September 4th was my parent's wedding anniversary. I have to double check with my mom but I think they would have been married 49 years. I always loved looking at their wedding album and hearing stories about the day they got married. I loved the style of the early 60's (very Jackie O) and the colors my mom chose (reds and pinks together). The wedding was at the Methodist Church in the town my mom grew up in and they had a beautiful outdoor reception in the yard of her childhood home. Everything was simple and beautiful. My mom was this cute little bubbly, smiling bride and my dad was so handsome. In each photo you could see how truly happy he was -- and that smile of his that I miss so much.
This photo was taken when my parents were still dating, and it's a picture I had never seen of them. A few months after dad died I found it in a book, 'The Five People You Meet in Heaven', that I had read years ago and had been under my bed since. I wasn't sleeping well one night and had finished the book I had been reading so I decided to read this one again, opened it up, and this photo fell out. I'm not sure how it got there, I'm pretty sure I didn't have the book in Buffalo for any reason and that it had been under my bed for years ..... it really felt like my dad was sending me some sort of message that things were all right. When I shared it with my mom she of course remembered the photo but didn't remember if the book had been at her house either, how the photo got in my book (it had been in a photo album of hers, there was still dried tape on the back). However the photo ended up in my book and found me that night, when I really needed a little reassurance -- it helped. It's one of my favorites now and always makes me smile and feel happy when I look at it.
I haven't had many dreams of my dad yet, the very few I've had were nice but vague. The other night I dreamt I was in some sort of an auditorium or church full of people. I was looking around and saw this older man smiling at me. He looked kind of familiar but I couldn't place him. His face then changed (not in a scary or eery way) and it was my dad, looking at me and smiling. He nodded his head as he smiled at me and I woke up.
Maybe it was 'just a dream' -- my own brain needing to give me something, maybe it was my dad finding a way to let me know everything is okay -- that he checks in on me/us even when I don't know it. I just know it made me feel good and sad.
I miss him so much, and so do a lot of other people. The other night I went in to check on the girls before I went to bed and found this drawing by Ella in her hand as she was sleeping (click on to make larger):
It made me smile and sad at the same time. Her kind of naked body drawings always crack me up, and she certainly got grampa's look right (a little hair on the sides of his head, not on the top, glasses, a big smile). Grampa's response of 'Thank You.' was just perfect too (he was always polite) -- but her last line is what really got me. 'I will never forget you'.
Grampa is missed.