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I Know You by Heart | A Morgan Moment | Heidi Morgan Photography

I have often been inspired in my own life by those things that I encounter. I will never forget seeing the locket – shaped in a heart, opened to elegant text that read: I know you by heart. Thank you, Sarah DeShaw, for allowing me to photograph the locket at your wedding.

Today, and in recent days, this text plays over and over in my mind. And now, a tribute to my Dad:

I Know You by Heart

 You have long offered a poem to those special in your life.

For this, you have brought both a tear and a chuckle from those of us who know you well.

You have written of your mother’s beloved red shoes, your Lady Hawke, of your pride in your children’s accomplishments, of your patients and military comrades.

Your handwriting is unmistakable, lives on in your son’s.

I know you by writing.

You painstakingly listened to my grammar and corrected each word, convinced that I would thank you some day:

“Dougie and I” instead of “me and Dougie” – the list went on and on.

You were right; I am thankful.

I know you by grammar.

Weekend after weekend, you schlepped me around the hospital on rounds.

It was my only way to see you, as you had thousands of patients.

I sometimes longed to be one, holding up my scraped knee or hangnail.

You gave me the same care as others, made me feel like I was your only patient.

The nurses respected you – and repeatedly pinched my cheeks.

I was proud to be Dr. Olson’s child anywhere I went – the store, school, babysitting.

I know you by work ethic.

You walked before me, handed one life lesson after the next.

Transitioning from professional to parent and back.

You had the courage to end a relationship that you knew you could not thrive within.

Encountering difficulties with lifelong friends, who you urged me to forgive.

Daring to dream, to start anew.

Procedure after procedure, mountain after mountain you climbed, saying all the while, “This too shall pass.”

Becoming a widow/widower gracefully. I still remember your call and your grief, my call and my own.

When I lost one husband and was sent another, you quickly dubbed him “The Angel” and “The Comforter”, opening your fatherly arms to his possibilities.

I know you by grace.

  In the moments of weakness, of self doubt, you raised me up.

Yet you called me and dedicated the song “You Raise Me Up”, saying that I raise you up. I ended up needing that song in my weakest hour.

Your children and grandchildren have always been so capable in your eyes.

I can do anything, you would say. I still hear those words whispered in my ear.

I know you by love.

 Black hair against striking blue eyes.

Although we do not have these same unusual features, your children and grandchildren can look into the mirror – into their own eyes – and see your own.

Your hands are unmistakable. Looking at the photos I took of them last weekend, I will be able to touch them forever in your sons’, for they have your hands.

We have all practiced your signature, pensive pose. We cannot do it as well as you yet, but will keep on trying.

I know you by features.

Know that you have been the Dad of my dreams.

You have lit my path and inspired me to persevere.

You ignited my love of photographs from a young age, daring to guide this redhead’s earliest compositions.

And now, as your donor heart fades and you cannot accept another:

Let mine beat for you, let me live on for you.


I know you by heart.


As with the tradition that I began when Grandpa died years ago, I sampled the world on the day of your death. It is beautiful, lined with autumn golds and oranges. The perfect send off — and calling:


Love from, Your Daughter

  • Rhonda Thorn - November 19, 2011 - 2:10 am

    Beautiful, Heidi. He was a person to inspire one to be better: more patient, kind, loving. You are your father’s daughter.ReplyCancel

  • sunder morgan - November 19, 2011 - 4:47 am

    Honey, it’s beautiful. I’m so proud to be your husband, father to our kids, brother to Doug and Greg, and son n law to your Dad. I will miss him, but I know, I will see and hear him everyday when I look at you, see our kids, talk to my brothers Doug and Greg. I will honor my promise I made to Dad, and I know Dad will honor his promise he made to me. When you see him, I hope that I have honor him, that he is as proud of me as you are of me. May you now rest, no more pain. I luv u Dad…

    Your Son
    Sunder William MorganReplyCancel

  • Cheryl Snyder - November 19, 2011 - 6:14 am

    What a beautiful tribute to your Dad and family, Heidi. The words,so tenderly written, so lovingly stated, reflect that special relationship between you and your Dad. The photos were gorgeous. Such a sense of beauty and sensitivity. Your father showed an uncommon strength and courage. Even now it seems unbelievable — he beat the odds so many times before, unbelievably so. He showed such an incredible zest for life in spite of the odds.

