Today was a big day for two reasons. For about 7 1/2 weeks my dad has been battling a bout of Pancreatitis and all the complications that accompany that illness. After a blessing by the hands of my oldest brother essentially releasing him from obligation to "fight it out", he peacefully passed away at 1:51 am. My brother did not have to make the decision to take him off the various forms of life support. He simply pronounced the blessing that was God's will and within 2 minutes my father had passed. I am so grateful for all the time that I was able to spend with my father. He is a fun, passionate, loving, spontaneous, intelligent man. He is one of those people who, when focused on you, can understand you and make you feel understood. My only regret is that I don't have MORE pictures/memories/time spent with him. It is just like people/the movies always say: death really puts things in perspective. I encourage all who read this to make the most of each and every relationship they have because we truly never know how long we will have with that person. (The pictures above were taken last thanksgiving in San Diego at the Old Ferry Landing in Coronado. It was the last time we saw my father. He and MaryBeth were very helpful and fun on the beach that day.)
We rejoiced in the birth of our son Isaac today as Joe and some dear friends and family blessed him in church. The men you see in the picture are those who helped with the blessing (and our Bishop who is not in the picture). I am so grateful to have such a wonderful support group behind me. It was a beautiful blessing.
Births and deaths are a very basic and essential part to Heavenly Father's plan for us. That knowledge does not take away all sorrow and sadness but it can give us comfort as we go through life and experience loss. I know that I will see my dad again some day, that he will hold me in his giant arms and kiss my face.