Tag Archives: ADC

Happy 84th Birthday Dad!

6 Feb Our Family Photo is complete!

It seems fitting that today, on the occasion of my Dad’s 84th birthday, that I revisit the amazing experience my family and I shared four years ago when we gathered together to mark Dad’s 80th birthday.  Time always marches on, and we tend to let important events slip into the recesses of memory … until something happens to trigger then.  I think that is why I have done so much writing in the past 12 years.  Once you write something down, you can let it take a back seat to every day life.  But, on those occasions when you want to bring back the memories, all you need do is look back on what was written and the feelings come rushing back. 

GIFT FOR GRANDPA

I was excited as I awoke early that Sunday morning. Today all of my plans and preparations would come full circle. In a short while we would begin to celebrate my Dad’s 80th birthday. Dad doesn’t like a lot of fuss, but he good-naturedly went along with all of our plans.

I had managed to get his birthday celebration on our local 10 pm news. I had slept right through it, but many people let Dad know that they had seen it. A picture of Dad was in today’s paper announcing his milestone birthday. And there were flowers on the altar at church …. all in honor of Dad.

Our family would gather at a restaurant later in the day to celebrate Dad and honor the role he plays in so many lives. I had hoped to secure a private room at the restaurant, but when I checked early in the week, nothing was available. I was disappointed, but I knew the party would still be the grand celebration I wanted it to be.

We arrived at the restaurant and followed the hostess to our table. Much to my surprise and amazement we had somehow managed to get our own private room after all. We were free to talk and laugh and carry on without disturbing anyone. Two of my favorite cousins – Dawn and Beth, were also joining us. They loved my Dad and were very close to him.

As we finished our meal with an extravagant chocolate dessert we all raised our glasses and toasted Dad. He smiled from ear to ear and got a little teary as he told us how proud he was of his family and how much he loved us.

Beth worked for a photographer and she busily snapped photos throughout our time at the restaurant. As we got ready to leave, we all stood proudly around Dad and took a family photo — something we had not done for a very long time.

Despite the happiness of the day, I couldn’t help but be sad. If only Elizabeth were here I thought to myself – then this day would be perfect. Our 20-year old Elizabeth, our first-born daughter and granddaughter, had died in a fire while attending college in 2003. Even though almost nine years had passed there would always be an empty chair at our family table that no one but Elizabeth could fill. And, it was especially difficult today when we were celebrating such a happy occasion.

The next day I received an email from Beth thanking me for inviting her, and she included some of the photos she had taken. She told me she was concerned when she downloaded the photos and brought the first one up, only to see a large white spot just above my head and on my husband’s arm.

Beth was dismayed and she wondered how this could have happened – would this spot ruin all of the pictures?

As she slowly viewed each picture, she was relieved to see that the white spot was found only on that first photo of our family. As Beth stared at the photo, suddenly it dawned on her – if Elizabeth had been here she would have been standing in the exact place where that white spot had been. Could it be she wondered?

I didn’t have to wonder — I knew. What a wonderful gift Elizabeth had given to her family, especially her Grandpa. I printed off the photo and excitedly asked my Dad to stop over, “I have one last gift for you I told him.”

He came into my kitchen and gently scolded me – “Kimmie, he said, I don’t need any more birthday presents! Everything you gave me yesterday was wonderful.” “Oh, I think you’ll want this one Dad, I said, – but you’d better sit down first.”

He sat down at the table with a quizzical look on his face. I laid Beth’s email in front of him, which said:

Here are 2 pictures from yesterday, I have to correct the lighting on some of the others and then will send more. Can you BELIEVE the first one? I’m not kidding when I tell you that I have NEVER had a white spot show up like that before. Dawn was with me when I downloaded them and we were looking through them. When I first saw it I said “darn it look at that spot on there”, totally expecting it to be on a whole bunch of them….then i go to the next one and it’s gone and it didn’t show up again. Dawn and I looked at each other in disbelief and said “Liz was there too!!”

I quietly laid the photo down and Dad stared at it for a few minutes and then was overcome with emotion, as he realized the significance of the white spot. We both shed tears of joy at the thought that our beloved Elizabeth had been with us yesterday on such a special day. Love never dies, and the bond we all share with those we love is never broken …. not even by death!

 

Another Interesting Week!!

21 Oct

Life is just so darn fascinating … you just never know what is going to come your way each day when you wake up.

Thankfully, things at work have quieted … we still have security on site but a “person of interest” is being looked at and is a very strong suspect as the bomb threat perpetrator.

