For now that is enough...

I’ve been away from my blog since before Christmas. Most days are filled with job responsibilities and regular household chores there is something in me that seems different not all together me. I keep thinking that things will get back to how they always were. That life as I’ve known it good or bad will return, and all will feel normal. Then I realize my life isn’t normal. It will never look like it did. My life will never have Evan in the spaces he usually occupied. EVER. I go back to those spaces hoping to find him…to sense his presence. It’s hard to describe to people how your mind works after your child has gone. I look at photos and think to myself it feels like he is here. But there is such an emptiness. There is such emptiness in the spaces he once inhabited. There is an emptiness in the world since he left. My words feel hollow…without real form or bones to help them take shape. I was driving this morning, and I had this feeling of everything continues, but yet my heart wants to go backward. I want to recapture what once was and bring it into the future to live with me here. I want Evan to come home. I’m learning to navigate the parts of me that are healing and the parts that are gaping wounds. I’m trying to find and listen to my voice and yet I want to be a voice for my son too so that he is not forgotten. Saturday mark many anniversaries-it’s my Dad’s 2nd birthday in Heaven. It also is 822 days since Evan was taken off life support to give life to 5 others. As I've walked out my journey, I also realize many parents/siblings that are walking out the same feelings, anniversaries, the same emptiness, the same longing that our family has. I say this for understanding. That I can bring you along with me as a conscientious/thoughtful/ observer.

To be mindful that we miss our person(s). That we want to hear their name. That you can't stop our pain. (IT WILL BE FOREVER) That we're not stuck. We are living each moment of each day with a wound that is healing but will always be there for us. Even if you can't see it. That you can show us love by sharing stories about our person. We're doing our best, and sometimes that may not be enough. For now, my soul is healing along with the soul of our family, and that is enough.

Gwen Turns One.

Little Gwen was one of my Fresh 48's that I did in 2016. Her momma was a trooper as she labored many hours before this princess decided it was time to arrive on the scene. I was so impressed that both Natalie and Aaron seemed at ease during the first few hours after Gwen's arrival. I was thankful for a healthy birth and for two parents who I knew would be all about parenting this little. Fast forward to this year and time has gone full speed ahead and Gwen will be turning one in May. Thank you~Aaron and Natalie for including me in this special family event. There is nothing more special then seeing one of the newborns you photographed turn ONE!! 

The Greatest Generation lost one of their own in February.

On the last day of February our family said goodbye to my Dad...Harold Dyson Rutter, Jr. He passed away on Sunday, February 12, 2016 at the age of 88 years old, surrounded by loved ones, at his home in Fort Mill, SC.

He was born in Altoona, Pa. on February 9, 1929 to Harold Dyson Rutter, Sr. and Clair Helen (Croyle) Rutter.  He was the first-born son of four children to whom he was very close.  His oldest sister Joyce Arlene (Rutter) Shiplett lives in Kingston, PA; and youngest brother Gene Rutter lives in Raleigh, NC. His youngest sister, Edris (Rutter) Colyer, precedes him in death.

Harold never met a stranger he didn’t like, was a seeker of information, a treasure trove of knowledge and was always ready with a hug or time for a conversation. Upon graduating from Altoona High School, he volunteered and was accepted to the US Navy during WWII for the Submarine Service.  He felt fortunate to serve on three different submarines, the USS Corsair SS435, the USS Trumptfish SS425, and a captured German U-Boat, USS Ex-U2513.  

He served on the USS EX U-2513

He served on the USS EX U-2513

Following his honorable discharge from the service he attended Penn State University and worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad. It was during this time that he met and married the love of his life Dorla Rose Albright on May 26, 1956 in Winchester, VA. They both enjoyed playing card games, dancing, singing, Mexican train and their family.

International Business Machines (IBM) employed him from 1959 until 1991. During his time with IBM he worked in both New York and Virginia but spent a majority of his career in San Jose, CA as an engineer.  Following retirement and years of global travel, he and Dorla moved to Fort Mill, SC where they made great connections in the American Legion, the VFW in Fort Mill, the Fort Mill Moose Lodge and the Carolina Piedmont Submarine Veterans Base. These organizations of caring peers continued to be a part of his life especially as his health began to fail.

He is survived by his wife, Dorla Rutter, his children; John Hammel and wife Jean of Lake Wylie, SC; Tom Hammel and his wife, Debra of Benson, AZ; Randy Rutter of San Jose, CA.; Dawn Kincade and husband, John of Vacaville, CA. and Shawn Rutter and his wife, Rebecca of Charlotte, NC.  Harold’s family has extended to 14 grandchildren and countless great grandchildren. His grandson, Evan Kincade of Vacaville, CA. precedes him in death.

I want to thank my Uncle Gene Rutter for all that he did as he officiated, organized and helped us honor our Dad in a way that was traditional but also showed the fun, adventurous and loving man that he was and will always be to those who loved him.

We love you, Dad. Thank you for the love that you gave so freely to all who knew you and for your service to our country.