Rest in Peace Dear Dad

This is by far the most difficult (read tear-stained) post I have written. Father’s Day is just around the corner and I’m missing my dad more than words can say.  We lost him over three years ago and somehow, today, it feels like it was just yesterday…..That’s the interesting thing about grief, it sneaks up on you and practically doubles you over, when you least expect it.

I am proud to call James Curtis Orr my dad.  I am doubly fortunate in that Curt was not only my dad, since I was adopted at 3 days old, he was my adoptive father by choice, by luck, by love and therein lies the beauty of adoption. My parents always told me I was “chosen” and that makes a kid feel pretty special. I smile at my good fortune to have this kind-hearted, intelligent, hard-working, loving, faithful man as my dad.






Dad and me with our Bower cousins

He loved being a dad to Heidi and me (yes, I’ll come clean-I’m the brunette)


…..and loved being a grandpa to Jared and Jordan (maybe a wee bit more).




My dad was hopeful.  He walked me down the aisle (more than once) and never laughed when I asked him to ‘give me away’.

Okay, so maybe once he joked about a ‘no returns’ policy.



He loved jelly beans and loved that his gift was packed in his favorites.

 Our family trip to NYC, to celebrate Mom and Dad’s 50th Wedding Anniversary, in December 2007.

We had no idea it would be our last trip together, but we are so grateful for the memories.

Our next Christmas was spent in the hospital, following a devastating cancer diagnosis for my dad. He had a headache, with ringing in his ears. Within days he was diagnosed with lung cancer that had metastasized throughout his body. Time was very short, with only 19 days from diagnosis until the end, on January 4th, 2009. Despite the shock, pain, and sorrow, we were blessed to share some special memories, fun stories and even a bit of laughter.

On Christmas night, my husband, Scott, and I stayed at the hospital as dad told long ago stories of growing up in South Carolina. He was at peace. At nearly 10 pm I said, “We should let you get some sleep, dad, it’s 10 pm”.  He looked up at the clock and said, “It’s only 9:50, what’s your hurry?” with a big grin. Hugs and ‘love yous’ followed as we left for the night. From that day forward, cancer, pain, and medications took over, but I will always be grateful for the memories of our last memorable day, Christmas day, together.

And life is….

forever changed………

Cool cat……………………

 Rest in peace, Dad. I miss you more than words can say…..

  I have faith, as I know you do, that we will meet again.

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Heather Lindstrom

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What a perfect and loving tribute. Sending you much love dear Heather…. through my own tear filled eyes.


Heather, thank you for visiting my post, and prompting me to visit yours. I am in a funk with moving and am scrambling. But once I saw you had been on-line, I was destined to visit. Kinda like answering a phone call. And, I must tell you, I needed this visit. I had to cry as I read your words and soaked in the feelings captured in each photo. Wow. Amazing emotion and memories captured. I see beauty in every photo. I am so grateful you have these memories in your heart and on photo paper. The one photo of your dad lovingly looking at you as an infant is so absolutely heartwrenchingly adorable. He adored you, and you can tell he was so happy to be a dad. My dad passed in 2004, from a long suffering of leukemia. Yours was so quick. It appears to me that neither way was less hurtful. I am so happy you had the last night of loving moments with him in the hospital. My siblings and I had our moment together, one night before his death. All nine of us, our mom, and a few of the spouses, gathered in the dim peaceful light of his room. He wanted us to lift him and put him in a chair so he could sit up (like a man). Each one of us took our turn to kneel, sit, or stand while holding his hand, and tell him why we loved him, and what we were grateful for. He looked lovingly and longingly at each one of us, as tears poured from him, and all of us. It was a somber, but rejoiceful time. We were all immersed in a holy moment. When we left, he expressed to the nurses how much he knew he was loved. We were given that time as a gift. I am grateful you had your moment too. Thank you and forever know that I know what you are feeling! xoxo


I cried both times I read your response, Shelly. You have such a way of beautifully expressing the thoughts and emotions of a situation. I so appreciate that you understood my feelings in sharing those photos of my dad. For me they tell such a story of love, adoption, blessings and grief. Thank you for sharing the touching story of your final moments, as a family, with your dear dad. There were many blessings and an incredible memory was created of that special time. Bittersweet doesn’t even begin to describe the feelings. So grateful, so blessed….and still, the pain of loss.
You and I were on the same page…missing our dads. It’s interesting how we both posted a similar photo with our dads to start our tributes last weekend. Shelly, you and I have so much in common my friend. I’m glad we met ;) Heather xo


Those are some great shots! Good memories, too. Makes me smile.

Thanks for sharing.


Thank you Brent. That means a lot to me. We had some fun family times growing up together, didn’t we? Enjoy your Father’s day on Sunday.

Love to hear from you!