Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What this is all about

I'm not really sure what I am going to do with this blog. It all seems a bit silly, and yet, very significant, to me. I cannot go further without paying tribute to the person who means more to me than any other who has ever lived. Ardie has been gone for over fifteen years now and I have lived two lives since her passing. It is impossible to express how much she meant to me when she was alive and how much I still miss her. If I ever find the faith to keep turning till all things turn out right it will be because of my love for her and the love my children show to me. I suppose I could recommend to any wife out there, if you want to be remembered as perfect, you need only die. Whatever problems Ardie and I had, other than the ones I caused, are long forgotten. I remember her only as the most incredible wife a man could ever hope to have. She seemed to care so very much for me and was so patient and loving with me. I am grateful for the passing of time. Last year I took a rather incredible hike up the upper Lewis River here in Washington. It was a beautiful, clear, fall day and during the six miles I hiked that day I saw one other person. I was passing above the river and looking down I could see how deep and clear and still the water was. I thought to myself how wonderful it would be if Ardie could be with me, and instead of feeling pain at her absence, I smiled. I have had only a few incidents where I felt her near since her death, but I see her hand in the lives of her children often. I am so grateful for her and wish to express my love in this, my first statement, to whomever may read it.

9 comments:

Stephanie said...

Wow dad. I had no idea that it was going to be all about mom. What a beautiful tribute to her. Sometimes I get caught up in feeling bad for myself that my mom died, that I forget you lost the love of your life. Dad, you've just made me so happy. Our relationship in Washington was pretty much non-exsistent, and I'm so happy that I get to have my wonderful dad back in my life. I love you so much. I really hope you can keep up this blogging thing, you write so beautifully, and if nothing else, I want to hear it all. You're the best

Mark said...

Mom sure was amazing! She might have been my mortal enemy in life, but I am everything I am because of the both of you. Reading this sure makes me appreciate Mikalann! I definitely think that I lucked-out in the wife category. I'm with Steph, you should keep up with the blogging. You have an incredible way with words.

Mark said...

Come to think of it, Steph was my mortal enemy as well! So was Hed! Does this say something of my cheery disposition as a child? Time for some inward contemplation…

Stacie Raddatz said...

So happy to read this and look forward to lots more. But I must admit, I am way too late for being remembered as perfect if I die today. I have a lot more "turning" to do and that is why I guess I am still here. LOVE your blog title. Tonight we head up the canyon for a little hike and campfire. We are using our dutch oven for dinner. Wish me luck. We'll blog about it, I'm sure. I will tell Mike to see your blog, too.

Stacie said...
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Mike said...

A few nights ago I had a dream about Mom (one of only a couple since she died), looking just like she does in this photo. She was so beautiful on that day. Whether I actually remember her best during that time of her life, or I've simply chosen it to be so, this is the image of her best burned in my mind. Events leading up to her appearance were as bizarre and incongruous as my dreams ever get, and I've forgotten them now. At some point I found myself outside at night, standing on a slight rise. In front of me was a crowd of people, dark forms walking in every direction, like spectators returning to their cars after fireworks. Standing next to me a coworker, holding a long tube over his shoulder, began benignly shooting small fireworks--the quiet, flashing kind that hurt your eyes to look at--toward the crowd, very slowly at first, then gradually faster until they followed each other in a steady stream of brilliant light. On the first flash I saw her, distant in the throng but perfectly recognizable, looking just as she did on that day. She was smiling that same smile, and it appeared that she was walking toward me, but I was blinded by the flash and couldn't tell for sure. Then again, and she was moving closer--not hurried but graceful, almost floating. I burst inside. With each flash she drew nearer, until she was only a few feet away, first showered in a radiant strobe, then becoming the origin herself. I ran to embrace her and cried through tears, "Mom, Mom, Mother!" But my shouts woke me up, and she was gone.

Stacie chalked it up as just another Raddatz-men, shout-out-loud nightmare, because I got up after and checked on all the kids like I do. This time was different though--I wanted to make sure she hadn't taken one of them. I don't know what the dream means, and I'm content to believe it was the workings of my imagination and not an actual visitation, but my emotions after I woke up were as real as if I had actually seen her, and it felt wonderful. Thanks for posting this picture Dad.

hedrad said...

I'm so happy that you have started a blog. I can't wait for more posts. Michael thanks for your post. That was powerful and something we all need to hear about. One of those tender mercies from the Lord. Dad, I'm looking forward to seeing you in about a week. Love you and miss you.

Heidi said...

I am blessed with two amazing parents. So grateful for all I learned from both of you and continue to learn from both of you. Thanks for the reminder that Mom is still an important part of our lives. I am sure she has been with Heather and I as we have loved the people here in Zambia. Next year it's you're turn to make it over here! It's an amazing place.

Mirm said...

What an amazing blog to have all of your children except your eldest to comment. Thus this is why he married me. I know that he has commented of your blog and that is why I am here. Before we got married John expressed to me how much he missed his mother and how much he loved her. It is a moment that will always remain with me. LOVED the blog and I remember Ardy very well and consider myself her daughter also. Go ahead ask her she will agree... Told ya so! Thanks for inspiring me to hold on to the memories and time that I have with my mother who I love with all my heart. John keeps praying for her because he knows what a nut case I will be when she passes on. I can no longer see the page anymore so I will close in letting you know how proud of how you have changed your life and the direction that you are heading. Love ya tons Dave.