Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Father and His Sons

Father's Day is bittersweet for me as I am estranged from my own and have been most of my life.  I'm at peace with it, though, and instead watch my son, my stepsons, their father, and his father show the world in their quiet way that love makes a difference.


Rick was the full-time parent to his boys when I came along, and I entered a ready-made family.  The boys were in high school, and I got to experience things that are still coming for Zack -- high school graduations, taking the boys to visit colleges, helping them stock up their first apartments....great stuff.


Ryan, the oldest, got married to his girlfriend of seven years, Jessica, on May 24th, and I promise a longer, beautiful post laden with pictures, but for now, I'm borrowing a few of photographer David Abel's photos of the amazing men in my life.





I love that Ryan asked Rick to come help him get ready, and I adore Ryan's expression.  I wasn't there, but I know my husband, and I'm sure he was a bundle of nerves trying desperately to hold back tears.  I think I've only seen this man cry a handful of times -- at our wedding, and then always about his kids because they are his world.


This is Colin, the middle son, fixing Ryan's tie.  Ryan bought Rick's cool Jerry Garcia tie.  Rick used to collect a lot of ties, and now Zack is very interested (and opinionated!) about them. Zack has a cool sense of style for someone with a degree of color blindness, and both Rick and I take his fashion advice quite seriously.  I swear he got it from watching his brothers, who are both quite dapper and cool and lately take Zack along shopping. 


I love that Ryan and Colin are close, and even though they're eighteen years older than Zack, all three have a special bond.  Immense LEGO kits (one of which was Ryan's groomsman gift to Zack) are one bond.  In fact, both boys showed up at the house after Ryan and Jessica's honeymoon to help work on a monster Technics kit together. Those are some cool brothers whose dad taught them to care about other's feelings.




Our first family photo.  I have to admit I cried when I saw just how bad I looked, and this was the best shot.  However, Rick taught his boys something else ... compassion.  Up until almost the day of the wedding, we weren't sure I'd be able to come, and all the boys have seen me in various states of yuck.  Ryan even consoled me when I was in tears at ruining photos.  All the boys have learned from Rick that love for our family is incredibly important, and while circumstances might change to affect a person's life, that doesn't make them invisible.  When the boys were in college and grad school garnering Ph.Ds, they always made time to spend holidays with us, and those holidays are some of the best memories of my life.  



The Anderson men...
Rusty (Rick's brother), Zack, Rick, Ryan, Dick (Rick's father), and Colin.


These last few photos show some filial love that I believe comes from having a loving father who spent a lot of time with his kids.  Ryan and Colin took Zack out last month to fly a kite (all *I* can do is drag a kite and take it for a recalcitrant walk).  With patience and a sense of adventure (since they just might have hit nearby airport air space they weren't supposed to), they took time out of a busy day to remember what it was like to be eleven. I'm quite sure Zack will remember this when he's the older one to, dare I hope, grandkids.




And then, through watching the men in his family, Zack has learned that love and caring are indeed masculine traits.  Last year in school, Zack's grade's community service program was to read to kids in day care.  He learned you don't have to personally know someone to show kindness and interest, things I know he's learned from the Anderson men.




I'm fortunate to have landed in this group of guys.  I've spent almost fifteen years among them, and I've learned what a father is supposed to be....someone who guides, loves, disciplines, laughs, and above all, we learn from each other.  I pray that as years go by, the bonds between us become stronger and unbreakable.


Love to my family, and the best to yours.




Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing

31 comments:

  1. Lori, you look beautiful! What a wonderful family! Oh kites, I miss them. "Ernest" and I used to fly them a lot. I should just take one out myself!

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  2. I *love* the family photo you shared. LOVE IT.

    This is such a beautiful post, my friend.

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  3. OH you made me cry with this one. Thanks for sharing your boys with us. You got one great family... and you look just fine in the pictures... really don't be so hard on yourself.

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  4. Thanks for sharing. Now as a photographer and fellow mom, You need to stop beating yourself up and being negative. I tell all of my clients this simple truth...those photos of you are not for you, they are for all of those that love you. And I promise you that when your boys and your husband and friends see those photos, they don't see what flaws you perceive. They see the woman that loves them, that goes above and beyond pain and will be there no matter what. They NEED those photos; they WANT those photos. I can count the number of photos my grandmother was in on one hand because she didn't want to be in them...and I would do anything to have tangible memories of her. I have made my mom get in the photos as much as I can, and I ignore my wrinkles and extra pounds and get in photos now because I want my girls to have them for their memories. Remember to those you love, You are Perfect even if you don't see it. Focus on the love those photos represent...that is the most important thing. I just know that in my experience, you can lose someone unexpectedly and without warning, and those photos become the Most precious beautiful things in the world. Stop worrying about it and jump in and celebrate all that photo represents. Your love, your relationships, the laughter and your tenacity and fighting spirit to make sure you were there. THAT IS BEAUTIFUL, and so are you! xx Krys

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  5. You are a lucky woman to be surrounded by such wonderful, loving guys. And I love your dress for the wedding! Perfect!

