My father passed away on May 2nd about six months after his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer. If you haven’t heard much from this blog lately, it’s because I took a sabbatical from blogging and many other activities to focus on enjoying my last few months with my Dad. It was a worthwhile endeavor. My father, John Gillin relished life. His warm and generous spirit touched the lives of many. He was blessed by visits from friends and family from all over the country in his last few months. The kids had the chance to meet and get to know their relatives. We shared many happy family occasions this year.
After Dad’s death, my Godfather Terry my dad’s cousin and my cousin, Colin flew in for my Dad’s funeral. It was so fun to watch them meet and get to know each other for the first time. Each shared characteristics that were also intrinsic to my dad; his sparkling blue eyes, his quiet sense of humor, and his warm calm approach to life. Even in this difficult time it was extraordinary to spend time together as a family. My son Justin was overjoyed because Colin brought his son 15 year old Graham with him. After years of enduring gatherings of younger, (and mostly female) cousins, Justin had finally found a kindred spirit.
One of our weekend activities was an outing to nearby San Elijo lagoon. The flowers were in bloom and my cousin Colin the wild life biologist helped us to understand more about the bird behaviors we observed. My six year old is a big fan of anything green, especially frogs, so he enjoyed visiting with this fellow at the nature center.
Justin was inspired by the wild flowers in bloom, and took some amazing nature shots.
I love the above photo of Jared and me. It really captures the joy of that day. Our San Elijo adventure was not only the perfect way to celebrate spring. It was a powerful reminder of the gift of spending time with extended family.
P.S. For more spring adventures check out