Thursday, December 13, 2018

Weston Family 2018: Love and Comfort

December 2018

Dear Friends and Family,

2018 was a year of loss and healing. Watching my father’s health steadily decline over six years while he fought for his life, was emotionally crushing. In July, he lost his battle with brain cancer. Our family is so heartbroken in the absence of such a great man. We are so grateful for the warmth, sunshine, and smiles you bring to our lives each day, giving us faith, hope, and love.

I have so many wonderful memories of my dad. Having such a good father has made all the difference in my life. He was a pillar of strength, support and discipline. His work was endless and, oftentimes, thankless--tutoring me in math and chemistry late at night, assisting with science fair projects, constructing enclosures for our mini barnyard of animals, leading us on countless outdoor adventures and more! In the end, it shows in the sound, well-adjusted children he has raised. That influence carries on to grandchildren and future progeny as well. Here is a memory I shared with my dad that caused him to laugh out loud when he heard it:

Your mantra has always been “careful and persistent effort.” One of my favorite memories demonstrating your diligence and commitment to excellence is your tackling the project of using a hacksaw to extricate the finger of our little neighbor friend, Tessa, out of the bolt lock on the front door when she stuck her finger in and couldn't get it out. You calmly instructed us to comfort the tearful Tessa, try various lubricants, and keep the swelling down with ice, as you sawed away to remove a small piece of the upper bolt to allow Tessa to slide her finger out without a scratch! To this day, the bolt is missing that precious piece and occasionally catches on clothing as we breeze through the door to remind us of your ceaseless care and concern to help others in panic situations.

Years ago I read the book, Lulu Walks the Dogs by Judith Viorst, aloud to my kids. Madeline was so inspired, she wanted to start her own dog-walking business. I couldn’t fathom adding one more commitment into our lives and didn't see how we could have a dog walking business with such a busy schedule, BUT, she is my father’s grandchild. Persistent. Fast forward five years to January 2018 and with the support of Rover and Wag! apps, we have completed over 200 dog walks, trekked over 1,000 miles, earned over $5,000, and donated 10% to animal rescue organizations. We get exercise (this is our new our new “homeschool PE” program), meet amazing dogs, and do service for pets in need--what a win-win situation! At the close of this year, I realize that this surge of physical activity and animal therapy is just what we needed to continue to press forward after my dad’s death. We are so grateful to all of our clients and their furry friends for helping us, albeit unknowingly, to fill the painful void of losing such an amazing father and grandfather to our family.

We have all been blessed to be part of Dana Allen’s life. I am so grateful to reflect many of the same wonderful attributes my dad possessed: diligent, honest, committed, good-humored, imaginative, nature-enthusiast, adventurous, persistent, supportive, disciplined, service-oriented, positive, and hopeful. He lives on in me, my mom, my sister, our children, and so on. I have tremendous love for my dad, all that he was, and all that he is, as he watches over us. I am at peace knowing he lived each day of his rich life to the fullest.

May you feel the LOVE and COMFORT of the SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, in your life this time of year.


The Westons
Abe, Janine, Natalie (16), Max (14), Madeline (12), Sammy (10) & Lucy (18 mo)

P.S. Just for fun...

The Twelve Dog Walks of Christmas
DIRECTIONS: Match each dog with its breed while singing the song.

On the FIRST day of Christmas my children walked with me: a Wiggly Yellow Labrador Puppy!

On the SECOND day of Christmas my children walked with me: 2 Jack Russells and...↺

On the THIRD day of Christmas my children walked with me: 3 French Bulldogs...↺

On the FOURTH day of Christmas my children walked with me: 4 Boxers...↺

On the FIFTH day of Christmas my children walked with me: 5 Golden Retrievers...↺

On the SIXTH day of Christmas my children walked with me: 6 Mixed-Breeds...↺

On the SEVENTH day of Christmas my children walked with me: 7 Springer Spaniels...↺

On the EIGHTH day of Christmas my children walked with me: 8 Pembroke Welsh Corgis...↺

On the NINTH day of Christmas my children walked with me: 9 Boston Terriers...↺

On the TENTH day of Christmas my children walked with me: 10 Old English Sheepdogs...↺

On the ELEVENTH day of Christmas my children walked with me: 11 Goldendoodles...↺

On the TWELFTH day of Christmas my children walked with me:
12 Great Danes
11 Goldendoodles
10 Old English Sheepdogs
9 Boston Terriers
8 Pembroke Welsh Corgis
7 Springer Spaniels
6 Mixed-Breeds
5 Golden Retrievers
4 Boxers
3 French Bulldogs
2 Jack Russells
and a Wiggly Yellow Labrador Puppy!

Dogs from top to bottom: Sadie = Great Dane; Carter = Yellow Labrador Retriever; Lucy = Jack Russell Terrier; Martha = Old English Sheepdog; Dodge = French Bulldog; Chester = Boston Terrier; Roxy = Pembroke Welsh Corgi; Peanut = Boxer; Cooper = Golden Retriever; Hero = Goldendoodle; Aubree = Mixed-breed; Bodie = Welsh Springer Spaniel.

And a BIG thank you to the two sweet pups who got us started, Summer (Maltese, Poodle & Shih Tzu) & Mochi (Maltese & Poodle)!