the camera. His eyes are glued on the baby. He loved the littlest of us. He loved their toes and the way they smelled. If you wanted to see him smile, bring him a baby.

We’d come to visit with orange slice jellied candies for him to snack on. Budweiser and milkshakes were his drinks of choice. I remember him asking us to toss him dinner rolls or black olives at family gatherings and can still hear my grandma chastise him for egging on the children. Throwing food was not to be encouraged.

grandpa and grand daughter posing

You could find him sitting outside his open garage door watching cars drive by his house. It was his thing and a favorite past time. He helped me numerous times in high school when car keys were helplessly locked in my car. He was a car guy who worked for a Ford dealership in the service department for almost 50 years. I’ll always remember the day my husband and I showed up in our brand new Toyota. That’s possibly the longest conversation my grandpa had with Craig. Grandpa wanted to hear the reasoning behind our vehicle of choice.

He drove a wrecker for a long time when my mom and her siblings were growing up. He helped law enforcement with some awful accidents and helped more people than I’ll ever know. The squawking from a scanner radio alerting the household to what was happening in the county was ever-present in the living room when I was a child, much to my grandma’s chagrin.  He was a helper, truly one of the good guys.

I’ll read obituaries differently now that I’ve written one for someone I love. I know the list of siblings has stories of mischief hidden in the spaces between words. The parent has so much life that could never be crammed into an obituary. There’s the late night talks, the vacations, the parties,the heartbreak and the welcoming of new life. For every person who loved the outdoors there are mornings watching wildlife from a favorite spot outside a cabin. There are the lessons passed on and the sayings that were only uttered by that person. I’ll have a better appreciation for the person being memorialized when I read those words knowing that somewhere, someone placed unwritten love and memories of a life between those lines.


 
The Thing About Grief
By     |    Mar 24, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    1 Comment

The Thing About Grief

I picked up our 8th grader from school on Wednesday expecting our normal post-school conversation. The script goes something like this: I ask him to tell me something about his day. He tells me about some meme someone showed him at lunch. I either laugh, or don’t get it and he laughs. He’ll run through his homework list and pick a few small things to discuss. Thus concludes the recap with further items thrown in at random times throughout the... [Read More]

Read more
40
By     |    Feb 20, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on 40

40

Forty years…that seems like a lot of life and yet not much at all. I won’t shed tears over this milestone. I’ve been celebrating this birthday since last month when we visited California. We spent my birthday weekend snowshoeing in Grand Teton National Park. I said goodbye to my 30s and hello to this new decade with multiple adventures. Growing older has taught me to make experiences happen, and I’m abundantly grateful to have another year of living written in... [Read More]

Read more
Act with Abandon
By     |    Sep 26, 2016
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on Act with Abandon

Act with Abandon

If I was an animal, I would dig a hole and hide in it when things were too much. The person that I am copes by huddling my family closer in this home we’ve made together. I want to close the curtains, disconnect the WiFi and pretend it’s just us. Really I’m not coping, just hiding. Eventually I have to come out and actually deal with the world. Life has been heavy the last few weeks. We have too many... [Read More]

Read more
Tailoring Parenting to My Audience
By     |    Aug 28, 2016
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Tailoring Parenting to My Audience

Tailoring Parenting to My Audience

Our second oldest son and I were driving to his 6th grade orientation last week. His brothers and sister weren’t with us. This was the perfect time to talk one-on-one about heading to middle school. I over-think and prepare for situations. I was going to begin with talking about responsibility before moving into the importance of kindness and bravery before wrapping up with a shortened version of previous talks on drugs, alcohol and sex. I’d given this talk to his... [Read More]

Read more
A Birthday and Loss
By     |    May 11, 2016
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on A Birthday and Loss

A Birthday and Loss

Today our third son celebrates his ninth birthday. I cannot believe he’s already nine, but also feel he’s older than those short nine years. He’s a joy-filled, sports-loving boy who was born at a time when his mama needed him most. Ten years ago I was pregnant for the third time and over-the-moon excited to add to our family. Eleven weeks into the pregnancy I experienced cramping and was placed on bed rest. Two days later the cramping turned to... [Read More]

Read more
Reasons I Love You
By     |    Feb 11, 2016
Posted in: parenting, projects     |    Comments Off on Reasons I Love You

Reasons I Love You

This year I’ve implemented a new-to-us idea for our kids leading up to Valentine’s Day. You’ve probably seen the idea of love notes floating around social media. The idea is to write a note with a different thing you love about your child every day from Feb. 1-14. I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. I’d much rather be surprised by chocolate on a random Wednesday “just because” than on Feb. 14. My husband surprised me with coffee when he arrived... [Read More]

Read more
When the Injured Player is Mine
By     |    Oct 1, 2015
Posted in: parenting     |    3 Comments

When the Injured Player is Mine

I scan the football field at the end of every play checking to make sure my kid is on his feet. Nothing prepared me for the moment I realized my child was still laying on the field injured. My heart sunk. Our 13-year-old wasn’t laying for long before cautiously sitting up. A coach was out there quickly, and B walked off the field unassisted. But pain was plastered on his face. Every inch of my momness wanted to walk onto... [Read More]

Read more
Learning from the Center
By     |    Sep 25, 2015
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on Learning from the Center

Learning from the Center

Football. It’s all-consuming in our house in the fall. The boys play it, talk about it and watch it. After school is scheduled around when, where and who needs to be at what field with two boys playing tackle football and one playing flag football. It’s our fault they’re passionate about the sport. We’re the ones who opened that door years ago. I was a newspaper sports reporter before I was a mom. Sports was what I watched, researched and... [Read More]

Read more
Partaking in Risky Behavior
By     |    Aug 2, 2015
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on Partaking in Risky Behavior

Partaking in Risky Behavior

Apparently, I’m a risk-taker. Each summer, for seven years, we’ve welcomed a visiting Challenger Sports soccer coach in town for a British soccer camp. The coaches we’ve hosted are young men between the ages of 18-23. They need a place to call home for seven days. This week during camp, a mother I don’t know wanted to talk about hosting. More precisely, she wanted to talk about how negligent I was being. I was asked if I thought I was... [Read More]

Read more
Mother’s Day: I Had No Idea
By     |    May 10, 2015
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Mother’s Day: I Had No Idea

Mother’s Day: I Had No Idea

I knew I was potentially in over my head almost 13 years ago when I was preparing to bring my first baby home and the hospital staff only cared if I had a car seat. I remember sitting in the backseat staring at this little boy and thinking I had no idea what I was supposed to do when we arrived home. We spent a great deal of the coming weeks just holding and staring at that little guy. I... [Read More]

Read more
Confidence Built Through Music
By     |    May 6, 2015
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Confidence Built Through Music

Confidence Built Through Music

Sometimes my feelings seem too much to handle. Life hits me hard, the good along with the bad. Yesterday was intense, in a fantastic way. I was weepy on-and-off and spent parts of the day with a big grin on my face. I watched our middle son stand in front of several groups and play a solo on his flute. His band, from a local performing arts center, was touring schools talking about instruments and music opportunities for the summer... [Read More]

Read more