Monday, May 25, 2009


Today we remember those who have sacrificed and are sacrificing for our country. More than that, our family is remembering Dad Carlson.

I came upon some pictures taken by a Patrick Brueggeman of the parade we would attend every year in LaValle, Wisconsin. Amongst his pictures was this one he caught of Dad Carlson getting some candy. He may have been helping Nike snatch some candy that was thrown at the parade or he may have simply been gathering some of the "hard" candy that the kids didn't pick up. He loved those types of candies. The thing I absolutely love about this picture is his smile. There are not very many pictures we were able to capture of Dad smiling. It's not because he didn't smile. He was just among the list of those who didn't smile for pictures.

When I think of Rod's dad smiling, I will always remember his death. Last Memorial Day when I watched as the life left his body, I was strangely aware of his smile. As we all gathered around his bed watching the Cubs game and talking, I was sitting at his feet. The National Anthem was playing and he smiled. He then smiled again and left this world peacefully. I am certain of the fact that he met our Savior. I personally cannot think of any other reason to smile as life is leaving one's body. His smile was so genuine, so peaceful and a memory that warms my heart which I will forever cherish.

As I remember his smile, I get to look forward to eternity. Smiles will be abundant. Laughter and joy will be full. And why wouldn't it be? We'll be spending eternity with God together.

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