On our way to the wedding rehearsal Friday night we stopped at the nursing home to see my Dad for the first time. Miranda had not seen her Grandpa Larson in 4 years. What a special reunion. And I was beyond pleased at how well my Dad was doing. He was alert and peaceful and at home.
Sunday morning after the wedding we all gathered at my Mom's for some fun, family time. After a delicious dinner (noon meal is called dinner in these parts) the six siblings and Mom went to the nursing home to take family pictures with my Dad. My sister-in-law Kathy came along to take the pictures. Thanks Kathy.
Now get this... as we gathered together in the sunroom, my Dad sees me and says "well Linda!". I couldn't believe my ears. My Dad knew me! He had not spoken to anyone by name for quite some time, so this was a thrill for everyone. I can't tell you how blessed I felt. No matter what happens from here on out, for that brief moment my Dad knew me, and I could be at peace about his future.
My Dad and his girls.
My brothers Kevin and Gary visiting with Dad. The beautiful mural of Norway makes the nursing home so warm and friendly. Everyone here is so good to my Dad. I could not be more pleased with his care.
After we spent some time with Dad outside, my nephew Erik came by to say goodbye to everyone before he took off for Milwaukee.
Then it was time to say goodbye to the gang from Oklahoma- my sister Kathy and son Aaron... and her daughter Kristen's family in the middle.
I couldn't leave without taking pictures of my Dad's beloved flower gardens and sheds. This is his zinnia garden. In the spring this garden is full of vibrant colored hollyhocks. He has shared his zinnia seeds with me and I have shared my hollyhock seeds with him. Don't you just love friendship gardening!
This is the home my parents built when Ron's family moved on the farm. It's next to the farm on a couple acres and beautifully landscaped. My Dad was meticulous about his many trees, flower boxes and gardens galore.
And of course it's always hard to leave the farm. My childhood home. I bought a wooden plaque last year that says "Home Is Where Your Story Begins". And this is where my story began. And regardless of where our paths take us, all roads lead home. And I am forever pulled back to this place where it all began.