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  • During January 2012, the most significant and difficult happening in my life, by far, was my father's death on the 5th. He died one day shy of his 80th birthday.

    In May 2009, he was diagnosed with middle-stage Alzheimer's Disease. This is an unbelieveably cruel disease that not only robs one's mind, but one's body. To see the effects of it during the past 2 1/2 years (particularly during the last six months of my dad's life) was devastating and incredibly sad.

    However, despite the grasp the disease had on my dad and the effects it had on his speech and communication skills; ability to do basic living functions - like eating and walking...my daughters and I still enjoyed visiting my dad and trying to find things that he would enjoy doing.

    Up until the middle of December when he closed his eyes for the majority of each day, he still liked looking at the birds, looking at photographs, and - most important - just holding hands and knowing that we were there for him.

    When I look at the photograph of my dad's hands in mine taken three days before before he died, I also see in his hands all the support and help he provided to countless people through his work/career, volunteering, and church.

    Through my dad's hands, he provided comfort, love, and support not only to his family but thousands of other people. With his hands, he married couples who were deeply in love with one another and baptized over 700 babies....two of his favorite roles as a Deacon.

    I was truly honored by and inspired by my father's life and the impact he made on so many people. And I miss him beyond what words can even begin to describe.
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