Here is my first version (actually, it's the second version, the first version didn't have a photo taken for it).
And while I know that done is better than perfect, I just wasn't satisfied with the first two versions. So, here is the final version, which I like much better.
January 17, 2012 marked the one year anniversary of Dad’s death. My dear friend, Amy, sent this lovely Thomas Kinkade book to Mom because she knows how much this song meant to Dad and how much it means to us as a family. Dad loved this hymn and sang it often. Even when he couldn’t remember much else, he could remember the lyrics and sang along with Shawn as she held his hand. We sang this at his funeral. We sang this at his graveside. When I want to feel close to Dad, I think of this song. I sing it in the shower and cry. I sing it to the boys as I’m tucking them into bed. On February 12, 2012 we gathered at Mom’s house to celebrate Dad’s birthday; our second without him. Mom loved this book so much, that she purchased one for me, one for Shawn, and one for Jeremy. Inside the front cover she wrote, “Heather, Remember why Dad could sing confidently: ‘It is well with my soul.’ ” She also included photos of each of us with Dad inside the book and she wrote a letter that listed reasons why Dad could say:
It Is Well With My SoulHe loved God purely. He loved me completely. He loved each of you unconditionally. He said, “I love you” every day and treated me better than he treated himself. He played with each of you, hugged you, and happily went to your events. He built a house and furniture for each of us: concrete expressions of his love. He asked forgiveness when he wronged one of us. He forgave others even if they did not ask forgiveness. He forgot past wrongs. He helped those who asked for help. He helped others without being asked. He didn’t expect anything, but liked hearing, “thank you.” He loved his mom dearly. He loved his brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, cousins, and in-laws totally. He was the glue that held the family together. He was our sweet husband, dad, and Poppa. Let’s remember why he could say, “It is well with my soul.”
Some observations about the process and the products used:
- The patterned paper background in the first layout was just too busy for me. I also didn't like the way my photo/journaling block was off center.
- I listened to my Pandora station called, what else, It Is Well With My Soul. Hymns and more hymns.
- I love love love the note my mom put together about my dad and why he loved this song and could confidently claim, "It is well with my soul." I think that's primarily why, even with all of the sadness I've had about losing him, I've largely been at peace, never angry nor upset. Sad, yes, but at peace knowing that it was well with his soul.