365 Days…revisted

Welcome! This post has been revised from one I posted in 2009 on the anniversary of my dad’s graduation to eternity. Nothing has changed in how I feel, except that the memories and observations are richer with maturity and time. I hope you enjoy remembering him with me today.

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Was it really just a year ago that i was at your bedside saying goodbye?
the dull throaty feeling is gone when I think about you, but it’s been replaced by a shadowy soft sadness that is always there in the background, like a whisper.
    
I think it’s what’s left of the imprint you’ve left on my heart and when I think about you, it’s like a scar, the pain is gone, but I still feel it and the memory is sweetly sad.

there have been so many countless moments when I’ve wanted to talk to you,
When I wanted you to just hold my hand again and mimi…oh daddy i miss you so

With you lie all the memories of my girlhood.

My mind is filled with visions of running through the dewy grass of your fresh-cut lawn, dappled sunshine under your grapevines, watching you eat a tomato like an apple, BBQ dinners on the red and white patio stones, walking at twilight, bike rides and soft ice cream cones from the Cone & Shake Shop…

The grassy beaches of Lake Erie when we were camping, sitting around the fire…

I miss the days of you me, Jenny and the “dinghy” at Rondeau

I miss your story telling, and how we’d always miss the punch lines because you’d already be laughing so hard that we didn’t understand you…

Hearing the explosion of your Ford each morning when you started it and knowing it scared all the neighbour kids

I miss your silly songs and even your lectures about Greece.

I’m thankful that you taught me how to cook and bake all those Tuesday nights when mom was at Bible Study, and I’m thankful for the hours in the pool

That you recorded all of our Christmases, that you would turn the oldies on and dance with mom in the kitchen… that you never turned down a hug or a walk around the creek

That you insisted that every holiday should be spent with family, and that cousins were as important at brothers and sisters…and that many times friends were family.

That every time someone comes over (and the door was always open) you ask them to sit down and if they’d like something to eat or drink…and that you always have to have something to offer them, and to never hold back giving your best.

I know that you’d just love getting to know Lucas, Max and Carter more each day,
especially since I see so many glimpses of you in them, their thirst for adventure, love of being outside, their feisty “know it all-ness”, their fascination with how things work, their big laughs, sense of wonder and inability to whisper and ability to “make a deal”…

(and oh how you’d love Elaina and the other grandkids that have showed up since…)

I wish that I could thank you again and again,
for giving me such a rich childhood and for raising me right
for driving home the values of respect, to love mom and my family, hard work, integrity, loyalty, forgiveness, laughter, faithfulness… and grace

Thank you for sharing your love of history, and politics, economics, Greece and gardening…for allowing us to see you grieve losing your own parents but also for celebrating the small and big things, really well…and for never giving up…on any of us.

and if I could go back and do anything over…

I would make sure that you were as much a part of my early adulthood as you were my early years…

I’d live more like I hope I am now,
with a painful awareness that each and every day is a gift, and that I should make the most of each moment and love the people in my life because here i am, and it’s already been 365 days, and it feels like I just said goodbye yesterday…

I’ll never stop loving you, and I’ll never forget you,

I will see you again, and until then, I know that as you see me from that “great cloud of witnesses” you are full of the Glory of the One who will help me run this race with endurance.

al my love, always

Mimi


 

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This is where my kids’ attitudes come from…does anyone else see it?

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Just before he immigrated to Canada. Wasn’t he handsome?

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One of many days at Rondeau beach. I’m sure it reminded him of the shores of the Aegean Sea, where he grew up, beach days were the best days with Daddy.

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Some of my favourite memories were our trips to Greece especially here in 1997.

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Thanks to my dad, I never wondered how a woman should be treated by her husband, he loved my mom with all his heart. He welcomed Chris as a son, right from the first. Our wedding in 1998.

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With his first grandson – Lucas Christopher in 2004.

Our lives were filled with laughter and music (lot’s of Greek music too) – he loved a good party – here at my sister’s wedding.

