Monday, August 20, 2012

Life is Good

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

More cribbage...

...and cousins playing a rowdy game of 3-13

Discovering the wonders of nature

Boy cousins. No other words necessary.

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.)


  1. i'm sorry for your loss, but so glad you were there to spend time with him and the rest of the family. and what a great family! love that shot of the 9 men and their mom. and congrats to you and your hubby! wonderful! you are so beautiful, barbara. :)

    1. Thank you! It has been an emotional two weeks, that's for sure, from one extreme to the other. But absolutely beautiful and full of love.

  2. Much to celebrate including Pop's life and the many fond memories.. old and in the making. Hugs to you, Barbara.

  3. I am so very sorry for your loss Barbara.
    As I look through these wonderful photos, i found myself thinking that Pop must be smiling.

    P.S. You and Tom are a beautiful couple. Happy Anniversary to you both.

    1. I believe he is, with the same old twinkle in his eye I loved! Thank you, Lisa!

  4. Barbara, I'm so sorry for the loss of your father in law and in the same sentence, what beautiful photos of the Sad/Happy gathering. Nine sons? OMG! Those two had some VERY busy years. I'm trying to imagine feeding nine growing boys?

    Happy 30th Anniversary!

    1. They ran a tight ship!! Think powdered milk and lots of tuna noodle casserole, which Tom hates now. You know 9 boys had to be easier than 8 boys and 1 girl, though, right?

  5. Life goes on, and full of smiles.

  6. so sorry for your loss .. he clearly was a well loved man .. 9 sons? WOW .. i am betting Pop would have loved to see his whole family together like that celebrating his life .. hugs to all .. and belated happy anniversary to you two!

    1. The wonderful thing is most of us were together just two weeks before, celebrating milestone birthdays and anniversaries. He did love it, and I'm sure he loved having us all together again, supporting each other!

  7. Barbara,
    My condolences to you and your husband on the loss of his father.I was excited to see the K OF C at the visitation. My husband is a 4th degree knight.

    And congratulations to you and your husband for 30 years of marriage.May you have many more.

    Prayers to you for a good job!


    1. Pop was a knight, but I can't remember what degree. The Knights did a wonderful job at the visitation and again at the funeral. They meant a lot to Pop. Thank you so much for your prayers and sweet wishes, Charlotte!


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