    Love and Blessings of Divine Love to you and your family at this time. You are so cherished. Love, CherylReplyCancel

  • Doug Olson - November 19, 2011 - 5:48 pm

    That was beautiful Heidi. I know Dad would have loved it. Your gift for poem and writing was definitely passed from Dad to you. I can hardly read it without tears. Dad was such a wonderful person and I will miss him so much. It’s hard for me to express in words the feelings I have right now. I want you to know how proud Dad was for the person you are and all that you do. There wasn’t a time that he did not mention something to me about how proud he was. He loved you so much. He couldn’t have been more proud of you and all of your accomplishments. He loved your photography and his only complaint was that his vision was poor. He wished he could experience the wonderful photographs more than he did. I see Dad in you every time were together. It is hard to think I can’t pick up the phone and call him, but I’m glad he is at peace now. I am proud of you and love you very much….. DougieReplyCancel

  • Michael Duncan - November 19, 2011 - 7:32 pm

    to Heidi and Doug.
    I loved the written words you shared with others of your love for your father.. He was all that you said and more, he was the most forgiving and compassionate man I’ve ever met. Brother Doug never gave up on encouraging and inspiring someone to be the best they could be,by pointing out there positive traits and believing in them by saying they are a work in progress.. One of his favorite songs when he was attending Loma Linda was Andy Williams, “to Dream the Impossible Dream and I believe that it applied to him his entire life..Yes he was proud of his children and he wore it like a crown of jewels and in the BIBLE it says that “ye shall be known by your fruits” and anyone can look around to see Brother Doug’s fruits.. I loved the man my entire life and know how y’all truly feel deep in side with your loss of your father.. I thank the LORD for the gift of having my brother in my life, he was truly a blessing my whole life.. I will miss your father, my brother and like he would say “its about making memories ” and he left a river of them.. I fall to tears thinking of him being gone from our lives.. Brother Doug was a product of our mother, he not only looked like her but he was born with her love of learning of the LORD and he never forgot to be grateful for what the LORD provided him in so,so may ways… I’m at a loss for he was the planner to traveling which Doug loved to do and for not having my brother to call just to say hey and talk about just things and with a laugh or two.. Yes, life will be empty with out him and I just y’all would be alright until reunited again in HEAVEN.. AMENwant to close and say I love you guys tho I wasn’t always in y’all’s lives I would ask your father how are the kids and he would proudly tell me..and brother Doug left this world knowingReplyCancel

  • Shirley - November 22, 2011 - 3:44 am


    What a wonderful tribute to your dad! He was truly a ‘good’ man. The scripures tell us that we can know people by their friut. ” A good man out the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good.” (Luke 6:45)
    Your dad was kind, tolerant, accepting of all he met. He was kind, selfless and forgiving. We could all be a little bit better people to emulate his example. We were truly fortunate to have known him and call him ‘friend’.

    Love to you, Sunder,Kaitlin, Ryen & Hayden

    Shirley & DickReplyCancel

  • maureen and bob morris - November 23, 2011 - 8:20 am

    what an honest and transparent tribute to a truly inspiring and great man of the Lord. Bob and I are at a loss for words. There were so many times we would talk about your Dad and the memories we had. More than that, it was the smile that his name would leave on our lips. Not many people can do that, just by thinking of their name. He loved you guys so much, as was stated in his emails and phone calls we would have to catch up. He still inspires us from heaven it seems. We miss him down here, looking forward to a great bunch of laughing together and praising Jesus together in heaven. Love to your family from ours….Dr. Bob, Mo, Sophia, Haley, Spencer and Heather MorrisReplyCancel

  • Heidi Morgan - November 23, 2011 - 2:18 pm

    Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read — and to comment. Between my blog and the Facebook fan page that Dougie suggested we create, I am amazed. Amazed at all of those who Dad influenced, and each of our perspectives of one another. I am proud to bear his likeness, and so glad that I can see him in my siblings and his grandchildren.ReplyCancel

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