Happy Grandfather Day

March 29, 2010 at 11:20 AM 9 comments

Yesterday, myself and my three siblings, spouses, nieces and nephews gathered at my mom’s house for “Grandfather Day” and it was a very joyous occasion.  However, the reason for gathering was on sad terms as “Grandfather” (to my nieces and nephews, but dad to me) passed away a year ago today.  Despite the sadness, the day was very happy indeed.  We worked together in the vegetable garden and made sure to take lots of breaks to play in the backyard.  We barbecued ribs just as dad would, the pure way with salt and pepper.  We had dinner outside on a glorious California March day and drank wine from his vineyard.  We listened as mom read love letters dad had written her in 1965 when she was studying abroad in Vienna.  It was a very cheerful day for Grandfather.

Looking back on the year, I know that Dad would be extremely proud on how far we all have come.  Don and Lucy have two beautiful and very active boys.  Don is working hard at Imwalle Properties but has also slipped in some wonderful family vacations.  Miles and Brittany welcomed baby Abigail to the world this past year; they now have two joyous little girls.  Abigail means adoring father and we are all sure that Grandfather is adoring over her.  Joe and Bridget are enjoying life in Oakland; Joe is excelling at teaching, writing and playing music and Bridget has started her own children’s clothing line.  Graham and I are loving our home away from home in Chicago.  I have begun my own ETSY business and Graham has accepted a job in San Francisco for the fall.

But most importantly is Mom.  I know that Dad is most proud of his beloved wife.  Even though she misses him dearly every day, there is not a day that goes by where she doesn’t feel him with her.  A love as strong as theirs, their souls will forever be intertwined.  She continues to seize all the opportunities that life brings her way with a curious eye and astonishment for the beauty that is life.  She has travelled to Africa, Mexico, Arizona and many parts of California.  She has begun a memoir class and a photography class along with her book club, hiking club and symphony outings.  I am not only proud of her but strive to be as courageous a woman as she is.

Throughout it all, we know that dad is watching over us and sending blessings our way.  This year has been more difficult than words can express yet we remain a happy loving family feeling blessed wth all the good things that life has brought us.

This picture is from Christmas morning.  Dad’s self given nickname was Chico.

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joe Imwalle  |  March 29, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    Beautiful post, Kate. I love these photos. We did it right. Well…almost right. We forgot to end the work day with a swim or bocci ball game or some such thing. I suppose all those kids haven’t learned to feed themselves and put themselves down for thier own naps quite yet. We did get the end of the day meal correct though. And certainly the “family that works together, stays together” part.

    p.s. Anyone out there that wants to cloth their non-autopilot kids in hand made unique vintage patterned children’s clothing made by Bridget, as mentioned in today’s post, can go to


    to see a small sampling of her children’s clothing line. More will be posted on her site soon enough. Or contact her at bridgetodolfi@gmail.com to learn what else is available or simply say howdy.

  • 2. bridget dolfi  |  March 29, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    beautifully written and i couldn’t agree more, i feel so proud of kathy and her dedication to living life the way that don always did – joyfully, fully, appreciative and with a sense of humor. he continues to inspire us all. and i have to mention one more blessing from this year: our darling dog, charlie, who showed up at joe’s school on joe’s birthday and i think we all know who guided him there and into our lives. thanks, don, for helping that little guy find us and for giving us another creature to share our love of life with.

  • 3. Anna Pepper  |  March 29, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    You all look so beautiful, and I cannot believe how big all the kids have gotten! It looks like you had a wonderful Grandfather’s Day.
    Lots of rain-filled Seattle love, Anna

  • 4. Glynnis  |  March 29, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    I’m sure your Dad is very proud of you all. Beautifully written Kate.

  • 5. Mary Martin  |  March 29, 2010 at 10:16 PM


    Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and photos of this significant weekend plus offering us reassurance that spirit lives on.
    You Imwalles have a gift for hitting all of the “right notes” and demonstrating love in action.

    Hugs and Happy Grandfather’s Day, Don!


  • 6. arlene mariani  |  March 30, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    Beautiful words, Kate. thanks for sharing. A year is a milestone! It never gets better but hopefully gets a little easier. Love the fabulous family picture!!

  • 7. Gretchen Mair  |  March 30, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    Dear Kate,

    There couldn’t have been a better way to celebrate Grandfather’s Day. Don would have loved it. One day when your father was ill, he came over to visit with us. There were toys stewn all around, children running through the house and the dogs sleeping in the doorways. I said, ” I apologize for the confusion. Watch your step.” He said, “Don’t apologize. This is what life is all about.” To Don having his loved ones around was the best way to live. Thank you for your beautiful tribute.
    Jim and Gretchen

  • 8. Kim  |  March 30, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    Loved the post. Loved the pictures. Made me smile and tightened my throat all at the same time. I am sure Uncle Don is smiling. I love you all…and yes, your mom amazes me with her strength. I feel fortunate to have a godmother that is such an inspiration. Both your parents make me want to live my life more fully. Thanks for sharing.

  • 9. Marty Imwalle  |  April 1, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    Thanks for sharing your day. It was beautiful.


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