Old Man Winter

Why winter chose to show up on this last weekend is a mystery! My dad’s memorial service was on Saturday.

My daughter, grandbaby, sister and niece were stuck in Seattle’s Worst Blizzard of the Century. My college son was stuck in Chicago with a normal Midwest blizzard. The Seattle crew finally rented a 4 wheel drive jeep at 1am and hit I-5 for a fourteen hour drive. (My determined sister was NOT going to miss our father’s service.) My son was never able to get here. My dad’s 91-year-old brother made it from Boston, but just barely. His plane was delayed for hours because of the weather in San Francisco on Friday night! The poor dear arrived after midnight (three a.m. his time).

But…by 11 am on Saturday, we were all gathered at a little chapel. My mom chose to have a family-only service for a couple of reasons–mainly, because Dad’s Alzheimer’s had taken such a toll on everyone. We needed time together as a family to minimize that decade of AD and maximize Dad’s life in its entirety.

A beautiful little chapel in Los Altos
My dad loved to take pix. The beautiful flowers were chosen and arranged by my friend, Nyna.
A few minutes before the service.

Little Blake added comic relief.

And that’s just what happened! A wonderful hour of Dad’s favorite hymns (led by my niece), his favorite Scripture read by the sons and grandsons, and a poignant, “Heaven-focused” message by the minister.  As my niece sang “The Lord’s Prayer,” the sun broke through the clouds and lightened the chapel.

Afterwards, we had lunch together at my brother’s home and shared memories of Dad. My husband wrapped it up with a prayer, thanking God for Dad’s long life. 

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Catered by Draeger’s!

My brother Tom’s three children
My sister, Wendy, and me
My older brother, Dave, and me holding Blake
Believe it or not…we all watched my son Tad’s basketball game (live streaming) in Illinois! 

My mom on left, my son Gary in the middle, my Uncle Ed on the right
My sister’s daughters, Heather and Hilary

My younger brother, Tom, with his daughter, Kelly
My niece Heather with my daughter Meredith

 Dad would have been so pleased.  He always did have a knack for bringing a little sunshine to winter.

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Gina says:

    Suzanne, thank you for sharing about your Dad's service. It seemed to be a very special time. Enjoyed seeing the pictures of your sweet family.

  2. Michelle says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your dad! You have a wonderful family and thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos!! Peace to you and your family!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Funerals are for the living. It looks like you had a lovely service for your father!

  4. Janie Freeman says:

    Thanks for sharing your family's wonderful tribute to your Dad!

  5. Anonymous says:

    What a very sweet family you have, thanks so much for sharing with all your friends that love you and your books……you are really one of Gods special people…..


  6. Jean Smith says:

    It's just wonderful that everyone could get together for this tribute for your father. Prayers to all of you.

  7. Eileen Tarpy says:

    Thank you for sharing your special day celebrating your Father's life. God Bless!!