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Thursday, March 21, 2013


I was recently telling a friend who blogs that I'm not one who normally puts much emotion into my blog posts... but I had forgotten that I had started to write this post.  So a little warning, this post does contain some emotion. :)

Caleb and I have experienced a few very hard losses since our marriage.  We both find it important to find ways to remember the people we love so dearly that are no longer a part of our lives here on this earth.  Right after our engagement, I lost my grandfather, "Papa" Kenneth Oyer and Caleb lost a grandfather, "Grandpa Bob."  Since we have been married, we have lost my father - Thomas "Tom" Gault Wilson, my grandmother - Elaine Adele Wilson, and most recently Caleb's grandmother, Virginia Burns or "Grandma Burns."
I had a fear of forgetting memories after the loss of my father, so I wrote down several memories in a notepad so that I could always go back and reflect on them.  I also wanted to implement other ways to remember... which can sometimes be emotional and I was unsure if I was okay to publicly display my personal memoirs or should I keep it all behind closed doors?  If I did publicly display anything, would I get asked a lot of questions? Would I get emotional if I was asked about it?  I finally decided that it was more important for me to have this symbol of remembrance than it was to save face if any of those emotions happen to surface.  For remembering my dad, I decided to have a special locket made.  I wanted to put a quote on the locket that reflected how I felt about the fact I couldn't call him up everyday, but rather that his spirit and genuine personality would never be forgotten because he was a part of who I had become.  I stumbled upon this quote on Pinterest one day, and it comes from the wisdom of mister Whinnie the Pooh himself...

I found a vintage locket on Etsy and my mom bought it for me for Christmas a few years ago.  The quote is long {to be engraved on a small locket} so it spills over onto both sides. It is a little hard to read unless you get pretty close to the locket, which was fine with me.

Inside the locket is a picture of us dancing from my wedding

I'm so glad I did go through with the locket and it definitely doesn't bother me if anyone asks about it or ask to see it.

Caleb's grandmother, Virginia {or "Grandma Burns"}, was so special to him.  She invested so much in his life and we had the pleasure of being near her for the last year or so of her life {she had previously lived in California}.  We were on vacation in Colorado when Virginia passed, but Caleb had been able to spend time with her the day before we left.  Virginia passed away at Caleb's parents' home while on hospice, so Caleb's mom was by her side during her last moments.  Caleb's mom is known for being a lover of the hymns and for never needing the hymnal during church services because she knew all the words of all the verses by heart.  She sang a hymn to Virginia to comfort and reassure her that is was okay to leave her suffering body and go be greeted by the Lord right before she passed away...

I made this using a photo I took of a small chapel on a college campus nearby.  We framed this and gave it to Caleb's mom for Christmas this year.  We also got ourselves a copy and framed it, it's currently hanging in our bedroom.

Of course I try to display the treasured pictures of our loved ones as well.  This is a perfect picture of my grandfather {better know to me as "Papa"} because of his expression!  He was quite the jokester and funny man so this is exactly how I remember him. {When I was little, he used to tell me every time he would get surgery that they were "taking his jokes out" or "putting them back in"} :)  Part of me is sad that Caleb never got to meet him {he passed away a few days before I was going to take Caleb out to meet my grandparents} but it's pictures like this and sharing memories that help Caleb get a glimpse of who he was.  The same goes for Caleb as well, he has grandparents I never got the pleasure of meeting.

And the same will also apply to my children and the fact they will never know my dad, "grandpa Tom."  We will share the photos and memories, just like my sister has done with my niece Lainey.  And I will share my notebook of memories of my dad with my children and explain all the little inside jokes and funny nicknames we all called each other.  It will be something that sparks lots of stories!  They will hear about the duct tape use, the bad boat driving, the 30 pairs of sunglasses, the dancing, the attempt to sing rap, and on and on... Lainey and every other child from my siblings and me will forever know how much grandpa Tom loved to be goofy and make people laugh, how he would do absolutely anything to help out his family, and how excited he will be to meet them in heaven someday.

And just in time for March Madness... a picture of a picture I have in my home of my dad dunking in his younger years...
Reminds me of a retro Nike ad :)

Also, the friend I mentioned at the very beginning of this post, Melody, also recently blogged about an emotional time in her life.  She and her husband, Tim, recorded an old David Crowder Band song that is AMAZING!  They both have incredible voices plus it's a great song... take a listen here. {My friends can sing better than your friends... just kidding :), but seriously...}


  1. You've created so many special things to remember these amazing people! Love you! :)

  2. This is a very touching post. Though you have experienced loss, you have chosen a great way to cherish their memory so that they may continue to "live" on. =)

  3. What a special way to use your talents - to remember our loved ones.