But something else really amazing happened in my “other life” this week and has been continually on my mind.

I got a call from my friend Marie a week ago asking if I would consider talking to a woman named Iris.  Her daughter Amy passed away very unexpectedly a little over two years ago.  She was a freshman in college.  Naturally Iris is devastated by this loss, as all of us are, when we lose a child.  But, she was also receiving very clear and specific messages from Amy; and she was beside herself trying to decide if they were “real” or was she just going crazy?  And, how did all of this fit with her religious upbringing?

Now Marie, who is also a psychic/medium, had met with Iris just a few days prior, and Amy was indeed present.  But as stubborn daughters can sometimes be, she refused to talk at that particular time. 

The next day Amy did return to Marie.  She said only one word … KIM.

Immediately though, Marie knew exactly what Amy meant and what she wanted.  Thus Marie’s call to me.

Needless to say, I was flabbergasted when I heard that a girl I didn’t even know, on the other side, would say my name! 

It didn’t take long before I realized that Liz had a part in this whole scenario.  She and Amy had connected and were completely orchestrating from above this meeting of their mothers.

A few days after setting up the meeting with Iris, it dawned on me.  Saturday was the 20TH.  The 20TH is very signficant for Liz and me.  THINGS HAPPEN ON THE 20TH ALOT!  And, this was no ordinary 20th … this was October 20th … the 4 year anniversary of Liz’s setting off of the smoke alarm in our home.  It was the one month anniversary of her passing … Roger, Anna and I were all home that night … but I was the only one who heard the alarm and realized it was a sign from her just for me. 

AND, another “interesting” fact is that Amy’s birthday is September 24TH … the 20th plus 4th anniversary = 24! (numbers and their significance is another subject that has become a fascination for me in the past 4 years!)

As I met with Iris yesterday and we each talked about our daughters, it was so obvious that they would be friends.  They were similar in so many ways … they each enjoy physical activities such as skiing and all types of sports.  They love France and the French language … they both have many friends and talk a mile a minute 99% of the time.

Iris is trying to come to terms with what has happened and to embrace the knowledge that Amy is indeed alive and living a marvelous new life … but it isn’t easy and it is a journey that takes time and some help along the way.

I trust that our time together yesterday is part of that help as she continues on this path of discovery, acceptance, peace … and, I hope,  at some point  …a return to JOY.

For me, it was, once again, another validation that God is always in control … and he cares about all of us more than we can ever imagine … and he plays an active, vital role in our every day lives, if we choose to let him … and sometimes even if we don’t!

Make your day great!

What dreams may come …

24 Sep

Liz came to visit last night … in a dream …  and I hadn’t even made it to bed yet … I had fallen asleep in front of the TV!

In my dream I was in the exact spot in the family room I really was at … on the couch … Anna was also there sitting on the floor.  In walked Liz looking very svelt in a pale blue pants and blazer with a white top underneath — very sheek and grown up!   Her hair was shorter than usual and she was wearing black framed glasses.

She walked over and started to give Anna all kinds of advice.  I don’t consciously remember anything she said — I was too busy just looking at her.  It felt so natural that she was there … the significance of what was happening hadn’t hit me yet.  She finished talking and walked around the corner and disappeared just as if she were walking up our basement stairs. 

It wasn’t until she was gone that it hit me … oh my goodness, that’s right … she’s dead … this IS a big deal!!

Then I began to wonder if Anna saw her as I did and I started to quiz Anna on what Liz was wearing.  Anna refused to tell me and she kept saying, what difference does it make?  It didn’t make any difference, I just wanted her to tell me that she saw the same thing I did.  But she wouldn’t tell me … which was extremely frustrating … the dream ended and I woke up.

The last time Liz showed up in a dream was October, 2005, and there are some interesting similarities whenever she chooses to present herself in this way.

We are always in some room in our home.  She is always wearing glasses (and they are usually quite wierd) … I was always puzzled by the glasses because she didn’t wear glasses when she was here.   I’ve since been told the glasses mean that she now sees things in a new way.  That makes sense to me.

And, up until last night, her and I were the only ones in the dreams.  Adding Anna to the picture is a new development. 

It certainly was a very nice surprise.  And, I didn’t even have to ask.

I’m now trying to take it all in and figure out if there was more she was trying to tell me other than:  Hello!~ I’m fine and I’m continuing to learn and grow, check in … and continue to be Anna’s big sister.

Yup … Life is good!

