Friday, March 15, 2013

A Gift In Memory Of Dad

My Dad's mug converted into jewelry by Suzie Melbraaten Warner
 Today, I got a package with four necklaces in it.  It was a gift from a talented friend who has a gift with glass-working.  Suzie made the necklaces from a shard of old brown pottery from a mug I used to see my Dad carrying around as he sipped Sun Tea in the Wyoming summers.

My Dad , Paul Edward Miller, was a younger sibling in a family with a dozen kids. When he was only 6 his Mother died and his oldest sister, Dorothy already was married and had children of her own, but she took over raising her siblings along with her family. She just told her Dad and her husband to turn their paychecks over to her and she'd make sure everyone had food, clothes and a home. Amazingly, she did it all and never asked for thanks.

Somehow, my Dad was so surrounded by love that he learned how to be the perfect friend and parent to children and everyone loved the games and adventures he would lead. Even the problems that came our way never slowed him down for long.  When Mom couldn't get pregnant after I was born, he couldn't imagine raising an only child, so adoption came naturally wen I was 4 and my brother entered the family at 6 months old.  But when he was 8 and my mom's Dr. suddenly informed her that her ulcer had a heartbeat, Dad was a bit nervous, "What? Am I supposed to hobble out on my walker to play catch?" asked the 40 year old man.

Then when he found out that this unexpected baby had Down's Syndrome, he proved once more that love ruled every decision he made, and tossed out the home health people who came to try and tell them that the only place that child should be placed was in an institution.

My family after I returned from School in Beijing China in 1987

Mom and Dad around 1962

My Dad and maternal Grandfather selling Antlers in Cody Wyoming

Born to be a Grandpa

He was born to be a grandpa but when he had four grandchildren 3 and under, and another on the way, he fought a very painful battle with a fast moving form of esophageal cancer and was gone before those grandchildren could remember how eagerly they were welcomed and how much they were adored by Papa Paul

My Dad, Brother and son

Papa Paul never got enough Grandkid time

My family on fishing bridge in yellowstone 1977

Dad pulling us in the snow for hours

Dad, turning yellow from jaundice & only3 months to live

my brother and Dad in 1979 
So Thank you Suzie for the chance to carry my Dad's memories a little bit closer to my heart.

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