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A Father’s Hands…

Today was a day that reminded me of a  really bad day I blogged about a few years back.  I’m not sure if it’s the full moon, or what, but I needed a reminder that I’ve had worse days and just like then, today was “handled” – once I handed it over. Today it took a trip to the dog park, but it really did turn around too. I hope you enjoy today’s post from back in 2013…
Yesterday was one of those days.
It started out ok…
Then quickly spiraled down and out of control.
The oldest boy had ATTITUDE.
The middle boy was EMOTIONAL with ATTITUDE.
The youngest boy was WHINY.
They were all fighting, running in the house, making wrong choices.
The baby was cranky…teething? diaper rash? fussy?
All of the above.
Even the dog was annoying.
That morning I’d been reminded of a few personal setbacks…
Waves of  worry, fear, doubting self, doubting God…
Feeling like the little we had, would never be enough to meet the need.
Feeling unsettled, words in my mind wearing away at the Peace
That usually keeps me calm in the midst of these storms.
Feeling pretty ugly inside and out.
So I kept losing my cool…
yelling…
threatening…
lashing out…
probably worse,
I’ve blocked it from my memory.
We were all ready for a change of pace, a change of scenery.
I remember driving to the organic farm to pick up the veggies
On the verge of tears.
At the farm, the dear farmer sensed my duress.
She made me laugh.
A moment outside of the moment.
She encouraged me like only a mama of mamas can.
We drove home in almost silence. A hymn was playing on the radio.
The quiet was needed…appreciated.
The baby had fallen asleep.
The boys were not fighting, not even talking.
I pulled into the drive.
Thinking about what to make for dinner.
Giving instructions for unloading the veggies…
The middle boy was not in the van…
 Momentary panic.
Call the farmer.
He’s there. Relief.
Drive 25 mins back there to get him.
Beat myself up most of the way.
After all…how could I not notice he wasn’t in the van?!
Sigh…
I really felt like crying on the way home again.
Decided, that the day was basically lost now
A lost day…
When I should have loved my kids better…
When I should have been gentle, and kind.
 And now it was half hour to bedtime…
No time to make dinner…
MacDonald’s it is.
At least the boys were thrilled.
I beat myself up for not providing a healthier dinner.
In the drive-thru…I had to dig into the recesses of my wallet to pay.
Tucked inside a pocket, was shoved one of these.
I haven’t seen one in years.
(for my American friends – we have dollar coins here)
For some reason, it reminded me of my dad.
How his hands hardened by work, would always offer to give me money.
When I was around 9 and first allowed to ride my bike to the corner store.
When I was 16 and driving the car and needed gas.
When I was visiting home from college and always in need of a little extra cash.
How on a day like this, he would have put his arms around me…
And the world would have felt better again.
Sometimes we’d just sit in the garden, quiet.
I thought about how much I miss those hands,
How that final goodbye felt a few short years ago…
How much I wanted my daddy at that moment.
Mercy, the tears would not stop…
I almost had to pull over the van.
Then the kindest whisper…
A reminder really.
That there was another set of hands…
Readily available…
Hands that were not only work hardened…
But pierced.
For me.
Hands, eagerly waiting for me to surrender the day
Ready to provide,
Ready to take fish and bread, and meet those needs and more.
Restoring peace, reminding me of Eternity
and how my earthly daddy lives there now, with Him.
Redeeming the day, in a moment.
Making the world feel better again.
Oh how wonderful to to fall into my Heavenly Father’s Hands
To be enveloped in His grace and mercy.
Psalm 31:14
But as for me, I trust You, oh Lord,
I say,”You are my God”
My Times are in your hand…
 
And as the day came to a close,
Kissing soft cheeks, whispering thanks
whispering “I love yous”
Watching the steady rise and fall of little bodies at rest.
Peace…I am still.
Knowing the day is saved, and a new one is at hand.
A new one, that is in His hand,
As I am.

