October 10, 2011

Life of Wilder: Week Forty-Five

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee
Greenest state in the Land of the Free
Raised in the woods so's he knew every tree
Kilt him a b'ar when he was only three.
Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier!

Major happy this week: Wilder + coonskin cap = the most adorable thing I've ever seen. I got this thing on sale at Gymboree and I'm pretty obsessed with it. He wasn't too sure about it at first but he's come around to it and it just makes me, and everyone who sees him in it, smile. It's also made for some cute photo opps this week...
Let's go over yonder, Grana
Exploring the wild frontier (of the yard)
People keep asking how I'm holding up with everything that's been going on, so let me just say I'm doing OK most of the time. I'm so busy during the day taking care of Wilder that I don't have much time to think about it all. Plus I think I'm still in shock -- it just doesn't seem completely real yet. We had dinner at my grandmother's house last night though with all of the family and that was pretty hard because my dad's absence was obvious. I kept thinking about how much he would have loved sitting in the living room watching the kids play, cracking jokes at the dinner table, or stingily guarding the lima beans (his favorite). 
But most of the time for now, unless I really think about it, it just feels like he's away flying like he used to. I can't totally wrap my head around the terrible fact that he won't ever be coming back. It's just too awful to consider. 

We had my dad's funeral on Saturday. It was a graveside service with many, many people who loved him from all over the country in attendance. I think it honored him well and it felt good to see his huge family, nurses from the cancer center, former police colleagues, pilot buddies, childhood friends, church friends, William's and my school friends, and so many others gathered to remember my dad. It was very emotional for everyone, but it was just what my dad would have wanted -- a heartfelt eulogy from a former pastor of ours with some laughs thrown in there of course, a beautiful day, and lots of loved ones in attendance. It was a simple, lovely way to honor him.
Afterwards our family and out-of-town guests gathered at my grandmother's house for food and fellowship. Stories about my dad and fond memories were being shared throughout the house -- no somber occasion there -- again, just what my dad would have wanted. 
My dad's two brothers, a good friend,
a niece, a nephew, and his grandson
 Three of my dad's nieces, a 
great-niece, and Wilder playing
 My mom and Wilder
When all the company was gone and it was just my dad's family left, we took twenty red balloons, went out to the field next to the house, and had our own little tribute to him. I told a story about my dad that I felt epitomized the kind of person he was.

~~ When I was in high-school, he was having a radiation treatment that caused him to be completely isolated in the hospital for a few days. One day after school he called and told me to go park across the street from the hospital and look up. As I watched a window on the top floor opened up and a red balloon flew out. It was my dad's way of connecting with me and saying Hi. That was just the type of person he was -- always finding ways to connect with those he loved and make them feel special. ~~

So out there on that sunny afternoon, with a warm breeze picking up around us, we said a prayer and then sent our red balloons up to him. It was an intimate, special end to a day devoted to an amazing dad, husband, granddaddy, father-in-law, son, brother, uncle, and friend.
Our community has reached out to us in such generous and thoughtful ways over the last few weeks through cards, meals, supplies, household chores, and prayers. It means so much to know that we are thought about and prayed over during this time. We have been overwhelmed by your support and we can never thank you enough. But THANK YOU! 

