I just read my last blog post and am amazed at how little time has gone by since I last posted and yet so much has happened.
We celebrated Emma's birthday with an at-home party on October 12th and mostly everyone invited came. Emma loves to be surrounded by people so we planned for a large party this year and were happy that the weather cooperated. My Dad hadn't been out in about a month since he was recovering from a hospital stay and we were so happy that he was finally turning the corner and feeling good enough to come out.
I compiled the annual birthday video and once it was turned on all the children piled into the living room to watch and were thrilled to find that many of them were in at least one photo in the video. They then went on to watch every annual video I've made for each of the girls and several other home movies including one of Finnegan when she was a puppy. Who knew home videos would be such a draw? Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time and the birthday girl loved all the extra attention. Her favorite part of her birthday - or any birthday for that matter - is singing and the cake. I love watching the joy in her face when everyone sings the Happy Birthday song. It never gets old for me to see her so happy.
It's seems hard to believe that less than a week after Emma's birthday party my Dad fell and wound up in the hospital. We thought it would be a few days in to heal and then he would head home, but that was not to be. He was in the hospital for two weeks and during that time he contracted pneumonia and a staph infection and wound up in the ICU. He fought so, so hard to beat it and I've never been more in awe of my Dad's strength than in those two weeks. But in the end it was just too much and we said our final goodbye to Dad on November 2nd - All Souls Day - and the priest that came to bless him commented that if he had to go it was a blessed day to pick.
It's still hard to believe that we said goodbye to the first man I've ever loved. It's hard to believe he won't be sitting in his recliner and ready for a chat when I go home to visit. It's hard to believe Mom won't have her constant companion by her side for all the adventures they had. I'm sure it will sink in eventually but it hasn't yet.
Dad had a wonderful, full life. We had sunny day for his beautiful service and luncheon. He would have LOVED it! I think he was looking down from above and smiling.
Here is my favorite photo of me and Dad from my wedding. I can't help but smile every time I look at it:
Thank you to everyone who came to Dad's service and shared in the celebration of his life and to those who were not there but showed their love and support in other ways. It has certainly made this sad time a bit easier.