A Father’s Hands…

Yesterday was one of those days. 
It started out ok…
Then quickly spiraled down and out of control. 
The oldest boy had ATTITUDE.
The middle boy was EMOTIONAL with ATTITUDE.
The youngest boy was WHINY.
They were all fighting, running in the house, making wrong choices.
The baby was cranky…teething? diaper rash? fussy?  
All of the above.
Even the dog was annoying.
That morning I’d been reminded of a few personal setbacks… 
Waves of  worry, fear, doubting self, doubting God…
Feeling like the little we had, would never be enough to meet the need. 
Feeling unsettled, words in my mind wearing away at the Peace
That usually keeps me calm in the midst of these storms.
Feeling pretty ugly inside and out.
So I kept losing my cool… 
yelling…
threatening…
lashing out… 
probably worse, 
I’ve blocked it from my memory.
We were all ready for a change of pace, a change of scenery.
I remember driving to the organic farm to pick up the veggies
On the verge of tears. 
At the farm, the dear farmer sensed my duress.
She made me laugh. 
A moment outside of the moment. 
She encouraged me like only a mama of mamas can.
We drove home in almost silence. A hymn was playing on the radio.
The quiet was needed…appreciated.
The baby had fallen asleep.
The boys were not fighting, not even talking.
I pulled into the drive.
Thinking about what to make for dinner.
Giving instructions for unloading the veggies…
The middle boy was not in the van…
 Momentary panic.
Call the farmer.
He’s there. Relief.
Drive 25 mins back there to get him.
Beat myself up most of the way.
Afterall…how could I not notice he wasn’t in the van?!
Sigh…
I really felt like crying on the way home again.
Decided, that the day was basically lost now
A lost day…
When I should have loved my kids better…
When I should have been gentle, and kind. 
 And now it was half hour to bedtime…
No time to make dinner…
MacDonald’s it is.
At least the boys were thrilled.
I beat myself up for not providing a healthier dinner.
In the drive-thru…I had to dig into the recesses of my wallet to pay.
Tucked inside a pocket, was shoved one of these.
I haven’t seen one in years. 
(for my American friends – we have dollar coins here)
For some reason, it reminded me of my dad.
How his hands hardened by work, would always offer to give me money.
When I was around 9 and first allowed to ride my bike to the corner store.
When I was 16 and driving the car and needed gas.
When I was visiting home from college and always in need of a little extra cash.
How on a day like this, he would have put his arms around me…
And the world would have felt better again.
Sometimes we’d just sit in the garden, quiet.
I thought about how much I miss those hands, 
How that final goodbye felt a few short years ago…
How much I wanted my daddy at that moment.
Mercy, the tears would not stop…
I almost had to pull over the van.
Then the kindest whisper…
A reminder really.
That there was another set of hands…
Readily available…
Hands that were not only work hardened…
But pierced.
For me.
Hands, eagerly waiting for me to surrender the day
Ready to provide, 
Ready to take fish and bread, and meet those needs and more.
Restoring peace, reminding me of Eternity 
and how my earthly daddy lives there now, with Him.
Redeeming the day, in a moment.
Making the world feel better again.
Oh how wonderful to to fall into my Heavenly Father’s Hands
To be enveloped in His grace and mercy.
Psalm 31:14
But as for me, I trust You, oh Lord,
I say,”You are my God”
My Times are in your hand…

And as the day came to a close, 
Kissing soft cheeks, whispering thanks
whispering “I love yous”
Watching the steady rise and fall of little bodies at rest.
Peace…I am still.
Knowing the day is saved, and a new one is at hand.
A new one, that is in His hand,
As I am.

Things i would tell my 27 year old self…

I’m going to preface today’s post with a general countdown of the past 10 years of my life… since many of you may not be aware, and I haven’t posted about it like this before.

2002 In a really fruitful and happy season personally, professionally & spiritually.

In retrospect, I believe much of the ability to hang on (or be held onto by grace) through the next number of years was due to the immense amount of studying both Chris and I spent in scripture, finance and relationships. We had no idea how much our faith and our studies would be tested and proven and how much God loves us.

We came to terms with 2 previous miscarriages/ infertility, continuing to trust God.

Worked with a great team of people and spent much time pouring into students lives, travelling quite a bit and prospering financially in our investments.

2003 Went to visit my sister in France in the Spring.

Took a leave of absence from work.

Found out we were expecting our first born after returning home from Alberta.

Our Church/ Ministry/ Spiritual Community (aka my job) began to go through the first of several upheavals (was asked to return to work early to help with troubleshooting)

2004 Our son Lucas was born, began my maternity leave.

Sister got married in Tulsa.

2005 1st Nephew born.

Went back to work in a new position at the church which was still struggling.

One of my closest friends moved to California. Another, moved far away shortly thereafter.

Found out we were pregnant with our second son.

