"You Must Believe In Spring"

It was important to me that the one year anniversary of my Daddy’s death (or “birth” into the next phase of life, as I like to think of it) feel beautiful and hopeful.  I know God knew I needed that.  And He blessed me by giving me a bit of spring in January.  Just like I spent that day a year earlier enjoying my children and the sunshine at a local park, we did the same thing this time, only the scenery was slightly different from San Diego.  Here is our special, hope-filled day…
 My Michael climbing and smiling!
 My Sophia being her sweet, beautiful self.
 My Sammy after he slipped in the muddy snow but insisted on still playing.
 Sophia!   Jumping!
 The sky reflected so beautifully in the stream…
 Michael even noticed and pointed out the pretty running water to me.
 Being a cheese ball with his cool walking stick!
It warms my heart to see my kids running and going on adventures together!
 The kids found this lovely bird very close to us and flying around.  Daddy felt very close too.
 These berries were so alive and amazing.  Talk about a vibrant sign of life!
Even though there was still ice floating on parts of the water the kids were eager to step into it, throw leaves and skip rocks on it.  They remind me to make my own fun, enjoy the little things and seize the moment!
 Sammy…my precious little adventurer!
 The water was beautiful.  Even though it’s cold, the birds are still enjoying the afternoon.
 Some geese flying overhead…  I love noticing beautiful, natural moments like these with my kids.
 Feeding ducks, just like we used to at the UC Davis arboretum when I was kid…
 Yes!  Kids being kids and running down the hill on their own accord.
Can anything make you feel more alive than a sight like this?
 I love the running water.  What was frozen is melting, moving and sharing life again.
Everything that has been frozen in death will be alive once more…
 All my kids are in this fun picture.  Yes, in  treasured moments like these the future is definitely brighter…
 I love the white snow on the ground and white clouds in the sky!
 That is me SMILING on the anniversary of my Daddy’s death.  I can do that because he’s taught me well (and still is) that life goes on and on…
 On the way home the kids started spontaneously clapping to a blue grass, pioneer-style instrumental version of “We Thank Thee Oh God For A Prophet.”  It reminded me of the Civil War and Mormon battalion reenactments Daddy enjoyed.  I know he would love this song and their clapping to it!
 I had to stop and get a picture of these Canadian geese.  The first real report I ever wrote was about Canadian Geese.  I still remember going over it with my Dad and learning how to edit and rewrite!  It was such a learning experience and I think of that first experience of learning how to write every time I see a Canadian goose.  I know he used to remember the same thing when he saw them too.
 As I was doing dishes, the colors outside my window caught my eye.   Just like last year, Daddy painted the sky for me.  I took these pictures from my backyard while standing on a cold patio chair in my socks- but it was worth it!  Maybe someday I will edit out all those wires, poles and that fun, uneven fence!  But even without doing that, it’s breathtaking.
 It feels good to know we have made it through a year without Daddy here with us the way he was before.  I miss him, but I know he is doing wonderful things in incredible places.  I feel him close to me all the time, especially as I watch my kids enjoying this beautiful world.  Life is ever changing.  Kids grow.  Seasons change.  Spring comes again.  And Daddy, well, he is having his own changing, growing and spring in the next life.  I am happy for him.  And I am happy to be here with my children and husband, changing and growing too…ready for spring.

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