Paul Hopper
06 November 2009 @ 23:39:00
Six years, best hugs
 Six years.
 
In the past six years, I bought a house, got married, and had a kid of my own.  My daughter is nearly six months now and is simply adorable.  A lot has happened in six years.  A lot has changed.
 
Lately, I've found myself looking into my daughter's eyes, wondering what she sees, what she thinks when she stares back at me.  I think about my sister, my brother, my niece... and what we all lost six years ago.  My daughter doesn't even know it, but she lost someone special that day, too.  And, I look at her, and think about how important she is to me and feel like my father is really missing out on another granddaughter he would have been completely in love with.  So I have to cherish my beautiful baby girl that much more and try even harder to be the kind of father to her that my father was for me so that she may know what we know... what it's like to have a great dad.
 
I wish my father were here to see all the changes in our lives, to be a part of them.  He'd love his new granddaughter so much!  My wife would get a real kick out of my father, too.  He'd be proud of us all.  And he'd still be giving us some of the best hugs.
 
Six years, Dad.  You're still in our hearts, still in our memories.  And I hope there's some of you in me when I share with my daughter the best hugs.
 
 
Paul Hopper
20 May 2009 @ 04:45:00
Isabelle Grace Hopper
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It's official... I'm a daddy! :)

Isabelle Grace Hopper was born May 20th at 1:57am, weighing in at 8 lbs 11 oz and measuring 20.5" long. Mom and baby are both doing fine.
 
 
Paul Hopper
19 May 2009 @ 21:25:00
at the hospital!
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This close to the "due date" (which was estimated for this Friday, the 22nd), you have weekly OB/GYN appointments, so we went in for the regular appointment this morning and... the water broke!  That was probably about 8:15am or so.

So we drove straight from there to the hospital and have been here since.  Progress has been slow and we're thinking that baby probably won't be making his/her debut until late tonight or tomorrow morning.  Liz is currently getting some much-needed rest.

The room has wifi and a recliner, so I'll be just fine camping out here waiting for baby.  I'll probably be taking a nap soon myself, but will post an update when there's a worthwhile update to share.
 
 
Paul Hopper
20 April 2009 @ 23:04:00
home stretch
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Well, we're in the home stretch!  If baby arrives when expected, I'll be a daddy in just about one month!

We had our baby shower this past weekend, with family and friends coming from all over, which was really nice.  I think especially for Liz.  I know she wishes our parents could be here for the actual birth, but we all know that just isn't practical.  So it was nice to have them (and my grandmother!) over this past weekend for the shower.  As is always the case, though, the weekend was simply too short.

Mother and baby are both doing well, though.  We're at the point in the pregnancy now where there's a doctor appointment every week!  All indications are that baby is healthy and progressing normally.

To answer the common questions for anyone who didn't already know... No, we don't know the sex of the baby.  Yes, we have names picked out.  No, we aren't sharing the names with anyone.  Yes, Liz vetoed "Paul 2.0", the middle name "Danger", "Sue" (if it's a boy), "Amadeus Einstein Hopper", and "Bristol Obama Hopper".  Oh well, I tried! ;)

Although the baby was very cooperative for the ultrasound and the tech got a good look, we asked her to keep that info to herself.  And she did.  It's not even in the notes, so the doctor says she doesn't know, either!  I have to believe that she could tell from the ultrasound pictures, though.  I'm sure the tech included those in the file.
 
 
Paul Hopper
06 November 2008 @ 22:00:00
memories help keep loved ones alive


Tonight marks the 5th anniversary of my father's death.  What stands out the most for me this time around is the election.  Politics was one of those subjects my father and I enjoyed talking about and I know he would have been a very enthusiastic Obama supporter and even more excited about Obama's victory.  So I'm sad that he didn't get to see this day.  If I didn't watch the election results roll in with him, I know I would've been over at his place the next day to talk endlessly about the election, what led to Obama's victory, our thoughts about McCain and Palin, and speculation about Obama's cabinet, the agenda for the next four years, and future challenges.  Basically, we would have talked the subject to death and then some and then talked about it some more. :)  So I miss that, both for me and for him, because it's something we both enjoyed.

