Kenneth Neff Brady June 17th, 1956 - July 19th, 2009
My dad passed away last Sunday at 11am. I feel so blessed to have witnessed the courage and strength he demonstrated as ALS
slowly took over his body and eventually won. He was only diagnosed last September and there was no telling how fast it would progress. I don't even really know how to put into words the events that led up to this monumental event, but I will say that this is a day that I will never forget and will always hold dear to my heart.
While booking weddings for 2009 I often questioned why we weren't booking anything for July. We had three weddings in June and six in August, but NOTHING in July. Now looking back, I feel a grateful confirmation that God has a plan for all of us and everything happens for a reason (ie. us not booking any weddings in July and my dad being diagnosed with ALS). Because Justin and I both work from home we were able to travel to St. George and spend the last three weeks of my dad's life by his side. I can't thank God enough for this amazing gift! These three weeks were insightful, emotional, encouraging, and life changing.
There is a quote that hangs on my dad's fridge that says, "Courage: The ability to face pain, difficulty or danger without being overcome by fear". This is exactly how my dad lived and I admire him so much for this. In my eyes my dad is Superman! His attitude up until the very last breath was positive, full of faith in God, and thankful. He said that he would not have picked a better way to die, especially because had had all of his family surrounding him.
I made my first post explaining my feelings about my dad and asked fellow followers for help through an auction, meanwhile my dad watched an outpouring of love from all of you, he commented:
My dear daughter Amelia, I am so incredibly touched by the love and well wishes from all of your blog buddies. The things which have been posted have added to my life additional peace, great courage and an abundance of gratitude in life. I have decided that I no longer have ALS. I now have ALD, "A Lucky Dad". However, this disease doesn't ever end, it goes on forever! How could any father be discouraged, regardless of the situation, when he is blessed with such a loving family? I can not begin to tell you how deeply I love you. I understand how difficult this is in your life. I need you to know that everything is alright and the strength we are learning from this trial is far beyond our ability to understand today, but will be of priceless value in our future lives. I love you and you family so much. Love, Dad I just have one last thing to say to you. HAVE A GREAT DAY! (12.25.08 08:03 AM)
I want to publicly thank everyone for the many emails, twitters, comments, donations, and support we've received. Words cannot express the gratitude we feel right now for all of this. What a blessing it is to be a part of such an amazing industry and foundation of people...good people!
Here are some of my favorite photos of my dad, along with images all the way through the last day of his life.
The beginning of my daddy and me:)
All I have to say is acid wash jeans and his black 300 zx! LOL!
A very emotional father-daughter dance on my wedding day, I'll never forget that dance.
My little brother Jordan has been serving a mission for our church. Jordan was called to the Provo/Utah mission and was a little disappointed at first that the call wasn't somewhere more international or farther away from home. My dad actually lives within Jordan's mission boundaries and has been able to visit my dad a few times since his diagnosis. Again, we see that Heavenly Father has a hand in everything that happens. Jordan was able to come spend a few days with my dad to be by his side and say goodbye.
Like father, like son.
I was fortunate enough to capture pieces of my dad through imagery during our visit here in St. George.
Most of all, my boys were able to fall in love with my dad, the same way that I remember doing while growing up. My kids would sit on his lap and even though he was so weak he was able to play, make them giggle, and feel loved.
July 18th. Through the months everyone spent a good amount of time holding my dad's hand, here is mine with his.
Last week I watched Sloan call for "batchu-braaadee" (grandpa brady) then walk over to my dad's bed, rest his head on my dad's side, and laid there while my dad rested his hand on Sloan's head for about 7 minutes. It was a sweet moment that brought such sweet joy to my heart.
My dad with my grandma. Because it was hard for my dad to breath he had to have a breathing mask on that expelled his carbon dioxide levels and recharged his oxygen levels.
Kenny (my brother) was the one that stayed by my dad during these last three weeks every waking moment. I am amazed at the things Kenny did for my dad, I love you big brother.
July 19th. All of my uncles (minus one) with my grandpa, just minutes before my dad's passing. I was moved by this moment, the love in that room was so strong.
Kristee with dad. I admire her for taking such great care of my dad and loving him all the way through.
The last photo.