My Second Stage

My second stage was distraction. I needed a purpose and to be busy.

I took on the task of doing the photo montage.

Now, my dad had 7 kids. We don’t use the word “step” never have. I know it gets confusing when trying to explain our family dynamic but it’s how we feel. My dad loved all of his kids, all of their spouses and all of his grandkids.


With 7 kids there’s a lot of photos. Once my inbox received 339 I had to send out an SOS. I said something to the effect of, “I love you all but there is no was in Sam Hill that I’m putting 339 pictures into this montage. I’m going to filter through them. If you have some that you feel strongly about let me know.”

I love this picture. I can always say, I gave him his first grand baby. Of course she was born 25 minutes before my dads birthday and there was no way in hell I was holding on 25 more minutes. He never let me forget it.

Now it was song selection time. That is very similar to standing in the Hallmark store crying while trying to find the perfect card. I don’t know how many I listened to, but I settled on 3.

I somehow produced a 12 minute montage with 3 song changes on my iPhone, with an app. I truly believe that was a labor of love and should be put on a resume because holy snot that was rough. Not only emotionally but physically.

My dad felt good in this picture. I’m so thankful for the good days he had.

I found a voicemail that my dad had left me a few weeks earlier. He was calling me back after I called him to check in on him. It said, “Hey baby just me I’m doing fine, everything is good.” Talk about a tearjerker. I imagined that he was speaking to me straight from heaven. I was somehow able to overlay that message in the montage. I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to it, but I’m sure glad it’s not on vinyl and won’t wear out.

I remember taking this picture the morning after he died. I was convinced that what I felt could be seen in my eyes. I wasn’t wrong.

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