I think part of the healing process for me
is to look back at old pictures and remember the family stories.
This picture is from 1955, we lived in Framingham Massachusettes then.
I am sure here you can see the resemblance I have to both my mother and father.
My dad had blue eyes, my mom hazel.
My eyes are a greenish brown
but the rest of the facilal features and hair coloring is a wonderful mix from the two of them
just as are my children are a wonderful mix of my husband and I.
In this picture my Dad as a baby taken in 1930 on the right and me on the left taken in 1956.
Heres one more with my Dad on the right taken in 1937 and
me in my Easter outfit taken around 1959.
My sister Bonnie is 3 years younger than me, here we are both in our Easter bonnets.
I think I am about 9 years old here so Bonnie would be 6.
A year later my third sister Laurie was born, we are 10 years apart.
Unfortunately I don't have many pictures from those years.
When I was is High School my parents were both involved in the local theatre group.
They talked me into trying out for the mute clown in the play- "The Red Shoes".
Here is a picture of my Dad in his high school years and me as the clown in 1969.
(Note the resemblance to the clown)
During this time I remember developing black and white photographs together in the basement, learning to repair lamps and the wearing of tin foil pyramids as a humorous anecdote.
I am pretty sure he read too many Kurt Vonnegut books.
Here we are in the very early 70"s, my Dad's 3 girls.
Left to right: Bonnie, Laurie, Heather
This was the year I was away at college and came home for Christmas Break broke.
I had to be creative with my gift giving.
My Dad's favorite music was "The William Tell Overture",
the theme from the Lone Ranger.
He used to play it on Saturday mornings while we all gathered the rubbish
and packed it in the old station wagon to drive it to the dump.
So, I wrote to the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump,
(the rhythm of the opening theme)
around toilet paper rolls
and stuffed them in a garbage bag with lots of crumpled newspaper.
I remember him laughing so hard he cried.
In 1975 I married my husband of 36 years, John.
Here is one of many really bad candid wedding shots.
From left to right: My mother-in-law Fran, My husband John, Me, My Mom Alice, my little sister Laurie (only 10 years old), my Dad, my sister Bonnie and my Best Friend Gina.
Dig the psychodelic bridesmaid dresses, the floppy hats
and those (Austin Power's) Baby Blue Tuxes?
Here are my sisters and I at an Easter gathering a few years later.
We all have some of my Dad's looks and humor.
Here is a glam shot where we have our "Easter Candy lip stick" on.
From 1979 to 1982 I made my Dad a grandfather twice.
Left to Right: front;
my grandfather (Robert H Brunton Sr) and grandmother (Dorothea Harding Brunton,
my husband John , me holding Jessie my 2nd born.
And in the back; my sister Bonnie holding Corrie my first born, my Dad and my sister Laurie.
At this time my mom and dad had divorced and I didn't see my Dad very often.
We made the most of the times we did see each other.
Here we are at my sister Bonnie's wedding dancing.
My Dad moved to Washington State and shortly after that
so did my sister Laurie to go to college.
He loved hiking and camping in the mountains.
I spent a few weeks almost every summer visiting with my girls and he got to be "Grampy".
My girls remember overhearing his horror stories though the open window
when they were supposed to be in bed sleeping,
while Dad and I slipped into his hot tub after a long day of hiking or sight seeing.
One summer he told about all the cyotes and mountain lions
that were in the woods where we were camping out by Lake Roosevelt on the Columbia River.
My sister Bonnie was there visiting too.
When we went to bed in the pop up trailer that night my sister and I were whispering and
having trouble falling asleep because my Dad and Jessie were having a snoring duet.
My Dad had the low notes and Jessie the high.
One of us said, "Some cyotes huh?"
and we giggled so hard the entire camper felt like it was going to start moving down the hill.
Here he is trying to steal Jessie's bag of popcorn.
And here is my dad, Laurie, Jessie (hidden in back) and Corrie,
all sucking their thumbs with Jessie and her "blankie".
Looks like we are at the airport waiting to go home.
In 1988 my husband and I and our girls moved to Washington
and spent more time with my Dad than we had in years.
I am grateful for that time
even though that is when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease
and his life slowly became more and more limited.
We moved to Las Vegas in 2003 and again I did not see my Dad as much.
My last visit was in 2010.
Here we are both a wreck.
I had to interrupt my trip to go rescue my daughter in Iowa from her broken marriage.
This is a terrible picture but you can tell that Parkinson's took a lot out of him.
He couldn't even smile anymore.
I believe he is free of the suffering and happy where he is now.
I hold all the good times dear in my heart and hope to see him again.