Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fathers Day

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A man's desire for a son is usually ... the wish to duplicate himself in order that such a remarkable pattern may not be lost to the world. - Helen Rowland


First photo taken of father and son. Happiest day of our lives.
Thanks to Sue or April for taking this photo. It is a treasure.

I love the quote at the beginning... it could be taken as though the man is prideful thinking that since he is so wonderful, he has to have a son to be JUST like him. Because I am the one who chose that quote... I chose to be the one saying that he is a remarkable pattern... so I chose to read it as how grateful I am that we had a son so that the wonderful qualities of Aaron can be carried on so that Aaron's memory and legacy are never lost.


I expected Fathers Day to be a tough day, but I didn't expect it to be as tough as it was. I have been on the verge of tears all day long. I have gone through photos again and again today and can't stop crying when I think back on the memory that goes along with each photo. I just doesn't seem fair that we only got to spend two Fathers Days together after Aaron Jr joined us in this world. I have been going through photos this week trying to find ones to post for Fathers Day and I have been amazed at how many things we were able to do together as a family in the two short years that Aaron Jr was here with us before his Daddy passed away. Because I was the one BEHIND the camera for most of the photos we have have (which I am more grateful for now)... I pulled out loads of photos of Aaron and Aaron Jr. I pulled out some because they are just so precious and I pulled out others because I loved seeing so many things that Aaron Jr got to do with his Daddy even though he won't remember. He will have these photos to show him though, and to cherish. Here are some photos that show the things that Aaron was able to teach to Aaron Jr in those short two years.


a love for creatures great and small...


a love for adventure and physical activity...


how to 'rock' climb...


how to tree climb...


how to kick a ball...


how to catch a ball...


how to catch a fish...


how to show off his catch...


how to ride a horse...


how to mow a lawn (while playing football)...


a love for any body of water... great or small...


his handy man and mechanical skills...


how to drive a car...


how to drive a truck...


personal hygiene...


a love for camping...


how to plant and nurture a garden...


how to reap what you sow... and then cut faces into them...


how to cut and stand a Christmas tree...


hairstyling tips...


his love for Lake Powell...


how to find a good skipping rock... in matching swimsuits...


how to relax...


how to nap...


a love for the outdoors...


how to 'hang in there'... :) (Aaron called ME over to take this photo... it was rare that he had to call me over to take a photo. It shows how proud he was of what Aaron Jr had just learned to do.)


how to trust...


one of the most important things that Aaron will continue to learn about his Daddy is his testimony of the gospel...


the other most important thing that he will learn is how much his Daddy loved him and continues to love him...






This is one of my favorite photos I ever took of Aaron and Aaron Jr. Just an evening at home sitting on the couch and watching TV as a family... I loved the way Aaron Jr was looking at his Daddy, so I grabbed the camera. The love and adoration in the looks on their faces... it is a treasure. He looks so safe in Aaron's big, strong hands... and the love he felt at that moment would have also made him feel so safe. These photos will help Aaron Jr to have a visual knowledge of how much his Daddy loved him.

"It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was." - Anne Sexton

This quote will be true for Aaron Jr. He won't get to watch his father and learn from his living example... he will have to learn who his Daddy was and remember him from the stories and experiences of his life told to him from the memories of others.


Dad, your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever. ~Author Unknown






First Fathers Day that Aaron Jr was here for. We met our friends Rob and Kaily and their family in Lake Tahoe for the weekend. It was so much fun.


Second Fathers Day that Aaron Jr was here for... and last Fathers Day that Aaron was here for. We went and had a picnic with Aaron's family up in Mueller Park Canyon. One of my main memories from that day is that Aaron Jr wasn't feeling like himself, so he ONLY wanted me to hold him. It breaks my heart now that it was Aaron's last Fathers Day here.


Now, to this year... our first Fathers Day without Aaron here with us.
We celebrated with both Dads / Grandpas. We are grateful for our Dads. I want to thank them both for all they do for us. We love you both.




Aaron Jr with Grandpa. (my Dad)


Aaron Jr with Grandpa. (Aaron's Dad)


Aaron Jr throwing flowers on Daddy's grave site.


