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Hello, all.  Some of you know my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in Nov. 2015.  He was given 4 months to live - they said he might see the grass turn green in the spring.  He accepted the news with grace and courage and opted to forego chemo or any treatment at all.  That was the last time he doctored.  He knew where he was going and was determined to live well whatever number of days the Lord granted him.  He certainly did that.  No rocking chair or moping for him.  He not only lived to see the grass turn green, he roped at brandings this summer, worked cattle, shot a bull elk this fall, marked his 83rd birthday and a 60th wedding anniversary in October.  He took his last horse ride on October 28th when we moved cattle 6 miles from fall pasture to home, and his last car ride on Thanksgiving.  His health failed rapidly after that, but with the help of hospice we were honored and privileged to care for him at home until he ended his earthly journey on Christmas morning.  

Knowing Dad's health was failing, Mom had decided not to have a formal family gathering this year.  Folks could just come and go as they were able.  After he died, one of the granddaughter's quipped, "Grandpa knew just how to get us all together for Christmas."   

The memorial service was yesterday.  He had planned everything nearly down to the last detail - wanting to see the video and obit ahead of time, wrote down just how he wanted things done, what he wanted sung and read, full military honors (he was a Korean War veteran), and had a couple of grandsons lead the processing ponying his riderless horse.  

He made it as easy on us as he could, right up to the last.  He never complained.  Not once.  He was distressed at losing his strength, but he gave us many moments to treasure this past year.  The Lord gave us many months when the odds were against us, in light of the prognosis.  He was a great example of how to live well in the midst of the "long goodbye."  Mom is also a tremendous example of grace, love and inner strength.  I can only hope I inherited a few of their traits.

Anyway,  that and a preemie grandson's birth in July are the reasons I've been mostly absent.  (Grandson is doing well now.)  I have quilting projects lined up.    

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Comment by Carol Vickers/OH on February 5, 2017 at 5:26pm

What a heartwarming story.  Although I am so very sorry for your loss, you can take great comfort and joy in the fact that he enjoyed life till the very end....we should all be so blessed.  Congratulations on the new baby!

Comment by Sue S. / OR on January 28, 2017 at 4:55pm

What a truly beautiful story.  Thank you for sharing.  The photo of the grandsons with their grandfather's horse really got to me.  It's such a peace when our loved ones know where they will spend eternity.  When my dad checked into the hospital for the last time, he told the registration gal that he was going home to glory. 

Enjoy those grandbabies!  How exciting to have a new addition on the way!

Comment by Joanna liguz on January 18, 2017 at 7:45pm

I'm so very sorry to hear of your dad's passing, My Prayers and thoughts are with you. Your dad sounded like a great man...It is great news about the new baby,, Congratulations!

Comment by Barbara Graham on January 12, 2017 at 10:22am

Congratulations. Working on a baby quilt will be a fun project.

Comment by J.S. on January 9, 2017 at 7:00am
I just saw where your dad passed away. I'm so very sorry. He sounded like a wonderful man who lived life to the fullest. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Congrats on the new baby, too. Your life will be full.
Comment by Gae on January 2, 2017 at 11:46am

Prayers are with you and your family.  Glad you have quilting projects lined up, sewing is wonderful therapy! 

Comment by Roxann on January 1, 2017 at 6:38pm

Trying to type through tears. My most sincere sympathy to you and your whole family. 

This is a beautiful tribute to your dad P.Q. and thank you for sharing this.

I'm speechless and my heart goes out to you. Sending prayers, and you are in my thoughts.

Comment by Barb/WI on January 1, 2017 at 5:32pm

Sorry for your loss.  Your dad amazes me.  Just hearing of his strengths inspires me.  So glad that precious grandson is thriving.  Happy quilting in 2017.

Comment by Pam/NY on January 1, 2017 at 3:52pm
Awww that's great news!!! You have some quilts to make grandma!!!!
Comment by Prairie Quilter Jan/NE on January 1, 2017 at 1:14pm

On a much happier note:  we are expecting grandbaby #3 in late June.  Our son (the one in the light hat in the picture above) and his wife are expecting their first baby.  It feels good to be able to share some happy news.  

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