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Nicholas with Grampy

Whenever I look at this photo I think of what a wonderful day it was, the day Nicholas came home from the hospital after his birth. His Grampy was one of the first people to meet and hold him, appropriately so since Nicholas was given his Grampy’s first name as his middle name. I remember my Dad being surprised when we told him, but also very touched that Nicholas would carry his name forever. If someone had told me on the day Nicholas was born that he would only have about five precious years to get to know his Grampy I would not have believed them. I would have said only the good die young, so this ornery guy isn’t going anywhere for a very long time. He’s got grandchildren to spoil and they need him to teach them everything he knows about automobiles. Only he didn’t get that chance because a little over five years after Nicholas was born he died and we were left with a big hole in our family that’s still there today.

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Another thing I think about when I look at this photo is whether we would have done things differently if, in fact, we knew that Nicholas and Cody didn’t have much time left with their Grampy. Of course I can’t say for sure, but looking back I don’t believe we would have because we spent as much time together as possible and he loved those little boys fiercely. And they loved him right back. The only thing I would have done differently was take more photos. More photos of everyone, but especially of the three of them or of Cody with his Grampy and Nicholas with his Grampy because I hate that I have to dig too deeply to find pictures of them together. Gosh how I wish I had a smartphone back then or at least a camera handy at all times. I hate regrets and I mostly don’t believe in them, but this is one I have because when someone you love is gone, they’re gone, and there’s no going back to take just one more photo.

Today is the 14th anniversary of the day Cody and Nick’s Grampy died and while we’ve mostly gotten used to our new normal I’m wiping away tears as I type all of this. November 26, 2003 was a hard day. It’s a day I can play like a tape in my head. It’s a day that seems so long ago, yet also like it was only yesterday.  There have been many November 26s since my Dad died and most of them I spent out of touch with my Mom, but today she was here at my house. We sat together drinking coffee and her eating a slice of pumpkin pie left over from Thanksgiving Day and it felt really good. So while I’m a little sad today, I’m also grateful to have my Mom back in my life because a woman needs her Mom no matter how old she gets.


  1. It’s the exact same with me. My children had a lot more time to get to know my Dad, but they didn’t get to spend all that much time with him in later years. I deeply regret that, but he understood how important it was that we all work as much as possible. They did get to visit a bit before his death, and that was so important to all of us. My Dad loved automobiles, too. I am sorry you lost yours; I know it hurts.
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  2. I can only imagine how tough this day is for you but I’m so glad you got to spend it with your mom. As for the photos, I’m right there with you. I’m so grateful for camera phones and try my best to make sure I capture both the significant memories and the everyday moments.

    • Thank you so much for the kind comment, Lois. The time with my mom was really nice and I’m hoping for more of it in the future. And the opportunity to take lots of pictures. 🙂

  3. I am so sorry he did not get more time with his Grandson. I agree completely about taking more pictures, there is something to be said about being present in the moment and not focusing on the pictures. But just snapping a few at get togethers and sweet moments are worth it to carry those memories on!

    • Thank you so much, Emily. Yes, it’s an important balance to enjoy your time with loved ones while also “documenting” a few special moments.

  4. Sending big, virtual hugs. I don’t think losing a parent ever gets any easier. I know I should try and take more pictures of me and the kids together as there are hardly any for them to keep close to them if anything should happen to me.

    Louise x
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  5. Such sweet memories. I take a lot of photos too. Memories to cherish forever.
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  6. I wish we had taken more photos when our son was little. I mean I had lots of cell phone pics but when my phone ate my memory card I lost them. I wish we had taken more actual printed photos. I also wish I had more photos of me when I was pregnant. That said I love all the time we spent together just being a family.

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