Monday, August 2, 2010

my dad

Hey everyone!  Sorry for the absence.  All I have to do is blink and another week has gone by.  I have not done any stamping AT ALL.  I miss it. 

School is starting next week for the kiddos and we've been getting ready.  Band camp is in full swing, 16 got her driver's permit, got a new lunchbox and backpack for Grace, planted more veggies (I'm determined to grow something), visited with in-laws, swam, read, hung out, played games, etc............

I do have something to show you though.  And I'm feeling a tad philosophical today so you've been forwarned. 

My dad had a birthday a few weeks ago.  He turned 70.  This is a big deal for us. 

Me and dad around 1973.  Groovy glasses huh?

I made him a very simple scrapbook about our trip to Iowa.   My dad is an architect.  So he is very graphically tuned in, so to speak.  Making him this book was a little daunting.  Was it balanced?  Is everything cut straight?  Does it flow?  Are the colors right?  Etc.......

I finally got over myself and decided he would love it no matter what.  I hoped.........

I used a 6 x 6 post bound album from SU!  I kept the colors to Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Whisper White and Basic Black.   I know, the ribbon here is Choc. Chip but, work with me here.

I used the curly label stamp from Vintage Labels, which was a Saleabration set.  The ink is Soft Suede and I used a black journaler for all the writing.  There is alot of sponging throughout.

Cover page. I just printed out a U.S. map and showed my path.  Actually my path was a little more complex.  I took 8 planes in all.   Is there a straight flight anymore? 

I took these pics inside the page protectors so they might look a little hazy.  But its all good when you're holding it in your hands. 

I kept the same layout for each page.  Just changed up the cardstock formation.

I think if you click on the pic it will show larger.

I forgot to tell you, I used Watercolor Trio for each page.

yeah, I have become a little claustrophobic in my old age and used my dad's valium for the plane rides.  Awesome stuff!

It was very easy to put together and he did love it. 

Now, I have a story to tell.  My mentality on most things is to handle it, and then let someone know about it...........after the fact.  I have thought about this for a long time, whether or not to let the world wide web know my story. 

Sounds like a big ol' honking secret huh?  With all the other crud I let you all know about, why have second thoughts now?  I guess because, its not just my story.  Its my dad's story.  So I'll just share from my point of view.

I figured that even though 95% of you that read this blog, don't know me from Adam, you might get a little something from this.  And if not, well..................

My dad and I have always had a somewhat rocky relationship.  He wouldn't admit to this though.  From the time I was 18 we would go months without speaking to each other.  I would go even longer than that in speaking to my brother.  Real close family dynamics here huh?  Can you say, dysfunctional?  It does explain why I try to keep my little family so close together.  We talk, we laugh, we hug, we pray, we hang out.  I love you's are said daily. 

My dad was always very active.  Camping, backpacking, hiking, working, building, etc.....  A few years ago he got this nagging cough.  Then his shoulder was giving him problems and he was tired and weak all the time.  He had a hard time walking the dogs. 

A little over a year ago, after about a million doctor visits and a muscle biopsy later, my dad was diagnosed with ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's Disease.   You might have the read the book or seen the movie, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.  I haven't seen the movie but the book gives a pretty good account of what this disease is.  Basically, all your voluntary muscles quit working, moving your arms and legs, moving your head, speaking, swallowing, and eventually breathing, all stop.  The kicker is, your brain stays very alert, trapped in your dying body.  Its absolutely horrible.  Life expectancy after diagnosis is 2-5 years.

Needless to say, we've become a whole lot closer in a short amount of time.  Becoming closer has also brought about alot of family drama.  I really don't like drama.  I can't watch soap operas.  Why do I love the Bachelorette so much?  Go figure. 

I don't tell you all this to have you feel sorry for me, or my dad.   The point of my little story here is this, and I've said it before:

Life is too short.  Be in the moment.  Don't wait until someone gets a fatal disease to become close.  Tell the people you love, that you love them.  If you're feeling guilty, or regretful,  tell them you're sorry.  Surround yourself with good people.  Do good things.  Be kind, even when you don't feel like it.  Be understanding.  Be willing to do what needs to be done. 

My dad would say he is lucky that he has this time to get things in order.  He has time to say goodbye.  We have time to get closer.  We have time to right some wrongs. 

I would guess that if you're (still) reading this blog that you are a scrapper or card maker.  Send that person a handmade card.  Scrap those everyday moments.  The December Daily or a Week in the Life are perfect examples of this.  The day to day.  The stuff that doesn't seem so wonderful now but will maybe give you or your loved ones a smile or a memory later.  Your story is important.

Morrie Schwartz's favorite quote was, "Love each other or perish."

I would say, "Love makes the world go 'round, baby." 

Okay, I'd better go before I chicken out and decide to just delete this whole post.  I don't mean to be a heavy or bring you down.  I hope that this story would lift you up.  Life is so much more than how big your paycheck is, or how new your car is, or how big a house you have.  I hope you're inspired to love and record your life.

Thanks for stopping by and putting up with my story.  If you have a story to tell, I would love to hear it.   Or have questions about how to record your everyday, just let me know. 

Blessings, b.


Connie L. said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your father. I lost my only sister to cancer, a long, drawn out battle that we knew she couldn't win. But it gave us time to forgive childish hurts and time to realize how much we meant to each other. It's not easy to lose a loved one, but the memories we shared before the end are ones I will treasure forever.

Kathy Braun and Lucky said...

Standing O my friend! The album and your post are beautiful, you are so right on all of this. Glad that you and dad are closer. Prayers with you and your family.

Chris Occhipinti said...

Beth: What a beautiful and touching story; thanks so much for sharing. May you and your family enjoy many more blessed moments and find strength in your love for each other.