My dad is a 20 year lung cancer survivor. And he's a joker. At my parent's 60th wedding anniversary he told Jen to get her wigs and they posed for this portrait. He wore the wig so well that my mom, who was standing about 40 feet away told one of my sisters, "I'm not sure who that woman is over there but she keeps smiling at me." 

Laughter, indeed, is a wonderful medicine. 

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Mom and Dad

Yesterday I spent the afternoon visiting my parents in the house I grew up in. This house has also been the only home my mom has ever lived in, save for a few months after she was born. This month mom will be 86. 

As I pulled out of the driveway I kept wondering (like I always do when I say goodbye) if I told them everything I am feeling. Did I tell them I love them enough? Have I thanked them for putting up with and raising me...I know I was difficult.  

Maybe it's the point in life I am at and the thoughts that come after watching a loved one pass, I don't know for sure. I do know that I cherish every second I spend with my them.  

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Jen and my nephew Tyler, 2011

I'll never forget the moment when Jen and Tyler met. It was Christmas of 2006 and we were at my parents house. I am the youngest of the 11 kids in my family (yes, the baby) so imagine my parents, their 11 kids, husbands, wifes and grandkids all in one's awesome!

Jen was sitting on the couch (and looking gorgeous, of course) when Tyler, who was 9 at the time, sat down next to her and said, "Hi, I'm Tyler." Total stud move and no fear what-so-ever of this beautiful woman!!!! So of course I stepped in and roughed Tyler up, as any young uncle would do, and let him know he better stop hitting on my lady...

That was the beginning. Jen LOVED Tyler, he was so sweet and loving to her, and she would light up when we would see Tyler or when he would send a text message telling her he loved her. At Jen's memorial service Tyler came up on his own and stood next to me for most of the night, he was a rock for me.

I know how much Tyler misses Jen and it breaks my heart. I just hope he knows how much his Aunt Jen loved him.

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