...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.



We went to the ICU last Tuesday to see Aaron's father. When we learned there was nothing more they could do, it felt as if all the love and sadness inside of us burst and then collided altogether. And Ron took some of it with him - when he took his last breath. Our lives shifted. And I hurt all over.


For the past 10 years, Ron has been battling cancer... and through prayer and staying positive, he continued to be very much present in all of our lives - putting us first. From the marriages of his children, to the birth of his grandchildren - he was right by our side with a smile... giving us strength, wisdom, and laughs with "Dad jokes." Ron was the kind of man who lived in the moment - enjoying and appreciating his surroundings, never rushing people, thoughts or conversations shared. He was centered, open minded, and patient, and yet planned for the future unlike any of us.

We didn't know what to say to the children. The urgency of time slipping away from us... they came briefly to say good bye at the hospital and left thinking Papa will get better soon. The truth is, we thought he'd turn this corner too - just like he had for the past 10 years... But the fact is, he did. He is better now - it just wasn't how we expected. 

A dear friend dropped off this children's book to help guide us through talking about death and sadness. Maggie read Noah the book herself, and this helped his little heart accept that Papa is now an angel watching over us...


On Sunday night, at the funeral home visitation, we asked the children if they wanted to see Papa. They both did. Ava reached out and touched his hands. She blew him a kiss. Noah asked, "Papa is an angel?" Through tears and smiles, we talked how Papa actually is no longer in his body that we see before us, but with God. And whenever they missed Papa or wanted to talk to him, to listen to their hearts.

The funeral mass on Monday brought us together to acknowledge how God has blessed each of us for having him in our lives. On Tuesday, we traversed the ice and snow on our way to the DFW National Cemetery where Ron received a military funeral honors ceremony, including a folding and presenting of the United States burial flag and the playing of Taps.

During all of this, it rained... flowers, cards, emails, phone calls and visits from family and friends... I am forever grateful for each and every word and hug we received. They helped me get through this, so that I could help Aaron paddle through his own pain - We still have a long journey ahead of us.

The children have bounced in and out this week, still talking about death and the afterlife. In between us trying to get back into somewhat of a routine, they slip the words, "I miss Papa." And like Noah napping where Papa use to always sit, they each have found their own personal way to be closer to him.

Sleeping On Ron's Chair

Ron, I know that you know how much we love you. We just miss you so much. I hope you don't mind if I still cry from time to time...

RP_Memorial Card


  1. very sorry for your loss. take time to grieve. take time to heal. he will always live on through his children and grandchildren.

  2. The first picture touched my heart. I'm so sorry Z for your loss...All my love for you and your family.

  3. My father was a great man. I am so lucky to have had the chance to spend as much time as i did with him.

    Growing up, i had the best role model available. He was a great husband, father, brother, son and friend - and growing up as a child and as an adult - i was able to model my behavior after him. Moving forward - I still have that. Even though i can't go to his house and visit him to ask for advice, all i have to do is think "what would dad do?" Its almost like he is still here with me.

    And in a sense, he is. I talk to him every day. And i know he is listening.

    Thanks Zarlacht for writing this.

  4. I'm so sorry for your lost. I don't have words, the pain is deep in these moments. I lost my father 4 years ago, and I coudn't say Good Bye. He was in PerĂº and I here in Madrid.

    It was beautiful what you wrote about your father.
    I only can give you to you 4 a big hug.

  5. I am so very sorry know that you and your family are going through so much pain. But like you said, he is in a much much better place, pain free.

    You and your family are in my prayers.

  6. What a beautiful post - it bought me to tears. Our love is with the P Family - Ron was a GREAT man and will always be very missed. I see his greatness in Aaron and am proud that it will be passed on to Noah.

    Aunt W

  7. Beautifully done and a wonderful tribute.

  8. What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man. We are sending virtual hugs and kisses until we can see you again.

  9. Zarlacht, your ability to create such heartfelt beauty in such a painful time of your lives is an absolutely incredible inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing. And please contact us if there is anything at all we can do.

    Warm hugs,
    Dave and Corbin

  10. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Dave, Whitney, Debbie, Wagma, Lisa, Giozi, Gabriela, and Anna for sharing your warm support here on The Art of Family and beyond. And Aaron... It's still so hard to believe....

  11. Janine Conor HakimiTuesday, February 22, 2011

    [First posted on Facebook 2/4]

    Yes, my dear Zarlacht, I know that feeling of selfishness. Of course, as you say, it is a journey. And even though we can't see the way ahead at times, over time we get to certain milestones, from where we can look back over the traversed landscape, and begin to see the journey unfolding more clearly. The meaning of life becomes more and more clear with time, that's all I can say. It's a journey of spiritual growth, in a nutshell. God is there, as are His angels, and even our loved ones who are on the other side. All is well. Of this, I'm certain in my heart.

    Yes, it is selfish of us to want to keep our loved ones with us, but only because we love them so much. But we can be sure that they're well, on the other side, in the spirit world, thanks to our loving and compassionate God. He is well, your father-in-law. That is the main thing - and he is relieved from his suffering. This is a great consolation for all of us who've lost someone that is so kindred to us, in my case, my father. I know he's well, now 22 years after his death, although I still miss him deeply, and I feel his presence every day. I know his spirit is close to me. And I believe Aaron's father's spirit is close to his family too. I think he'd want you all to be happy for him, and to live life with gusto, and intense love.


  12. Just read "papa" can't quit crying. It was beautiful. Thanks for writing it.


Thanks for sharing - I will respond to your comment here as well so check back! xo


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