I haven’t had a chance to blog much this week because I have been super busy, but I did want to share a piece today.
My brother Brian is in his sophomore year at Umass Lowell and he is taking a public speaking class this semester. Every few weeks they are assigned something to write a speech on and deliver it to the class. On Tuesday he sent me a message about his latest assignment called A Picture Worth A Thousand Words. He asked me to help him organize what he had written which I always happily do. The assignment was to select a photo that will be shown to the class and talk for 2-3 minutes about what that photo represents. Here you go.
If you all were to look at this picture you would see four people standing together wearing orange shirts. A family. But when I look at this picture I see and feel something very different. This is a picture of my family taken in October of 2014. Less than a month earlier, my father passed away from kidney failure brought on by diabetes at age 57. Needless to say that was still very fresh in our minds when we posed for this photo. In the weeks following his passing, everyone kept asking, “how can I help? What can I do?” My sister came up with the idea to form a group and sign up for the Step Out Diabetes Walk in our dad’s memory. This is an annual walk held at the Boston Common that helps raise money for diabetic research and helps support families that are affected by the disease. We signed up forming team PAUL, and exceeded our fundraising goal, bringing in over $1,200.00 in only 2 weeks. All of this, of course was made possible by our family and friends. Our team quickly grew to 25, all wearing matching orange t-shirts and party beads, my dad’s favorite color. One of my aunts even made little buttons with my Dad’s face on them, which was pretty hysterical, adding some humor to lighten the mood. The walk was a way for us all to remember my dad and take on the new challenge of being a family of 4. On that day, a gorgeous New England day as you can see, all of us laughed, we remembered, and we got stronger with every step we took. This, (points to screen) is our first family picture taken together….missing one of its most important members….To you this photo depicts a family. To me it is shows and symbolizes the unity of my family and all the emotions that came from this experience. My family had always been close but his death somehow found a way to bring us all closer together. Thank you. (walks away)
Ugh, I will never not cry reading this.
Today marks the 17th month that my dad had been gone. I have come to terms with the fact that I will only see him in the 3-5 dreams I have of him each month, but some weeks are much harder than others. This has just been one of those weeks. Instead of laughing and smiling at the thought of him, I find myself crying angry tears.