Aaron Jr on Daddy's grave site. We took flowers, a photo of Aaron Jr with Aaron, a letter from me, and picture that Aaron Jr drew for him. We also left a 'Ding Dong' there for Aaron. He loved Ding Dongs. He would tell me of the fishing trips he took with his Grandpa and that his Grandpa always had Ding Dongs and Swedish Fish with him, so Aaron loved Ding Dongs because they brought back such great memories. So, we left him a Ding Dong to share with his Grandpa. That is the Grandpa that Aaron is buried next to.


I realize that I have been left with a gigantic task ahead of me... to take over both jobs when it comes to Aaron Jr. It is a tiring and an overwhelming future to imagine. Sometimes when I am taking Aaron Jr to 'time out' for the umpteenth time in a day, I just get so tired. I just wish I wasn't always having to be the bad guy. I want Aaron to be here helping me in the discipline and also experiencing the joy that comes by being the parent of such an amazing little boy. I want to be watching Aaron Jr grow up together. I want to be able to share a glance at each other with excitement or pride because Aaron Jr says a new word or does something great. I want to be able to share the joys and sorrows of parenthood with Aaron. Aaron Jr has begun to hit when he doesn't get his way. I want Aaron to be able to teach Aaron Jr the importance of showing love and respect for me, his mother... and for me to do likewise for him, his father. I am the first to admit that I can't raise Aaron Jr the same as though both of us were here playing the roles in his life as mother and father, but I continue to pray that Aaron is able to be with us as much as possible. I pray that he is able to be here to guide us in our lives. It just doesn't seem like we would be left without him still playing a role in our lives. It just doesn't seem like Aaron Jr would be left without any guidance from his father. Aaron would have been able to teach Aaron Jr so many wonderful things. I know that I can teach him what his father was like and try to raise him to have the positive attributes from us both... but I hope that Aaron can be around to help me raise Aaron Jr to be the man that we knew he could become.

Why? This is the question I have asked myself countless times. Why can't he be here? Why was he taken so young? Why was I left without my husband here? Why was Aaron Jr left without a father here? Why does it hurt so badly? Why us? Why do I have to go to bed every night without Aaron by my side? This has been a very difficult week and the week ended with an extremely difficult day.

On this Fathers Day, I want to share how grateful I am for Aaron. I am grateful that he is the father of our child. I am grateful that we will be together again and be able to one day share in those joys of parenthood together. I love him. I am grateful for the stories and examples from his life that we will all be able to share with Aaron Jr. I am grateful that Aaron Jr will be able to read from Aaron's journals. There is so much he will learn about his father by reading the words written by his own hand. He will read how much Aaron loves our Savior, Jesus Christ. He will get to read his father's testimony of the gospel and how it changed his life for good. I will be able to tell Aaron Jr how much his father loves him and how grateful he was to have him as his son. He was so proud of him. He would have done anything for him. Aaron Jr will know his father... I will make sure of that.




We sure do miss you Aaron. Happy Fathers Day to you... we love you...

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20 comments:

Justin said...

It's so good to know that Aaron and Aaron Jr.'s relationship will be able to continue on. It was clear to see that Aaron loved being a dad, and he was so good at it too. Aaron Jr. is so lucky that Aaron is his dad. Those are the best genes you can get.

Emma-Kate Castricum said...

Leslie,
there really are no word, deep in your heart you know it all already...it will be hard, but you can do it.Your Aaron will be there watching on, I know that.

Always here for you following your journey,

Em

LL said...

loved every minute of that Leslie...what a beautiful post.
those pictures and your words, so touching! Aaron Junior will cherish those photos, you really can see the love Aaron had for his son, through the expressions on his face. and your comments made me laugh, espcially the pumpkin picture. You're so creative~
Very sweet!!!

The Michiganders said...

Leslie--

I have been reading your blog for several months now, but never left a comment. I have been wanting to tell you that you have been an inspiration to me.

We can't choose what life deals us. But I have been amazed countless times at the strength and persective you have chosen to demonstrate.