We moved to Niagara Falls.

Another sister got married.

Had our son Max just after Christmas. Began Maternity leave.

2006 Went back to work early. (should not have done this)

Another sister got married.

A good friend went through hell. It affected all of us.

First niece born.

2007 Found out we were pregnant with our 3rd son.

The last sister got married.

Two days before the wedding, my father in Law who lived with us, passed away suddenly in our home. I was the one to find him and call 911.

Months later my dad was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

Our third son, Carter was born.

More upheavals at church/work.

2008 I returned to work part time at the church, which was in the process of a leadership change.

The end came suddenly and we buried my dad a year and a week to the day we buried my father in law.

A week later, another nephew was born. My sister had a health scare.

Chris left his job and joined me at the church.

Late in the year we decided to “diversify” and bought a business.

2009 Very soon we realized we had been lied to, and began losing serious money.

Serious stress on all fronts. We all deal differently.

Experienced some betrayals that almost crippled us.

2010 Some of our other investments began to falter.

Another nephew was born.

It got very dark.

Chris went back to his former job in a new position.

2011 Hallelujah! Just when it seemed the darkest… things began to turn around…

We were able to begin to rebuild

We sold the business. Another Nephew was born.

We made some serious decisions – leave job, leave church, invest in direct sales business, homeschool, etc.

2012 Today – I’m happily homeschooling, pregnant again, though things are far from perfect and still not where they were, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We are growing and moving forward in Jesus.

Things i would tell my 27 year old self…

On the call of God/ my life’s purpose/ etc.

Relax. No really….RELAX. I say this knowing you are a type A personality. Knowing you perpetually deal with feeling useless especially having so many things that I want to do each day, and maybe getting ONE thing done.

10 years ago, you were in a very fruitful season, you loved working with the students, serving in ministry, creating, doing things you thought had “eternal value” (and they did) – but those things had no more value than what you do now. The only difference is that those things had results that were quicker to spot and you had a lot of people encouraging me all the time. Now, it’s very “quiet” on the encouragement front (as in you have to encourage yourself most of the time – though God always brings ppl along to help with this). The results of you “work” are yet to be seen. When I say relax, I mean, you are walking with God right? He’s well aware of what you are up to and is well aware of what you are meant to accomplish by the time your life is over, and He knows how to see it through, what’s the rush? He’s not worried, why are you? The most important things in life are good – the people in it. Is that not more than enough? Matthew 6:19-20

On God’s Provision

I caution you, don’t close out the provision of God by being small minded. When He provides, HE PROVIDES. More than enough… but you have to expand your mind/ life “tent” to be ready for it, otherwise you will not be able to contain it or hold onto it long enough to learn how to manage it. Isaiah 54:2-3

One of the voices you keep hearing is, “I should be helping my husband provide financially… he works so hard, I want to make his burden easier…” All I can say is that this is up to each couple and how they deal with it. Men are designed to carry this burden, we are not. Just like we are designed to carry the burden from the beginning of time for home and family. It’s just how we’re designed. Obviously we are able to bring in income too (Prov. 31) but I wonder sometimes if Godly women are buying into the worlds idea of family, roles at home, etc. more than we should. Chris has told you that he is happy and fulfilled knowing that you and the boys are being provided for…what’s the problem? Also, are you being a good steward of the money that does come in? – ie. Budget for food, clothes, etc? There are many ways to be a financial asset in the home.

On feeling like you aren’t able to express yourself fully

You have a voice, and the only one who is limiting you from using it is YOU. Maybe you have not locked onto the message you want to say, and that’s why you are frustrated, or if you have found it, you are not ready to give it voice, even if you feel like you should be. No one else has the power to stop you, except you. You have a tremendous ability to effect people. To soften hearts, to encourage, to build up, to extend the love of God to the world around you and that in the end, that is of the greatest value.

On not using your gifts right now

Yes, you are an extremely creative and artistic person, so this will inevitably lead you through seasons of melancholy. To be able to capture beauty the way you do, to understand light and darkness and contrast the way you do, unfortunately means that you live it in a way that many others don’t. It’s just who you are. As much as you know yourself, you need to trust yourself more too. As dark as feel, you also get to experience the highs and the “light” in a more intense way than others do. Count the cost. Remember Kind David? He was all over the place too, yet he was a “man after God’s own heart” and one of the greatest songwriters who ever lived. Ps. 139 Bloom where you are planted right now. The time to sing, teach, create is now, inside your home. Someday it will grow beyond that. Relax.

