This morning was quiet.  I laid in bed alone watching the sun rise from my window.  Robbie had left for work an hour earlier and for once, my girls decided to sleep in on a Saturday.  For that minute, I felt peaceful.  Soon my attention was taken away from the window to a picture that laid unhung on the ground by my dresser.  It was a picture of my dad.  My sweet, loving father who passed away only a few short months ago.  I miss him.  I remember when he died, not being able to comprehend a tragedy of that magnitude happening in my family.  It’s always that tragic story that happens to a neighbor, an associate, a co-worker’s cousin, anyone but your own father.  This is the same person I saw comforting so many others when tragedy struck their families.  He was the “go to guy”.  He was my “go to guy”.   His lessons were so subtle, yet powerful.  The older I got, the more powerful his words or advice were to me.

I struggled after his passing. I needed someone to uplift my spirits.  For me, that person was my mom.

My mom had arranged to fly out to visit us for the first two weeks in December.  I remember sitting with the girls and making a long list of things to do while grandma was here for her visit.  At the top of that list was a Christmas party!  Our little party planners, Emilie and Madeline, planned the whole party together.  It was going to be perfect.

To my disappointment, on the day of the party, I woke up with the flu.  I had so been looking forward to making that night special and it took everything out of me to just go through the motions of participating.  When it came time for the much rehearsed dance number, performed by my three little girls, I finally got a chance to sit and rest.  As the dancing began, the thought came to me to go get my camera.  I felt awful and didn’t want to move at all.  Again, the thought came to me to go get my camera.  Then, I remembered a promise I made to myself when my dad passed away: Don’t regret a chance to capture special moments because you didn’t feel like getting your camera out.  I got up, got my camera and filmed my girls dancing.  That was the last recording of Emilie that I have.

As I looked at that picture of my dad this morning, I thought about how many times since his passing this has happened to me.  Unexpected thoughts at unexpected moments.  Words my dad had spoken to me years before were now coming back to me in my most needed time.  Over and over again.  Advice and perspectives that only he could give me.  Blessings.

This morning as I laid in bed, I decided that today I would take a little step forward.  After breakfast, I turned on some music, got my camera out, and danced with my girls.  We twirled and leapt all around the room.  Again, that familiar rush of emotion took me over and I had to leave the room a few times to let out some tears.  But in the end I took over 200 pictures of those silly girls of mine.  I moved forward a bit.  In my mind I could see my little Emilie in heaven practicing her twirl, with her grandpa holding her hand up high.