When they came home he sat on the floor with her and read stories and played with toys. I was in heaven watching them! The only bad part of it all was that my camera is in the shop! After dinner they played some more until they were both beat. As I type this now, they are both in my bedroom sound asleep.
As I watched them together today I couldn't help but think of how my Doodle loved Bryanna and how they loved their time together. She was truly the light of his life those last few years, and she absolutely adored him!
All of this got me thinking and I decided I wanted to celebrate my Doodle and Father's Day a little early this year. After my Doodle died I would always do something special for myself sometime the week of Father's Day. Once I started Scrapbooking, I always made a special layout about him. It was my way of spending time with him again, and it always made me feel good. I didn't do anything last year since we had just moved into the new house and we were preparing for Monkey's birth. And this year I didn't do it again because I was just too busy. So tonight I am going to post a book I made a couple of years ago about him for a design team assignment. I hope you will enjoy it, and as you look at the pages and read the words I hope you will make good use of the time you have with your Father if he is still with you. And if he is not I hope it will cause you to reflect and remember the times you spent together.
Happy Father's Day Doodle - this is for you. . . .
Opening Page Journaling:
If granted only one wish, I know the wish I would make. It would not be for money or fame, or any other "thing". It would simply be for more time! More time with you! More time to learn. More time to laugh. More time to Play. More time to sit. More time to talk. More time to dream. More time to show you how much I love you! More time to experience YOUR love! More time with YOU is the only thing I would wish for!
Journaling on 3 small tags (right):
How I loved, and now miss your big brown eyes! I want to see them look at me just one more time! - Your smile still warms my soul. I love the way you smiled with your whole face. - There is not enough time in eternity to make me grow tired of seeing the twinkle in your eyes or your smile!
Journaling for “If I had only known” (left): If I had known on this day that I only had three more months with you, I wouldn't have wasted a moment! If I had known this would be the last photograph that would ever be taken of you I wouldn't have stopped shooting! I knew how sick you were, and had been for years. Yet, I always thought there would be a tomorrow. And there is, it's just emptier without you! I wish I would have known that day, that time was NOT on my side!
Journaling for “Waiting for the phone to ring” (right): For months after you died, each time the phone rang in the morning I thought it was going to be you! I cannot tell you how many times I picked the phone up to call you, even dialing sometimes. We talked every morning and I loved our morning chats. Fourteen years later I still wish the phone would ring just one more time, and that it would be you! I have so much to tell you. I want so much to hear your voice again! I wish I could have five more minutes on the phone with you!
Journaling for “I would never complain again” (left): If I could hear you tinkle the ice in your empty glass just one more time! That was your signal that your glass was empty and you needed more. Some days that drove me crazy, thinking you could get up yourself to fill your glass. But today it would be music to my ears! I would love to fulfill all of your odd requests just one more time. Things like 3 peanut butter & butter sandwiches, open faced, with the butter on top. Cheese and crackers, with it all laid out in a neat little circle. I would gladly do this & more without complaining!
Journaling for “The Benevolent King Sitting on his throne” (right): Always the "King" of our castle, you were a kind and fair ruler. This leather chair was your throne, the place in which you surveyed all that happened. Where you read the paper, watched TV, talked with the family, ate your lunch, and napped during football games.
These are the things that happen in "Dad's Chairs" all over the country. But something special happened here too. . .this is where you allowed me to curl up in your lap when I was tired or just feeling "little". This is where you held me on your lap and in your arms and tickled me and told me stories, even after I was a grown woman! This is where you rocked your grandchildren, and sang them songs. This is where you really "lived“, where you loved us all. I would give almost anything to sit on your lap, and in your arms, on your throne just once more!
Journaling for “Building Memories” (right): I think I was born with a hammer in my hands. I cannot think of a time in my life when I didn't own a hammer of my very own. I remember being little and as you worked on projects you would give me scraps and teach me to drive nails. As I got older I used those scraps and nails to build tables for my Barbies. As I got even older I helped you hang drywall and do other things I wasn't really interested in, except for the fact that I got to be with you. As my wedding gift, you bought me a tool caddy, with a brand new "Marta-sized" hammer and other essential tools. You taught me to build a lot of things, including memories!
Journaling for “Wish for another year” (left): Fifty Six years was NOT long enough for you! Thirty Two years was NOT long enough for Mom! And Twenty Seven years was definitely NOT long enough for me! I wish I could celebrate another birthday with you, watching you blow out candles and opening presents. Instead, I celebrate your birthday alone in my scraproom, creating a layout for you and journaling about you. It is how I spend this day with you now.
Journaling for “All I want for Christmas” (right):
1. To hear you bellow "BA HUM BUG".
2. To hear you sing "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth".
3. To go pick out the tree with you.
4. To have you home for Christmas one more time!
Journaling for “Butterfly Kisses” (left): “But I'll always remember every hug in the morning, and butterfly kisses at night!” And I will always wish for one more of each.
I am so glad the photographer at my wedding took this picture of us 21 years ago. We were always openly affectionate with each other, kissing, holding hands, walking arm in arm. We never said hello or goodbye to each other without a kiss or at least a hug, until our final good-bye. I wish I could have given you that last kiss!