Finally…

Know the Season you are in. Perhaps you feel limited because of the demands of your time and energy (kids, etc), and all I can say is Yep, you are in that season. You are a mom, a wife, a sister, a friend, a woman. You know what though? It’s not really going to change. You will always be these things, there will come a time when you have more time for yourself, but it’s not now. However, you can change how you embrace your now, how you see the moments that are making up this season of your life right now. This season will soon be gone, and you will look back with longing. Enjoy it. In the next 10 years, you will lose 2 parents and some great people (friends and family) to illness and circumstance. You will wish you had enjoyed more time with them. You won’t miss doing your more of own thing, or ministry, or business or making money or other things that seem “worthy”. In light of eternity, they don’t matter as much. I know it’s a bit of a dichotomy – life is too short, aren’t we running out of time? No, I believe it’s too short to get it wrong. Life is too short to focus on the things that AREN’T happening, when I believe that He wants us to fully embrace the things that ARE happening. I also believe that we get so caught up planning and living for the complicated things when we are designed to find extreme pleasure and benefit in the most simple things. Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 esp. verses 11&12

PS – Hang on for the ride of your life!

Lots of Love 20 something Tammara – I love you, He loves you more and the best is yet to come!


Where I’m from…

I was inspired by Ann Voscamp’s version of this at Holy Experience and wrote my own today… (only to read at the end of her post that there’s actually a template I could have followed – haha! Anyways, hope you enjoy my interpretation of it anyways, and the boys and I will be doing the template this week in school 🙂

I am from corn fields and a full house. Everyday was an adventure of imagination.

I am born of the love of a mixed marriage. Mixed faiths, mixed cultures.


East and West, became one.
A picture of how God crossed the breach for all who feel they are on the “outside”.
I am from a place where Christ was honoured first.
Endless summers. Happy memories. The hard work of East and West.
The love of 4 sisters.
I am from a home with 3 bedrooms, one bathroom and 6 women and 1 man.
I am from people who made it work, and found joy in the “making” it work.
I am from a community of faith that was not based in one location, but many. I am from a people who were willing to mentor and live life together with me, showing me that way to go.

From finding the path and following the One who walks ahead of and beside me through the valleys and the mountain tops.
…One day I followed the corn fields to the highway and followed the highway around the big bend that ended at the rushing roar of Niagara.
Then I found my own forever love.

Another one who would walk along with me on this path. Together following the One who walks ahead of and beside us through the valleys and the mountain tops.
We are building another place where Jesus is honoured first.
I am from rushing waters, and peaceful paths, where the glare of commercialism exists side by side with nature, and yet doesn’t win.
I am from hard work, finding my peace in the Prince of Peace, in the midst of early mornings, noisy days and quiet moments.
I am from a house of learning, learning to walk in wisdom and truth.
I am from a place where Life is treasured, because it has been taken too soon from us, in too many ways.
I am from a people who will not quit, who will persevere and overcome, no matter how many times failure shows up. I am from a people who share, who laugh, who sing, who dance, who cry, who pray, give and love.

I am from the One who tread these earthen paths in sandals, these earthen paths that led to the cross, where I was given Life.

I am one of those who cannot forget where I am from and where I am going.
I am merely a breath from Eternity, a whisper of grace.

A month of memories

February is the shortest month of the year but sometimes it feels like the longest… this year so much happened in the short few weeks of the second month…
We bade a sad farewell…
Our Great Great Aunt Fern passed away. She was a blessed 99 years old and will be sorely missed especially by our little family.
I turned 37 and found out some wonderful news that I can’t tell you about yet, but it will change everything
We celebrated love…
 

…and family
…and friends…
lots and lots of get togethers…
and finally…

My baby turned 8

Our life together in Christ is so much more full than we ever could have imagined!
Blessings,
Tammara
 

10 Years ago…












It’s a day for reflection for most of North America.