Hello from Heaven

13 Sep

I brought in the mail yesterday afternoon and found a postcard from church.  They have a prayer group who meets weekly and goes through our pictorial directory and they pray for each person or family in it.  Then they send out a card saying “we prayed for you today” and they each sign their first names.

I thought oh how nice that this card arrived on Liz’s birthday … then I scanned down further to see the signature’s of those who had prayed for us.  Right there in the middle of all the names was the signature of Elizabeth!

What a wonderful gift Liz gave me on her birthday!

Viva Las Vegas!

4 Sep

Anna and I spent the last 4 days in Vegas and we had a blast!  But it was hot-hot-hot … over 100 every day … and yes it is a “dry” heat … but it was still HOT!

Our little adventure started off kind of rocky though … our flight was suppose to leave at 2 pm on Thursday; however, just as they announced boarding … we found out some cheese ball from the previous flight had taken the exit sign over the door of the plane as a souvenier and without it we couldn’t fly!

We didn’t leave Mpls until 6:30 pm that evening!  But no worries … we were in Vegas by 9 pm.

Louie Anderson (famous Minnesota comedian) was going to be on our flight … but when the exit sign went missing so did Louie … we found out later he had a show to do that night … oh well, it was fun to see him standing around waiting just like the rest of us.

We went to 2 shows, saw a Picasso exhibit at the Belagio, went to Hoover Dam/Lake Mead, went to Madame Toussoue’s wax museum, spent a couple hours at the pool, gambled just a little (at the penny slots), explored too many casinos to mention, ate at numerous buffets, and did lots of walking.  All in all a great trip.  We actually traveled quite well together and didn’t get on each other’s nerves (well not too much).

A funny story while at Hoover Dam … before we left I got the very strong sense that Liz was going to be a part of our trip in some way … however, once we got to Vegas we were so busy I didn’t give it much thought.  We had just finished the dam tour (no pun intended) and were in the very cheesy gift shop … Anna was looking at the key chains with names on them … amazingly they actually had one with the name ANNA on it.  I couldn’t resist and looked to see if they had one with the name ELIZABETH.  They did … I just ran my fingers over it, and let out a little sigh … suddenly this voice in my head said “I’m dead — I don’t need a key chain!”

I just broke out laughing … it was very true and completely unexpected.

We got home last night at 10 pm … again our plane was late … suppose to leave at 2 pm; however, we boarded at 3 pm but didn’t actually take off until 3:40 pm …the joys of mass transit.

It is good to be home though … Vegas is fun … but only for a few days … I like the real world much better.

Roger had a great time on his fishing trip as well  … thankfully he caught fish but nothing that will be taking up permanent residence on a wall in our home!

LIFE IS GOOD!

Emily and the Demo Derby

27 Aug

On Saturday Roger and I took care of niece Kelly’s 5 month old baby girl, Emily … it was so much fun! She is such a good baby … and she always woke up with a huge smile on her face.

Now it’s been a very long time since I cared for a 5 month old … I wondered if I would still have the touch … I’m happy to report things went very well …. of course Kelly’s schedule helped enormously … hmm …. I never thought about a schedule when my girls were babies …

Yesterday I tagged along with Roger and his “Little” Omar (that’s Big Brothers/Big Sisters lingo) … we went to the Demo Derby that was postponed from last Sunday due to all the rains.

It was fun … but I never realized how many women there are who have tattoos … and not just one … and they aren’t small and they aren’t in inconspicuous places either … who knew a huge spider web on the back of your neck is cool??  Oh well … to each their own.

The Demo Derby was an event that we always attended as a family when the girls were young … it was a great way to end our week of fair activities.  We were huge fair goers and the Derby was the final harrah for us.

I reminisced in my mind about those days as I watched yesterday.  But … it just wasn’t as much fun as I remembered it being.

Vendors were everywhere selling refreshments … the last event was just about over when a girl walked through selling beer …. and she looked exactly like Liz!  It literally took my breath away.  I watched her until I couldn’t see her anymore and then a few minutes later she was back again walking through the stands.  I continued to follow her every move … even her mannerisms and her clothing said LIZ …

You might think this would be upsetting for me … but it really wasn’t … for me it was just another confirmation of our continued connection … it was her way of telling me she was there and remembering too … and it just doesn’t get any better than that …. thanks Liz.

On Thursday Roger and the rest of the men in my family head to Canada for their annual fishing expedition … as for Anna and I?  We are going on an expedition of our own … to Sin City … Las Vegas … should be interesting and fun! 

I wonder what I’ll see there … more tattoos … in wierd places??  

 Look out Vegas!  Here we come!