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  6. You are a lucky woman to be surrounded by such wonderful, loving guys. And I love the dress you picked for the wedding! Perfect!

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  7. I think you look great in the family picture. What a great group of men
    Happy father's day to them
    stay strong Lori
    from another Lori

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  8. You have been blessing with a perfect family Lori. So never forget that you have a NET family too =) US *hug*

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  9. You may not look like you did when you were healthy, but you you still look fine. Years from now, Zach and Ryan are not going to care WHAT you look like, only that are IN the photo. And kudos to you, for making that effort when life has been hitting you so hard. You should be proud of yourself :-)

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  10. What a great family picture! Don't be so hard on yourself.
    You are fortunate to have those that surround you, and care about you on a daily basis. Hold your head up young lady - things are going to get better!!
    Have a great week!

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  11. You look great in that photo...such a sweet smile and sparkling eyes! If you were in pain you successfully hid it from the camera for that split second. Be proud of that moment!

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  12. Krys Mann's sentiments express it so beautifully! I thought you were the younger, pretty sister! What a testimony you have in showing the true love of God. Just beautiful!!

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  13. What a great post! I think your picture is gorgeous! I loved the dress...you looked amazing! I would never have known from looking at that picture how sick you feel. I think that is what you see when you look at the picture, but I see is a beautiful woman, a lovely family and a happy occasion! Take care of yourself.

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  14. Even if you think you look bad now, just think, when you look better later, you'll look back on these and see an amazing difference.

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  15. What an incredible family you have! Such handsome guys and you look pretty darn fine yourself!

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  16. Krys Mann said it so well. I hate having my picture taken, so her words hit home for me. We're our own worst critics. When I look at the family picture with you in it, all I see is a group of people celebrating love and commitment. When your family look at that picture in the future, they'll likely remember how happy they were, perhaps how much you fought to be there and that as a family you stood together.
    PS
    I think you look lovely.

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  17. Gorgeous post Lori. When I saw the picture of you and your family (before I read your words) I thought Wow! What a gorgeous dress Lori is wearing and doesn't she look fab and happy, especially
    Considering I knew you were poorly. Thank goodness others don't see ourselves as we often do, eh? :-) what a wonderful family you have. I don't really speak to my dad either but Father's Day always passes me by peehaps as there aren't many other men in our small family. Thanks for sharing this lovely post.

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  18. What a wonderful tribute to your men and the photos -- Oh, My ... marvelous! Memories made and shared.
    Hugs--

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  19. You look beautiful in the photo, though I am not one to talk as I think all photos of me are horrid.

    What a handsome group of men. My dad was always around but never showed a loving side but we knew he did anyway.

    Thanks for sharing with us. I enjoyed seeing your wonderful family!

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  20. Weddings are such a special loving time for the whole family. Zack and his crew look sharp and I so love your dove grey dress, my daughter's wedding dress was grey too. I'm glad to hear you were able to go, even though it was hard it is still a personal triumph and your loved ones will no this.

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  21. What a beautiful post. You made me cry. You are surrounded by a beautiful, caring and loving family. And they have a beautiful, caring and loving mum and wife. Cause that's what you are. Zack is not only learning to be kind to other people from his dad and brothers, he has a great role model in you as well.
    And Missy, you are looking great in that picture!!! Just who you are: a beautiful woman, from the inside as well as from the outside.

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  22. What a beautiful post. You made me cry. You are surrounded by a beautiful, caring and loving family. And they have a beautiful, caring and loving mum and wife. Cause that's what you are. Zack is not only learning to be kind to other people from his dad and brothers, he has a great role model in you as well.
    And Missy, you are looking great in that picture!!! Just who you are: a beautiful woman, from the inside as well as from the outside.

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  23. What a beautiful family photo! You are beautiful Lori, inside and out. How wonderful that you felt well enough to participate. Family is the most important thing, you've got some very strong roots in yours!

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  24. Everyone looks so sweet together and all dressed up. I love the pics and can't wait to see more.
    Your post about you boys is great, they are close to each other and to you and that can only be good for everyone.

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  25. Everyone looks so sweet together and all dressed up. I love the pics and can't wait to see more.
    Your post about you boys is great, they are close to each other and to you and that can only be good for everyone.

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  26. This was very emotional to read - I lost my father when I was eight and have very little memories of him. You all look happy and I understand that feeling coming from the pictures after I read your post. You are beautiful and loved, there's no doubt about that :)

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  27. Lovely to read! You have a beautiful family and I think they have a beautiful mum xx

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  28. As usual a beautiful post Lori. The smiles and wonderful memories of how everyone felt that day are what it's all about! Beautiful tribute to a wonderful family. Hugs ~~T

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  29. Hi Lori, Thanx for sharing your family photo with us. I think that you look beautiful in that photo. You have such a wonderful smile and sparkling eyes. The dress that you chose is great. You are indeed a beautiful woman and you should be proud. I really enjoyed your post and wish a Happy Father's Day to Rick, even if I am a week late.

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I appreciate comments! <3

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