Wilder has been thoroughly enjoying all of the visitors we've been having and family we've been seeing this week. One afternoon my best friend Jinny brought her two little ones over for a playdate. They are "big kids" to Wilder (four years old and one and a half) so he was fascinated watching them run around and play with all of his toys. It's always fun getting them together. 
I think he may have had a little crush on Aniston ;)
He has also loved getting all the attention of his aunt and uncle. Wilder absolutely adores my brother and his wife and they just eat him up. I love seeing them with him. 
 Helping Uncle William work on the four-wheeler
 Um, would you please look at my child's belly?!
I think he's been getting a little too much good
Southern cooking!
 He loves looking at this photo album. Guess who's
in every singe picture... himself of course, haha
 Getting spoiled by Aunt Lauren
 Uncle William has all kinds of fun toys
My dad's brothers and their families were here this weekend so Wilder's been getting lots of playtime with all of his cousins. My cousin Elaine lives in Boise and she and her 15-month-old daughter Gracie, who we hadn't met yet, came in on Friday. It was so much fun and so special to get Wilder and Gracie together. Gracie kept wanting to hug him and help him do stuff. Those two are just too cute together.
Wilder's also been having fun with his other cousins too. He loves being the center of attention. It's going to be a rude awakening when we go back to San Diego and he doesn't have people cheering when he wakes up from every nap, haha ;)
Since we are never all together like this we had to take advantage of the opportunity and take a Dabney cousins picture the other night. It's all of us minus one, but I love it!
And Elaine and I had to get one with our babies.
I won't tell you how many takes it took to get these but, as you can see, it was a few too many for Wilder. It was his bedtime and he was D-O-N-E, haha!
Y'all, I have to tell you... Paul has been so wonderful through all of this. He has driven me back and forth to the hospital, entertained Wilder while I visited with my dad, held me when I cried, and helped out around my mom's house. He left last Sunday to go back to San Diego because his school started on Monday. Then Friday was his birthday and he spent all day flying back to Tennessee for the funeral. He got here at about 9:00 PM that night and I know he wasn't expecting much out of this birthday but I wanted to show him how much I appreciated him so we got a cake together (thanks to our neighbor and good friend, Mrs. Rebecca) and some gifts and had a little birthday celebration when he got here. 
My mom gave him, among other things, 
my dad's old school Raybans. I think
he was pretty honored to have them.
And I have to say, they look good on him!
After having his daddy here for two weeks, Wilder certainly missed Paul when he was gone last week. When he saw Paul Saturday morning the look on his face was like he'd won the lottery. It was so sweet seeing that huge grin. He sure loves his Dada. :)
Let's see... what else has Wilder been up to this week?
He adores riding in my old red wagon. It doesn't
have cupholders or seatbelts like his at home, but
I would venture to say that makes it even more fun.
He's finally getting the hang of the fine art
of sippy cup drinking.
He's still obsessed with the cat and chases
her all over the house.
He's been getting away with making
messes because that's just what you
do at your grandparents' house
 He's been thoroughly entertaining us
 He's been getting chubbier by the day
He's been helping with yardwork
And helping with housework
He's also discovered an affinity for
throwing food on the floor. Again, you
can get away with that kind of stuff
at your grandparents' house.
 He also loooves walking us around now.
Where we used to kind of lead him, now
he sticks that belly out and pulls us along
behind him. He's even run a couple of times
with me holding onto his hands. As soon
as he gets his balance down, he's going to
be taking off on his own and then there's
no stopping him after that. Pray for us.
 He had his first runny nose today, ugh!
Our 10 1/2 month healthy streak is over :(
But he was a happy boy anyway
Tonight I took Wilder over to Paul's grandparents house to play and eat dinner with them and his dad. They all just adore him and passed him back and forth between them all night. He loved the good food and their attempts at spoiling him rotten.
The pointing has reached a new 
level of ridiculousness now
Waiting on dinner with Daddy G
Oh! And the best new thing he's started doing... saying Mama! He actually started this a couple of weeks ago but somehow I forgot to mention it. Sometimes he says it to me and sometimes he says it just for fun but it totally melts my heart either way. 

Here are a few more cute pictures from this week...
Baseballs and little red wagons -- doesn't
get much more American than that
Crazy morning hair
 Laughing deviously because he
wouldn't keep his hat on for a picture
 I finally learned the key is to distract
him and then put it on him
 I'm coming to pop your balloon, Tad
Me and two hard-working dudes
Alright folks, if you've even read this far, sorry for such a long post but we've had a busy week. Thank you again for your prayers for my family. We're hanging in there. Hope everyone has a good week!

1 comment:

  1. Such a cute post and, yes, I did make it all the way to the end! :-) I love reading all about the week, even though I've finally had the opportunity to experience most of it with you.


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