Saturday, August 20, 2011

Spending Time With Dad

My dad passed away last fall. He was my hero!
I decided before school starts this year and I'm full-swing into teaching, I needed to spend some quiet time with dad... so, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to venture on my own to Northern Minnesota, where many of my extended family on my dad's side live, to share  in precious moments with them and to reflect on my dad's life. What a gift this experience was!

We visited his grave site:

It was his wish to have half of his cremains buried near his mom and dad's grave site, which is the headstone you see in the background of this picture:

While at the cemetery, me, my aunt Janet, and cousin Rachel visited other family members' sites. This next pic is of aunt Janet sitting next to her 2 boys, who were killed in motorcycles accidents at ages 17 and 18... so sad!
We shed some tears and reminisced about all of the wonderful family times we've shared and how we look forward to a great family reunion in Heaven some day.

This next pic is of me and my cousin, Rachel... love you Rach!!

 Aunt Janet drove me by my dad's childhood home. As we drove by, a warmth and a comfort surrounded me as if I were scooped up into daddy's arms and cradled for a moment (tears are flowing at this moment).

Aunt Janet then said she had a surprise for me... she took me to dad's old schoolhouse where he spent his first 8 school grades. Oh wow! Words can't even begin to express how special this was for me. I jumped out of the van and walked the grounds where he learned, played, and had sweet fellowship with his peers.

This was not an ordinary trip... it was as if God Himself had been my co-pilot and dad my tour guide. I will never forget this experience, this gift! It will forever be etched into my heart and interwoven into every thread of my being.

Aunt Janet, you are an angel. You are one of the dearest people I know! God used you and Rachel to bless my life abundantly and I will always love you and be grateful for you both. 

And, dad... thanks for hanging out with me!! We'll have to do it again sometime soon!! LOVE YOU!


Terri said...

This made me cry and smile at the same time. Thank you for sharing this priceless memory.

Anonymous said...

lovely memories

Scott said...

I know how much all that meant to you, Marisa. Please say hi to all your fine and wonderful family.
Dear Friend,

Mary said...

I am from Minnesota. What town was your family from? I love history and loved your story. Thanks for sharing. I did a similar trip with my mom several years ago before she passed away. I am never sorry I gained that knowledge of my mom's family. Thanks again for sharing.