Things to Do - Condense, Learn, & Remember

(My great grandfather is in the first photo. I never met him. The bottom photo was taken in the Canadian Rockies, we named our second daughter after a trail there, not realizing my father had also visited there as a child.)

(My dad loved that red car, a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, he kept it into my tween years, until the roof caved in as he drove home in the rain (I've never in my life seen a person wetter than my father on that day). And he loved wrestling, he placed in the IL finals in high school. The parties are all phi gam (that I know of). Coincidentally, my husband also pledged phi gam in college. My college didn't allow fraternities or sororities, so I still find the whole thing sort of odd.)

(My parents only knew each other a few weeks before they married. I find this bizarre but they always seemed extraordinarily happy. My mom likes to say "sometimes you just know.")

For my father's wake the funeral home asked for 35 pictures to create a dvd/movie that would play throughout the day. Originally the project filled me with a sense of relief - finally I had something to do, a task, something to create. I spent hours diving through my grandma's old photo albums, finally taken off the shelf after all these years. I discovered that my grandma had labeled almost every picture with detailed descriptions of the place and people involved, obviously hoping that one day someone would take the time to piece it all together. I so appreciated the effort that I almost tried to call her (on a cellphone of all things) forgetting for a moment that she had died over twenty years ago. And for a moment I felt overwhelmed by the magnitude of the loss - my grandma's, my grandpa's, my father's. The amazing thing about looking through all the old photos is the similarity between the childhoods of my father, my grandma, and me - as all of us were/are only children in all our childhood photos no other children exist - we all grew up in a world of of adults. How odd that we never discussed this, that I only noticed this bond now.

Although I loved going through the photos and discovering the past (My father was on swim team? How did I never know that? He had report cards with Ds? Seriously? He went to frat parties? And drank drinks out of coconuts?) something oppressive accompanies the task of reducing someone's life to 35 pictures. What to include? What to forget? How do you really remember a life?

(I was born with a hip dysplasia, so I wore a cast for the first year of my life. I don't remember it at all. Other than that I'm sure I was super cute, well, hopefully.)

So if you've been counting, you probably noticed two missing pictures. I saved my favorite two for a special post on Friday, so check back in!

Have a great Wednesday everyone!
If you have a chance, I've been nominated as a creative mom blog, so please vote for me. Here's the link - Top 25 Creative Moms - help me win! The other candidates listed are all pretty famous, so I could use some help!


  1. What a beautiful post, Darcy. Through these pictures it is so obvious the full and lovely life your father lived. You can also see how much he truly loved you and your children.

  2. Love all the pictures and your comments.

  3. Love this post, Darcy. I'm an only child as well, and Harper too. I can relate, although my parents are both living. Great photos and wonderful words to go with them.

  4. Thanks for posting this Darcy -- I think you did great with the pictures selection.



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