smiles instead of tears

So, I had a pretty terrible day yesterday.  I woke up so sad about my Dad and then when I was looking for something in a random drawer, I found the speech he did at my wedding.

Naturally, I read it.  And then I regretted it.

I couldn’t stop crying all day.  And I don’t mean teary-eyed cry.  I mean, full blown, head on the steering wheel for 10 minutes because i couldn’t imagine going into work ugly crying.  

I felt sick to my stomach missing my dad all day long so I decided to flip through my recent pictures on my phone and thank goodness I did because so many of them brought smiles instead of tears.  

[One of my dad’s best friends sent us this picture.  SO handsome 🙂 ] 

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[When everything was going on with my Dad, my in-laws thankfully took Bea for the week.  I couldn’t stop laughing when they sent this picture because this creepy face is the face my mom hates but my dad LOVES.  He would always try to get her to make it and now she does it all of the time.]

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[This picture was taken about a month earlier at one of my closest friends wedding.  My dad got so teary when he saw their note on each table that instead of favors, the couple made a donation to our #BEAstrong fundraising efforts.  Still one of the most thoughtful things anyone has ever done.]

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[My Dad was always in an “ICE” battle with my cousin’s husband, Richard.  ALWAYS.  My sister pulled one out after the funeral and it was absolutely perfect.]

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[One of my best friends Dad was one of my Dad’s best friends too – did you follow that? They loved to smoke cigars together and at each one of our weddings my Dad brought a box of this certain type of cigar for everyone to enjoy.  My friend’s Dad brought the same exact cigars and passed them around after the funeral.  He then took the last one and passed it around for each guy to take a puff before setting it on the table for my Dad.  He also poured him his favorite drink – American Honey and put it on the table for him as well.]

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[This texting exchange put such a smile on my face.  My Dad hired Tom out of college and they worked together for years.  My dad talked about him a lot when we were growing up and although my Dad rarely kept in touch with many people, he and Tom would connect about once a month.  Right when everything happened I looked through my Dad’s phone and saw that he had texted Tom recently so I got his number and called to tell him what had happened.  He was devastated and drove from Louisville for the visitation.  So so thoughtful but it felt so good to talk with someone who knew my Dad so differently than I did.]

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[My parents have a dinner club with 6 other couples that they have been friends with since college.  They started dinner club the year they graduated Miami and meet for dinner about 6 times a year.  They are an inseparable group and one that i’ve obviously grown up with.  The night after the funeral they had Dinner Club and invited us girls.  It was SO comforting being around people who’ve known my Dad as long as we have (even longer I guess!) and who have been such a great support to my mom.  They gave each of us girls a wish lantern and a marker to write a note to Dad and send it up in the sky to him.]

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[And these 2 snoozing away.]

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[My sister was supposed to have a 250+ person party at Hyde Park Country Club on July 31st to celebrate her wedding.  When all of this happened with Dad she decided to cancel the party because she wanted the last memory of her wedding to be when Dad was a part of it.  So, instead, the 7 of us went to Jordan’s office for drinks and apps and then headed over to Sotto for a family dinner.

The 7 of us have spent so much time together and it has been great.  It is so nice being around your core group that feels the same way you do about everything.  It’s even better when you have moments of laugher and just happiness – especially during times like this.]

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[These balloons are STILL hanging up in my house and I can’t bring myself to take them down.  They are just a great reminder.]

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[One of my best friends snapped this on her flight to Cincinnati.  She said she knows it was Dad giving her a sign, 🙂 ] 

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[Okay, how cute is this?  For sure put a huge smile on my face this week.  This was from an extremely thoughtful friend who also sent me a watercolor of Jordan, Bea and I from when we were spending so much time at Cincinnati Childrens.]

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[And this.  This is everything.  For birthdays, valentines day, etc my dad would ALWAYS just sign his card “Love, Dad”,  That’s it.  No note.  But for some reason he wrote this adorable note for Bea’s LIVERversary that accompanied the necklace.]

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[Smile overload.]

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[And Jordan and I had a date night over the weekend which hasn’t happened in FOREVER.  We went to Red Feather and had such an amazing meal.]

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[And just when 6pm rolled around and I still couldn’t get my crying under control, I received this extremely thoughtful package containing these guardian angel wings from a friend.  It truly turned me in the right direction.]

#BEAstrong

Hillary

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