This weekend, my mother's side of the family is congregating in Ohio for a memorial service for my grandfather, who passed away this August 11th at the age of 78.  Poppa was a very nice, loving, gentle man... except when you were playing cards!  No, he was actually nice and gentle then, too.  You just couldn't trust a word that he said.  He liked to build up his hand so that he could do a sneak attack and go down and out all that the same time, leaving you with a bunch of cards in your hand.  If the game allowed you to pick up cards from the discard pile, he'd sing "give me, give me what I cry for".  And you just knew it was only a matter of time before you did.  If he fell behind, he'd claim he was so far down in the hole that he needed a flashlight.  (This was usually followed by him going down and out, sticking you with a bunch of points against you, while he worked his way back on top.)  He loved puns and wordplay and the only somewhat encouraging thing about playing Boggle with my Grandma and Poppa was that they'd at least cancel out a lot of each other's words!

When my Granddad (my father's father) passed away, I felt like another connection to my own father had died, which made an already sad loss even sadder.  When my Poppa passed away, I knew that I still had so much of him in so many other people.  It was sad, but easier to deal with.  He'd be in failing health for some time and was receiving hospice care at home.  The weekend before he passed, he called all his children and grandchildren to say "I love you" one last time and I appreciate that, even if I had a hard time saying anything back.  He is dearly missed.  This weekend, we mourn his loss and celebrate his life.

As I sit here and think about these two important people in my life, I realize that it's not just memories that help keep them alive, but knowing them so well and being so close to them to know what they would say, how they would react, what they would do in any given situation.  They live on, because they're not just stale memories that fade, but memories that return and come alive and, if only for a moment, you know you can look over and see them smiling over there in the corner of the room or singing a little ditty while you're playing cards.  And you can't help but to look and smile back.

I love you, Dad!  Love you, Poppa!

 
 
Paul Hopper
07 June 2008 @ 08:29:00
Today's the big day!

In a matter of hours, I will be getting married!  We have friends and family here (or on their way here) from all over.  I'm excited and anxious and... ready for it to be all over with!  I'm sure that makes sense to anyone who's gotten married.

The wedding party is all here and accounted for.  All the men have their tuxes; all the women have their dresses.  As is traditional, I haven't seen Liz's dress.  And I won't be seeing her today until she walks down the aisle.  I'm so glad I just have to stand there! :)  We ran through the rehearsal yesterday and, except for stumbling over my words once, I think everything went rather smoothly.  We're less than 9 hours away from the real thing now!

 
 
Current Mood: excited
 
 
Paul Hopper
21 November 2007 @ 11:16:00
Happy Thanksgiving!

It's almost time to take a few steps away from the busy-ness of work and normal day-to-day life to reflect upon those people, things, experiences, and other gifts for which we are truly thankful.  Life can be stressful at times and I often lament that I don't get paid nearly what I should, but I'm thankful that I have a job and one that provides me with a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.  I still mourn the loss of people who've meant something to me, whether they've passed away or just grown distant, but I am thankful that I ever had them in my life at all.  Lessons learned the hard way are still learned, good examples of growth.  Life is never perfect, but often good, so be thankful for all the many things you have to be thankful for and spend some time this holiday thinking more about what is good in your life than what stresses you out at work or elsewhere.

 
 
Paul Hopper
06 November 2007 @ 19:50:00
four years

 It's been four years since my father died.  I'm tired of going back and re-living that night, playing again the last message my father left on my answering machine followed by the message from my brother saying he was concerned because my father hadn't made it back home yet.

That doesn't mean I've forgotten, though.  That day is still with me.  My father is still at the top of my thoughts every day.  And so I struggle with wanting to allow myself to be happy and, in effect, keep on living while allowing myself to mourn my loss, a loss that's bigger than me, reaches beyond me.

I still grieve.  I still mourn.  I still cry.  I still miss my father.  I keep him near and dear to my heart.