Journaling for “Pipe Dreams” (right): I still remember your pipe tobacco and it's smell. How I would love to get one more bowl filled and tamped and ready for you to smoke. How I would love to smell that sweet smell once more. One day, shortly after you died, I went to Stags tobacconists and bought just a small bag of Mouton Cadet tobacco, and just smelled it. That was 14 years ago, and to this day that little bag is still in my night stand. Occasionally still, I will get it out and just smell it - smell you - and I remember. I remember it all.
Journaling for “A Time to reap” (left): You would not believe our yard now! The weeds and dead grass have been replaced with green grass, trees, and flowers. It is the prettiest yard on the street now! I think of your perfectly manicured lawn as I look at it. now. I think of the hours we spent on Monday afternoons pulling weeds, always getting the roots! I remember hating pulling those weeds. But, I would treasure an afternoon full of weed pulling with you again now!
Journaling on the 2 small tags (right): I wish there would have been time for you to teach my girls how to love flowers the way you taught me to!
I wish you could see all of the callas growing in my yard! Each Spring when I walk out my front door I think of you.
Journaling for “Following in our Footsteps” (left): This could be us, a bearded Father, walking on the beach with his thin, long-legged daughter. But it is not, it is my husband and my daughter. When I see them on the beach together I am transported back to another time. A time when it was you and I walking the beach. Sometimes talking, sometimes quietly strolling, holding hands. Each summer vacation we walked the beach first thing each morning and last thing each night. Sadly, after that many walks there are no pictures of us. But I have made sure that Lizzy will have proof of her walks with her Father on the beach.
Journaling for “She was always your girl” (left): From the day I brought Bryanna home, she was always "your girl". You were the first Father figure in her life. You loved her so completely and without reservation. I have come to realize why that is. . . She is just like Mom! You died too soon, you missed too much. You should have been here when she turned nine, got her braces, learned to drive, graduated from high school. You should be here to meet her for lunch at the Hyatt, like when she was little. She sees it everyday from her office window now.
Journaling for “You held the stars in your hands” (right): I thought you knew everything! I remember on some of those walks on the beach we would search out tidepools. You knew every creature by name. You knew what they ate, how they reproduced and what their purpose was in the grand scheme of things. You made me love the creatures of the ocean so much that I planned to go to Scripps to study and get my degree in oceanography. Most children couldn't spell the word, let alone have a goal to be one! You taught me many things, one of which was I could be or do anything I set my mind to. I wish you were here to tell me that again!
Journaling for “Now she is his bride” (right): You should have been here to see her fall in love, and to watch her walk down the isle! You should just be here!
Journaling for “No One sees it” (left): You were Doo-Wa to Lizzy, and she loved you. But because she was only two when you died she really didn't understand what had happened. I explained to her that you had gone to heaven to live with Jesus, and that seemed to satisfy her. But for months and months after you died she insisted that before bed every night that we take her outside. She would look into the night sky for the brightest star, that bright star was you! She would yell out "goodnight Doo-Wa, I love you" And if the star twinkled she would tell us you were waving to her. I don't know how she came up with all of this. It must have been because of all the nights you took her out to look at the stars. She could have learned so much from you!
Journaling for “Except for ME” (right): I wish there would have been more time! I wish you could see her now, she is tall and thin and long legged just like you and I. No one sees it in her except me, but when I look at her I see you! I see you in her body shape, in the hair on her arms, in her wit and intelligence. And if she didn't have blue eyes, I would swear they were yours. When you look at these pictures, I see your eyes and your mouth on both faces! Even though you didn't get to spend much time with her, I think she picked up a lot of your traits. It is a blessing for me to see so much of you in her!
Journaling for “All I really want is. . .more TIME” (right): The human spirit is an amazing thing. It can find a way to make almost anything a reality if you want it bad enough. On those days when I truly need to be with you - I find a way. Sometimes I find a quiet place to sit and I just think about you and I allow my memory to take me to you. Somedays, I pull out your things and I just look at them, I touch them, I smell them, I let all of my senses take me to you. There are times when I pull out pictures and I create layouts with lengthy journaling all about you, and I allow my heart to take me to you. There are some days though, when my memory is not strong enough, my senses are too weak, and my heart to weary to get to you. On these days my spirit takes me to you. I find you in my dreams. Here I get to be with you in the here and now, not just in a memory from the past. This how I get to still spend precious TIME with you Doodle, it is not perfect, but it is good enough!
Journaling for Final page (left): You and Mom taught me the value of TIME as I grew up. I remember you telling me that TIME was one of those things that you only got so much of, you could never buy or make more. That TIME was too valuable to waste. I thought I had learned that lesson well as a girl. But as a woman I have really learned the true value and power that TIME holds. It is when there is NO more TIME to be had with someone that you love, that you realize how important every second is. No amount of wishing will ever give me more TIME with you on this earth. But I am assured of an eternity with you once I leave this earth for our true home. I look forward to that day, but I wont waste a moment of TIME while I am still here!