Much gratitude is in my heart today as I remember and give value to the lives of those who were lost in and because of 9/11.
Ten years ago I was at work in a Bible College.
I had just finished leading the students in worship and prayer.
I watched the horror and tragedy of the second tower on live feed in someone’s office.
What would this mean for us in Canada, especially those like us who live on the NY border? Will there be war? Who would do this? Are we a target in Niagara?
We rallied the students to pray, we spent much time together and in prayer and in the few offices with TVs.
It was an uncertain time for many… and then gradually, life moved on.
Ten years ago I didn’t have kids.
We’d just had our second miscarriage after years of trying to get pregnant.
I worked a lot, I spent most of my time with my students.
I loved my job. I loved my church. I loved my life.
A year later, my father in law moved in with us.
A year later, I was pregnant – this time it stuck.
A year later I had a son.
Then my sister got married and had a son.
Then I went back to work. I wish I hadn’t.
Then I had another boy.
Then I went back to work. Too soon. I wish I hadn’t.
Another sister got married. And the one with a boy, had a girl.
Another sister got married.
And then another.
Then my father in law passed away.
Then my dad was diagnosed.
And I had another boy.
Then I went back to work. I really wish I hadn’t.
But I did and God is faithful.
Then my dad passed away.
And then a 2nd sister had a boy.
Then my mom moved to Niagara.
Then we bought a business and it didn’t work out.
My hubby was blessed with a new position in his work.
Then more babies were born to the sisters and I was finished working.
And Here we are at today again. We are truly blessed.
Ten years ago, we didn’t have a lot of the things we have today.
But we had people who we don’t have today…
and yet today we have little people who were not here then.
and the Circle continues.
The Hope that we had then, is stronger today.
The Faith we had then, is stronger today.
The Love we had then, is stronger today.
Because of the trials, the work, the heartache and loss.
The joys.
Our lives have been seasoned. We have continued to live.
And we will continue in this…

So I had a good little cry yesterday…

So I had an emotional week… do you blame me?

These children of mine despite frequent requests from me to stop…
They keep growing up.
It all started with this.










What is my 7 year old doing going to an amusement park (and on rides) without me? sigh.


Then it got worse…
My second born graduated kindergarten.










he got his diploma and everything…











see how happy he was – arms raised!
bless her heart, she survived 2 out of 3 Heaslip boys 🙂

and then, the icing on the cake…



My baby moved out of his crib.



“sniff”






the sobbing could not be contained. Yes… I know, he’s three, he really should’ve been in a bed long ago, but it worked – and it was one of those convertible ones, so it really was a toddler bed… i know, stop making excuses, I was keeping him my baby as long as I could… do you blame me?

Look at those cheeks!










Not only that, but he moved into a “Bunt bed” mommy… he’s so excited.


and now his old room is ready for one of our 2 Korean boys to move in for part of July.
So we’re officially into the next season, my heart is full. It was very bittersweet to finish up at a school we love, but we are ready for the next chapters. One being homeschooling and the other being hosting international students in our home.
…and I’m sure once I’ve used up the box of kleenex on my tears, I’ll be emotionally ready for it 🙂
oh, and by the way – HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!











Pool Party, BBQ and Fireworks, here we come! (that’ll cheer me up fo sho)

We surrounded him…

3 years ago I witnessed a life pass from time into eternity.

The memory of it has been burned into my soul, my heart, my mind.
Death would soon usher my dad into another state of being.

Having said our goodbyes, we could not leave him alone.
My sisters and I, our husbands and my mom
Surrounded his hospital bed.
His breathing was ragged.
He was still fighting to live more days on the earth.
Helpless, the time had come.
We did what we knew, we surrounded him.
We surrounded him with love.
We surrounded him with our voices, singing.
Songs of praise, of worship, of faith, hope and love.
We were timid at first, emotions overwhelming.
But as we sang, we could not help but turn our eyes
to the One who conquered death.
The noises outside the room faded away…
Our voices grew stronger…
Eventually we knew that we ourselves were “in between”,
neither here nor there.
His breathing became easier now, softer.
Perhaps his breathing matched the phrasing of the hymns we sang…
Perhaps his breath was being “caught away”
as his body became unnecessary for truly living…
Perhaps he could not tell the difference between our voices
and the voices of angels who had come to carry him over…
And then… the moment had come and gone…
and still…
We could not help but turn our eyes
to the One who conquered death.
There was no sting, and the victory was not held by death,
but by the author of Life.
Dad passed over into eternity surrounded by love,
Surrounded by the songs of heaven.
Surrounded.
I cannot speak for the others…
But I caught a glimpse of something…
something, maybe someOne that took my breath away…
I’ve never been the same…

