I've been in Florida for the past two weeks.
Another family gathering, but under sad circumstances, this time. My husband's father suffered a stroke and passed away a few days later on the 9th.
We were blessed to be at his side and to be able to stay as long as we did. After praying to find a full time job, I was giving thanks I hadn't found one yet so I didn't have to worry about the time away.
It was a time of sadness, but also a time of laughter... a gathering of family from all corners of the country.
Besides two weeks of celebrating Pop's life, Tom and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary, a nephew turned 12, and a brother turned 51.
Life goes on, and it's good. I know Pop would agree.
I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich.
~ Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford
The last photo I took of Pop, at our family gathering a month ago.
A few scenes from the past two weeks...
Pop was included in the cribbage games
Sons and a grandson raise a toast to Pop in the Kenneth P. Shallue Honorary Man Cave
(aka NWA... No Women Allowed)
I spent a morning at the beach, photographing another (younger!) Mr. and Mrs. Tom Shallue who are expecting Pop's fifth great-grandchild very soon!
The Knights of Columbus held vigil over Pop's casket at the visitation service and Rosary
A table for 45, please...
Tom with a few of Pop's brothers and sisters, raising a toast to Pop
Thirty years and still smiling (most of the time)
Nine good men and the woman who raised them, with Pop's help
...and cousins playing a rowdy game of 3-13
Discovering the wonders of nature
Uncles giving advice in the man-cave...
Happy 12th birthday, Tyler!
Happy 51st birthday, Russ!
Yes, it is.
You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.
~ Desmond Tutu
(And I'm so grateful for the gift of two beautiful families.)