I can completely relate to the difficulty of being mom and dad to your son. My 2 year old son is a sweet boy, but lately he is hitting and throwing some mighty tantrums that leave me in tears and feeling like a failure. It would be so difficult to so that on your own--without another parent to give you a break. It makes me so sad that you have to. I am praying for you.

Your words have taught me to appreciate the little things more--even dirty socks left in a boat. And to take many more photos. These photos of father and son are precious.

Hang in there--strangers are praying for you and hurting for you.

Jennifer Bowman said...

Leslie:

What a beautiful post, your words move me and touch me everytime I read them. I understand how it is to have a two year old (as I have one myself) and the DAILY struggles we go through as Mothers. I can't imagine what you are going through without your sweet Aaron to come home and step in and help. I pray for you often even though we have never met. I know Heavenly Father loves you so much and Aaron jr and is so proud of you and how you are handling this all.
I am thinking of you and your sweet family, you are in my prayers.
- Jen

Karlyn said...

Leslie, I love this post. I am sobbing.
I can't imagine what you are going through, but know that you are in a lot of people's prayers, strangers even.
I love that you have so many pictures. what a true blessing.
And you are not the bad guy, and I am sure that Aaron Jr. doesn't think so either. We do what we gotta do as mothers because we love those kids more than anything. He knows, I know that he knows it is all because you love him.
Hang in there.

Kristi said...

This is one of the things that makes me the most sad about Aaron's passing. It is absolutely devastating that AJ won't have his daddy around. He was so tender with him. You and Aaron unitely cherished your little one so much. My heart breaks for you again this day.

dani said...

so sad... and so beautiful, leslie.
love and prayers,
dani

The Daly's said...

Beautiful. I am going to pick up my camera and take tons of pictures of us together with our girls. Sending love your way even though we have never met.

Anonymous said...

Always thinking. Always wishing, Leslie.

Love,

Jane

Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for you. I think of you two often and am inspired by your heart!

Rita

Anonymous said...

He has a wonderful father. I love the pic of them stylign their hair.
Liz

K&K&kids said...

Very nice. I can tell you put a lot of time and thought into this post. Bitter sweet.

Clippy Mat said...

you have made a lifetime of memories in such a short time for your son. all of the things he got to do with his dad in that time; and you captured them all. aaron jnr can always have them in his heart.
keep up your beautiful blogs and you have so many people who are willing you on.
:-))

Vanessa and Kara said...

Leslie ~ I've not visited here for a while but think of you often. I think of both of you often.

I sit here finding it so difficult to know what to say to you ~ reading this post is heart breaking and like you, I find myself asking 'why'. Why would such a beautiful family be dealt this? It just doesn't seem at all fair.

One thing that I also kept thinking is that Aaron Jnr. will be more than OK. You are obviously an amazing and ever so loving Mummy to your little man and whilst it must be so difficult, I just know you will raise him with morals, respect and most importantly, loads of love. Many children miss out on that but your boy never will. You are a superb mother and you continue to display that.

Thinking of you today and on so many others.

xx

Mindy said...

Oh, these pictures are precious!!! I loved your captions... they made me laugh, and cry. It's almost shocking to see how much bigger Aaron Jr. is now! He has grown up so much since his pictures with his daddy. I am sure that Aaron is so proud of him now, and proud of you for being such a good mom.

Love you!

Anonymous said...

priceless pictures! how wonderful to have so many amazing pictures of the short time they had together. thx for sharing your thoughts & pictures. you really inspire me to be a better wife and mother. i do not know you but truly thx for sharing your life.
-Jen

E and T said...

Leslie

Please know that I am praying for you and Aaron Jnr.

Love Elise

Joann said...

Leslie, I loved this post. The pictures are priceless. I loved every one of them. A few of them brought back a few great memories. Thinking of you every day!

Karey said...

What a wonderful post for Father's Day. I loved all the pictures, but was absolutely amazed by the garden. We've tried, but never had any results even close to yours. We love you and we love Aaron and Aaron Jr. It's hard but you'll endure it. Be strong!