In remembrance – May 16th, 2008.
Aristotelis Bolovinos
We love and miss you daddy Y

“If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If i make my bed in hell, behold You are there,
If I take the wings of the morning,
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me…
…Lead me in the way everlasting.”
Ps 139:8-10; 24b

Dear Daddy

Hey dad, it’s been two years and yes, missing you is not as painful as it used to be, but every so often I have a day, or a moment when I really miss you. Today was one of those days. I wouldn’t let myself think about it until now, when I’m sitting in my bed getting ready to turn in for the night. I wouldn’t let my thoughts wander the way I”m letting them wander now. I wouldn’t let myself think about all the things I miss.

Things like being able to pick up the phone to call you just to say hi and hear you say, “Mimi!” like hearing my voice was the best thing to happen to you all day, and then at the end of the conversation to hear your “I love you” – because I didn’t really realize all those years how precious it would be to me – knowing that you were one of few people who truly knew me for my best and worst and really really loved me just the way I am. I miss that a lot.
I also miss being able to think things through with your perspective, even if it was just you being silly or telling me I was too serious. I don’t have a lot of people who still tell me that. I miss hearing your laugh, especially when you could barely control it (like whenever you’d watch The Three Stooges) – and I miss your lectures on the most important things in life – family, politics, food, history (Greek) and economics, especially the family lectures.
I wish you could be here to watch my boys growing up, I just know you’d love their antics. I know you’d have a special connection with Lucas – he’s so bossy, and loud and funny…and tender hearted. But of course you’d love Max for his cute, sneaky, silly, joke playing ways – and he’s really smart about things. They all love to figure out how things work and try to make them better…like you did. You had just met Carter and he mostly just slept, but now as he’s ahoqinf his personality more every day. I just know you’d have fun with him, he loves to help and is very intelligent – he loves to copy his big brothers, and he’s extremely independent, stubborn and also loud – but he’s always ready with a smile and can’t resist a hug or kiss either. They all love to be outside, and they love to get their hands dirty (and every other body part it seems). they love water, and Lucas and Max are playing soccer this year, and Lucas towers over the rest of his team, but at least he shares the ball now. I miss that they won’t know you on this side of eternity. That like me, they’ll go through most of their life without their grandpa (Papoo). The older I get the more I treasure what the older generation is meant to be to the family. You definitely would have been a blessing in countless ways.
I miss your dinners, going for walks with you, listening to music with you and especially just sitting with you. There’s so much I’d pay attention to now, things I took for granted. Like how hospitable you were, family history I may never hear now, just your way with us, with mom, with people… I missed a lot of chances to spend time with you, because I always thought that we’d have more time later…but the minutes kept whizzing by, and one day they were all used up. Later was never available. It’s a pretty painful lesson for me, but a life changing one. To make the most of NOW. To live life fully, to enjoy my kids, my family, my forever friends… to let go of the hurts, the frustrations, the pains – and to love.
Daddy, I’ve got it really good. You did such an amazing job in helping raise us girls – your biggest wish dad – that’d we’d always be friends and love each other, and not let fighting and other things get in the way – that wish came to pass. We really have a special relationship with each other, and with mom. Each of them unique, but precious. I love them with this “wow” love. That’s the best I can explain it and I know it’s returned. Thank you for that.
Anyways dad, I know you are up there in the Throne Room once in awhile, and that you can see us – that you are a witness in that Great Cloud. I know it because Jesus showed me once when I was worshiping, and my heart was broken just after you had passed. Anyways, that really helps me, and now I know you are getting a kick out of the escapades of my boys. I know that now your joy is full and I know that you are one with Jesus, and that we will meet again. That comforts me on days like today – days that are a mixture of sadness, regret, gratitude and grace. Anyways, say hi to so many of the saints I’d love to meet for me, and especially my yaya and papoo, and grandpa too. I miss you still,
love,
Mimi