HOW OUR BLOG BEGAN, in AUGUST 2010: As many of you know, Phil has been struggling with a very complex series of neurological issues for about 5 years. This past spring, the issues became especially intense as a result of an unexpected cognitive decline and a fall on May 15th that resulted in a head injury and further decline. And then, on July 16th things catapulted to unbelievable, as Phil suffered from a severe "electrical storm" in his brain that essentially created a status of brain death for two full days. Inexplicably, the very morning that neurologists and other medical team members were planning removal of life support, Phil began breathing on his own and his brain waves returned to a stable, while still abnormal, level. Since then, each day has been a unique journey. And while he and his body continue to demonstrate a will and capacity to live, he continues to have severe deficits and it is quite uncertain as to the path he will take. As loved ones close in can attest to, it has been tricky to keep up emotionally with all of his changes, and provide the needed support. We can only imagine the hard work Phil has gone through as his brain has taken him through such roller coaster experiences. It is our goal here to keep family and close friends apprised of Phil's ongoing story, and to build connections that honor him.

AND THEN, SEPTEMBER 11, 2010....Dad's remarkable journey alongside us culminated in a gentle, generous death.

And so, my goal here now as his daughter is simply this: to record snippets...pieces of his life that my memory offers back to me, pieces of myself as I learn to live without a dad. I hope all who meander by find life, and hope, and peace.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

four fours makes forty four, twice

hey dad!

 thought i`d stop by to say hi on this my 44th b-day. feel like a newby trying to type on tims kindle, so brief it may have to be!

we are making excellent gains on our backyard again. wish you could see it all unfold, or even better yet, join in the fray. i never saw you working all the projects on the georgia property, but i know your sons come by the passion honestly. your love of wood, and all the possible accomplishments that can be birthed from the wielding of it. the courage and optimism you demonsrtrated when you took on cabinetmaking was...well i guess i would have to think on the proper adjective to describe it. at the time i was shaken by your choice to leave behind life as a professor, the work i knew you`d longed to do since i was a teenager interrogating you about what work you would do upon always had such confidence as you described your desire to build engineering skills into the lives of Christian youth. by the time you moved to cabinet making i was disillusioned, compelled to distance myself from you and from the confusion i felt, the shifting of what i was so sure was right, your right. but even admist all of that smoldering loss, i still i felt these tinges of...okay i have it now...ADMIRATION.  admiration for the way that you released the one good thing and embraced a new good thing. you created another vision for your life. just like that. no ego, no angst. just the warm solid actionable embrace of a new venture that was tangible. karen, there's a pleasure that comes from creating something with your hands, something that endures, a finished product....these were your words when as a young woman i re engaged long enough to question you. you took the time without judgement to explain how as much as you loved your military career, it never afforded you that type of job peace and release, and then I'm sure you added for emphasis the factoid you'd gathered somewhere about how truck drivers have some of the highest reported job satisfaction, because when they drop off a load, they experience completion. which so many jobs don't give you but that making furniture will....

well here i am, the same age you were when you left the military to forge a new life, stumbling through the confusion of a business that doesn't need me in ways that are comfortable or familiar, discovering the visceral pleasure of working with my hands finishing the massive construction projects your engineering sons created with that irresistable designer husband of mine.

ironic, huh!?

you then, me now.

four fours make 44, twice.

ate carrot cake in the dark tonight, twinkling yellow candles, one in each corner, both pups beside me, tim sleeping behind me, windows open in the night breeze, tree branches in my forward vision, uplit by a low slung string of lights, nothing but open possibilities between me and them.

44 is going to be the best year I've had in an age. i feel it in my bones.

sleep well, my dear dad!


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