I'd like to share an excerpt from our youngest Winger, Emily's recent blog entry. She shared a very special gift that Mamma Winger made for her:
"My mom gave me a sweet gift. She gave me a box that had scraps of papers from my dad's artwork. She said I could write on the backs of them whatever I wanted to. Scripture verses...memories...or whatever. I started looking through each picture and the smell overwhelmed me. It smelled like him and my eyes filled up with tears. The smell. Maybe I was the only one that could smell it and even so, it was for me. God brought back a sweet memory.I love gifts like these, cause it helps me remember him. I was 16 when he died. Old enough to remember a lot about him, but 13 years later I feel like I start to forget. These precious gifts are so special to me. Here are some of the papers:"
Our dad was a professional photographer for many years. Toward the end of his life he began to really explore and love the new world of computer graphic design. He would be obsessed with all of today's artistic technology! He was also a screen printer and an opthalmic photographer for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, hence the special fascination with the eye. We grew up with a lot of these images, many of which have been packed away now for years. It was hard for any of us to know what to do with all of his work. Every few years items would get revisited, and it's been interesting how your perspective changes bit by bit over time. In the beginning of our loss, I don't think a single one of us would have ever thought it a good idea to chop up pieces of his larger works and use them as notecards. But now, 13 years later, it seems like the perfect thing! Mom also gave each of us three girls blank journals with nice heavy paper that she pasted his cut up images into every once in a while. It will be a fun way to sketch and journal. We are so thankful for the way that our dad is incorporated into our family celebrations in unexpected ways. Makes Christmas all the more special and our longing for heaven a bit more bearable.