Holidays, 2015

Holidays, 2015
A Winter Scene - red door, a dusting of snow, and a vintage bicycle

Saturday, October 29, 2011

to say Good-Bye

Yesterday was really, really hard.....but I know we did the right thing.....Thank you to everyone who left me wonderful comments yesterday on Twitter---your words of support touched my heart.  On behalf of my daughters and myself....THANK YOU.

After the long drive down there, the chapel stood tall....I've been in it many times before, but never did I think I'd be in it for this reason.  The United States Air Force Academy did an outstanding job of honoring one of their own, and it made my daughters feel so loved yesterday.  If you'd like to know more about the construction of the chapel and why it looks the way it does, please click on this LINK.  It's quite interesting.

The female chaplain who officiated the service was incredible.  We spent a couple of hours this week talking about my former spouse's life and his relationship with his children and with me.  She learned of the joyous times and them most difficult of times.  She learned of his hobbies, his joys, his passions and with that, she created a series of Bible passages, words of reflections, meditations, and messages that helped to create a sense of peace for our family.  Even though our marriage did not last 'til death do us part,' we did spend 28 years together (in total), 21 of which were in marriage, and I felt that I needed to honor his life for my daughters and for him, especially since the tragic circumstances surrounding his death left much to be desired in the way of honoring ANY human life.

The flags at the AFA were all flown at half staff.  An honor guard played taps and there was a 21 gun salute.  We chose Josh Groban's 'You Raise Me Up' as one of the songs to be played, along with "When I Cry" by the Gaither Vocal Band.  My middle daughter wanted "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me.  I spoke for about 5 minutes and my youngest daughter spoke a bit longer.  A few of his cadet graduate friends came to the service who live in the area, including a 3-star general and his wife.  Some people I hadn't seen in years, and it was uplifting and comforting to see them there.  Afterward, we had a reception at my oldest daughter's house who lives about 10 minutes from the Academy.  There, we all shared memories and the sadness turned to laughter....smiles, healing.  It was absolutely wonderful....

I wasn't able to capture any of the photos during the service as it was way too emotional; however, I captured some photos on the drive there so you can see the chapel and the chaplain took a family photograph.  Rod and I spoke of whether or not he should be there; he wanted to support us in the best way possible and I felt it best that he stay at home and let us deal with this one the way we went through it.....the girls and I.  Two of my daughters are married.  Their husbands were there, along with my middle daughter's boyfriend, who, in my opinion, can join the family any time he is ready....(he's a blessing, indeed)

One of my granddaughters was there, too.  We felt that the 6 year old might not be able to understand all the tears for someone she had never met.  I hope that we can now move forward and count our blessings even louder than is short.....enjoy each and every moment.  xo Joann

The Colorado Springs area did not get as much snow as we got

the stationary aircraft on the USAFA grounds

the snow-covered playing fields with the chapel in the distance

approaching the chapel

middle and youngest daughters say prayers after the service

granddaughter stands beside the flowers and photographs

My daughters and I

the back of the church and the huge pipe organ that the organist played for us during the service

the family who came to the service
                                                              THANK YOU.....xo


  1. Dearest Joann, I'm sorry that I didn't leave you a message but you were in my thoughts. I think you did a fantastic thing - you & the girls, and I hope that you'll all be able to move forward now with closure & peace. I'm so glad that the service gave you all that it seems to have. You're a wondserful person and an amazing Mom. Love you! xoxo

  2. Dear Joann,

    What a special thing you did...honouring your ex husband with a memorial service for your family and friends. I enjoyed seeing the photo of you, your girls, their partners, and your granddaughter. I'm glad the service brought out the much needed closure you and your daughters needed to heal. Enjoy the rest of your weekend sweetie.

    Rosinda xoxo

  3. Sweet Joann, I am so happy that it went smoothly. The chapel is stately and to have the service there was so fitting. It sounds as though the chaplain did such a wonderful job and took time to talk with you and the girls in depth. You can be proud of how you honored him, holding your head high and being there for your daughters. May peace now be in your hearts. Many blessings and love, Sherry xoxo

  4. Gosh I had no idea you were doing something so formal and public. I thought you'd gather together at home and do it with your girls and extended family. That was very kind of you. I'm glad that it went well though and that it gave you some peace. Now you will feel lighter and freer I hope. ♥

  5. Dear Joann,

    You and your girls continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I hope through this, they are able to find some closure for themselves and have peace! You are an astounding woman and mother, to do this for your girls, there are others who would not go to such depths to ensure their children had a chance for peace. I am thinking about you! Jennifer xx

  6. This is so touching, Joann, and you're to be admired for doing it. I know it will mean a great deal to you and your girls to have shared this, both now and in the future as you look back. xoxo


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