Tribute to Albert J. Russell

Maya Angelou wrote:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Simply put, my dad made me feel cherished.  Four years after his death this feeling remains.Watercolor painting of the word Cherished, adorned with flowers and hummingbirds

He treasured his family.  I think he actually thought all five of his children were perfect, or maybe he just treated us that way.  He lost his mother at age seven and learned early the power of family.  Shortly before his death he told my husband that life had turned out so much better than he expected.

I believe when he met and married my mom, in Japan of all places, life began again for him.

Pencil skectch of father and daughter, Artist:  Barbara Bromley a.k.a. artfulbarbI’ve included the drawing I did after his death.  As usual art helped me to cope.  The drawing was done from a snapshot taken at his surprise 82nd birthday party.  Normally there would have been lots of photos from my own camera.  Unfortunately I landed in the hospital the night before.  When I finally arrived at the party unshowered, exhausted, and bedraggled, he looked up at me with pure joy.  As always, even at age 82 and wheelchair-bound, his strength of spirit lifted me up.

Pencil sketch of old man walking away, carrying a flowerI’m so glad that I agreed to the photo because it captured how I felt toward a dad who was/is my hero.

I read this quote recently in a greeting card:

“You honor him by the way you live your life”

Dad, I’m still trying!!

Watercolor Hummingbird Signature