A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A 4th of July to Remember 2013

Please join Claudia http://mockingbirdhillcottage.com/ for Favorite Things. This will go down as my most memorable 4th of July Celebration.
To those of you who haven't read my blog before I need to give you some background for this post. My oldest son died on May 17, 2013. We decided, as a family, to have a memorial celebration of his life on the 4th of July at my daughter's lake house. There are so many pictures that I want to share...
The first picture is a compilation of snapshots that were taken over the years. I went through all of my photos to make up this memory board. It was a long and difficult job, but while I was doing it...I began to see what a happy life Tim had. He was always a big tease and brought so much joy to our family. We are a family who love a good joke and enjoy being together having fun. Never a dull moment for us. We are a tight family, but when someone new joins our group they leave feeling like family. The pictures brought tears and started reminding each other of so many fun times with Tim.

 I ordered some memory cards with a verse on the back...with the Fisherman's prayer. I found the remembrance seeds of forget me nots at American Meadows. I'm hoping that many will plant the seeds and remember Tim when the flowers bloom.He and I passed hours talking on the phone about my garden or things that he was trying in his yard or his wanting advice on what to plant in the spring.
My daughter LuAnn, our hostess, greeted us on the 3rd. We got to her house around 3pm and we visited and had a little fun with the ukulele. She had just arrived from her other house in DC the night before...so she had yard work to finish and then the cooking started.
 Grandson, Collin was arranging the cheese and sausage platter with some assistance from Joe. They get along great and Collin is his sidekick. 
 Here's Collin setting up the dart game. I participated by putting a few holes in the tree :) It was suggested that we set up the croquet game, but no one did it. My son, John bought me the croquet game years ago We had an alley behind our yard and Tim and the others were always knocking my ball around and threatening to hit it in the alley, so when LuAnn bought this croquet game...they always had fun saying that they were going to put my ball in the lake. I think we all just wanted to leave that game out this 4th of July. Some memories are just too special and fresh. I'll always associate croquet with Tim and the other kids having fun with Mom.
 A picture taken through the screen door. Colllin and my brother, Jim, manning the grill. The menu was delicious....grilled flank steak and chicken breasts to be sliced for fajitas. LuAnn had marinated the steaks over night and while the meat was grilling she cut up peppers and onions for the fajitas. She had made some chimi churi sauce (super hot) that my brother really liked. We had some brats and  black beans in the crock pot, potato salad, caprese salad with tomatoes and mozzarella, a veggie platter, dips and chips, my brother brought fresh sweet corn from Indiana (we forgot to cook it) and a couple of melons, We had so much food that some of it wasn't put out. Some of the family were staying through the weekend...so that will be enjoyed later.
 Here's Tyler, Collin, Sydney, and Xoie's mom, Karen. Tyler brought her a little bouquet of wildflowers. You can see how pleased she was to get a flower from her 17 yr old boy. 
 LuAnn's neighbor, Hank, came over and joined us. He's like part of our family now. He makes bird feeders and bird houses. My new gold finch birdhouse is his handy work. Isn't it cute?
 I never realized how many pictures I took of Collin, but here he is sitting down relaxing after helping with everything.
 Oh, here we are...Balisha and Joe. We were the oldest...so we were waited on a little.
 Ah...here's Tyler playing the ukulele for us. He and his brother, Collin have been coming here since they were little boys. They do all kinds of fun things at LuAnn's. They ride the scooter, snowmobile, canoe, and man the pontoon boat. There wasn't much going on down at the lake, because the lake is being drained for repairs to the dam. There was still enough water for fishing from the dock.
 Here's Joe, Collin, Hank and my brother, Jim enjoying chips and dips before the meal.
 Here's my son, John...looking like the statue of the thinker...I wonder what he was thinking about.
 My brother heading down to the lake to try his luck from the dock. He waited until late in the day...I saw him looking toward the lake many times that day...and wondered when he would go try his luck fishing. 
 Collin again trying to start the fire for a bonfire that night.He had a little gadget that you strike together and make a spark to start a fire, but had to resort to using a lighter after all.
 Now that's a nice bonfire. I made him pose...showing off his success.
 The afternoon was coming to an end and three guys are at the dock, fishing.
 There were tons of fireworks, but Joe and I headed to a nearby hotel. We were both so tired...that we couldn't stay for the display. LuAnn houses most of the guests, but we older ones go to hotels. We tend to get up earlier than the kids and go to bed earlier....so it works out better for all.

All in all...it was a great day. We sat around the porch telling stories about Tim and his life most of the afternoon.We have so many wonderful memories of my son. Sydney and Dave came late...after the camera was put away.Some family members were missing and missed.I didn't get pictures of everybody...I was the only one taking pictures, but I hate to interrupt and bother people by taking their pictures.....I love the way we did this...as someone said, "Let's give Tim a wonderful send off...on the 4th with good food and fireworks.


My Cottage Diary said...

Balisha, what a lovely tribute your July 4th was to your son. Thank you for sharing your special day with us. May God Richly Bless You and Yours. Bess

Debra @ HOMESPUN said...

I remember that you were going to have this gathering and I was not sure what the post would be like so I brought tissue to the computer desk but it was a happy post, and so sweet. So I didn't cry till the very end! :)

Balisha that bird house is something else! Can't wait to see where you hang it : )

Debby said...

I am so sorry about your son. So glad that you shared your celebration of his life. Nothing beats being with family and memories.

Patty said...

Oh Balisha, what a lovely day for you, your family and friends to pay tribute to Tim. Yes, that bird house is really cool!

Judy said...

What a wonderful day--for the whole family. A really nice tribute and memorial to Tim. Really, really nice. I love, love that bird feeder or house!!!

AshTreeCottage said...

I am so saddened to learn of the death of your son Tim. Your tribute to him was lovely and I am sure that it helped all of you a bit. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Big Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Poppy said...

Hi Balisha,

What a beautiful tribute to your son, Tim, this July 4th. The collection of photos is such a special feature and I'm sure appreciated by your family. Thank you for sharing this most eventful day.


bj said...

Balisha, my heart is full, reading your lovely post. Too many tears right now, so I'll have to come back later......xoxo

Claudia said...

What a wonderful way to pay tribute and honor your son. I'm sure the entire weekend is full of memories of Tim - but I'm also sure that sharing those memories will help everyone start their healing process.

Bless you, my friend.

Thanks so much for joining in this week.


Dayle @ A Collection of This and That said...

I'm so sorry for your great loss. Celebrating his life is a wonderful thing to do.

Sharon said...

I'm so glad you had this special day with family. That's a good picture of you and Joe.