My Dad & Gina

I've been pondering over and over about making a special page for my dad.  Not that he isn't special, because he IS and always will be in my heart with my mom.  It's just that when I started this blog, I dedicated it to her memory as she no longer is with us.  My dad is with us still, so I just didn't know what angle to take with the page.  He and my mom have always been a big part of my life.  I still see in my mind this:
My mom and dad were married for almost 40 years when she died.  That is such a hard pill to swallow!!  She was such a big part of our lives.  My dad and mom were like peanut butter and jelly.  They just went together.  And now that she's gone,  our lives are forever changed.  I will forever grieve that my mom and dad can no longer be together.
Here is our sweet little family.  My mom (Cindy), me and my dad (Bob).  I think I was 7 yrs old here and waiting for my front teeth to come in!
I had just come home from the hospital after having one of several bouts of croup.  Yuck!!

I was always a "daddy's girl" from day one.  I remember how he'd swing me on his legs; he'd be flat on his back and me on his feet, high in the air.  It drove my mom nuts, but I enjoyed it immensely.  We'd do it behind her back, then.  Remember that, Dad?  Or when I was in college you helped me study with flash cards and made it where I passed Chemistry AND pharmacology!  I loved how you made it into a game show.  No other dads I knew did that for their children!!  Mom always said that between you and Grandma, you two were my number one cheerleaders!  I could do NO wrong and if I did, I had a damn good reason for it.  :0)

When you left for Michigan on May 13, 2009 I felt like you had abandoned me.  I know it's silly, but that's just how I felt.  I had no input or say so in your decision.  Now, looking back, I realize it was the best thing for you to do.  You are thriving so much in Michigan and I think I know why!!!   I'm really so very glad you found a woman that makes you happy.  She could never replace my mom, but then, nobody can replace Gina, either.  Everyone has special qualities uniquely their own.
My dad and Gina.

Waitin' on their food.  I believe this was the first picture taken together.

 Dad, I have forgiven you for the past when we (you, Mom and I) would have those fights, mostly related to your pill use.  I know you were  trying the best that you could, but addictions are hard to beat.  I am sooooo very proud of you now for actually beating your addictions!!  Through the grace of God, he has answered a prayer for me.  I love talking with you on the phone and you sound so clear headed.  Keep up the great work!!!  I haven't heard that old slurry dad in a long time...hopefully he's left the universe for good!!
Gina and my dad in Walmart at Christmas.
 Dad, you have chosen a beautiful, kind and thoughtful person to love.  Gina could never be my mom, but I do have lots of room in my heart for a friend AND a step-mom!  I love talking with Gina three-way with my dad.  It sure does brighten up my week.  You can tell how much they love each other, even over the phone.  Dad in Michigan, Gina in Oklahoma and me here in Arizona.  So far Dad has traveled to Oklahoma twice, and they are talking about more permanent arrangements.......
I couldn't be happier for my dad and Gina.  She even has a beautiful engagement ring he gave her, too.  :0)  No set date yet, but hopefully it will be after my bariatric surgery so I can go to the wedding.  I would love that.  It would break my heart to have to miss it!!
My dad by the Route 66 sign.  He loves that road!!  Gina took him to an attraction in Oklahoma called "Blue Whale."  It was a swimming park and closed down I believe in 1988.
Yikes!!  Wouldn't want to meet this whale in real life!!
I LOVE this picture!  It is so clever, just like my dad!!
Gina has helped me, too, in so many ways.  She's a great friend and super easy to talk to.  I know she really likes me, too.  I believe she is helping us both get over losing my mom, little by little.  I'll never forget Mom, but I'm also glad that Dad has someone in his life that he can talk to like he did with Mom.  I can't be my dad's wife....but Gina can talk with him in ways I can't.  I wish you both the very best and I love you very much!!!

For those of you wanting to learn more about my dad's side of the family, click here.
A sweet moment (even with Caz's tail in the picture!)

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