Inspired to bring the website and the story to life


Today the website goes LIVE!

If you have ever built or had someone build for you a website, you know the exciting moment when you put it out into the world. I have decided that is today.

I have a day ahead of me that I will be able to spend some time on building out more and more of the website and I can’t wait to reconnect with the project, goal, my dad, and the future.

Thanks to this work it has really brought through the love that my dad had for me and my brothers. There is an amount of guilt for not being able to see past my own anger, frustration, and disappointment on how my childhood didn’t turn out the way I thought it should have. When people talk about forgiveness being not about other people and being about you, this is a good example of that.

I was able to forgive myself and my parents for our expectations of each other. I was able to remove the expectations while he was living and love my dad, respect his wishes, support him, and be at peace with what I didn’t understand. In doing that I was able to find peace, love, and gratitude in the moments we were together. What I didn’t experience while he was still living is understanding the depth and breadth of his loving actions toward us kids. My father and I had just broken communication. We took each other so seriously when we talked that it caused us to not ask questions of each other. I think some of it was residual from both of us hurting each other verbally when I was a teen.  We used to spar about everything when I was a teen, the house felt like a battleground all the time. It wasn’t healthy for anyone and it was what it was.

While my father was living I wish I had known what I know now and I could have thanked and honored him in person. I wish we had been able to find the words to have shared more of our story with each other and why we did the things we did. I wish I could have seen past all of the PTSD, anger, frustration and fear and saw the heart of the lion that was my father. I like to believe that even though I can’t talk to him face to face about this, that love reaches someone at any place.


Henry’s story begins on a small farm in rural Minnesota and takes a dramatic turn with him being drafted into the service as a soldier in the armed forces. He bravely serves his country in the Vietnam conflict as part of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, witnessing the horrors of war and experiencing the trauma that comes with it. However, upon returning home, he finds it difficult to adjust to civilian life. He struggles with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, and finds it difficult to connect with his family and friends.

As a result, Henry becomes withdrawn and isolates, avoiding contact with his loved ones and spending most of his time working. He throws himself into his job, working long hours and neglecting most health concerns in the process. Despite his hard work and dedication, he is diagnosed with throat cancer, which ultimately led to his untimely death.

After Henry’s passing, his daughter decided to honor his memory in a unique way. She hired the artist Charles Kapsner to create a fresco painting depicting what demonstrated the best of her father. The artist spent weeks studying Henry’s life, talking to his family and friends, and examining old photographs and mementos. Finally, he began to sketch out the painting, capturing the essence of Henry’s life in vivid detail.

“The Best of Him” fresco painting portrays Henry as a heroic figure in both his military and civilian life. The artwork features his military uniform in the background, proudly displayed on the American flag, which he had fought for in the name of freedom of speech, democracy, and equality. In addition to depicting his military journey, the painting also showcases his civilian life, where he worked tirelessly to support his family and found ways to cope with the lingering effects of war.

Henry’s story highlights the challenges that many veterans face upon returning home from war. Many struggles with physical and emotional wounds that can take years to heal if they ever do. This can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection, which can further exacerbate their mental health issues.

The painting is a powerful symbol of Henry’s life and legacy, reminding his family, friends, and nation of the sacrifices he made for his country and his unwavering dedication to his loved ones. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of honoring and remembering those who have served their country and made a difference in the world.

Henry’s story, and the painting that honors his memory, are a poignant reminder of the sacrifices that many veterans make for their country, and the struggles they face upon returning home. It also highlights the importance of recognizing and honoring the contributions of those who have made a difference in the world, whether it be through military service or other means. Through art and other forms of expression, we can preserve the legacies of those who have come before us and inspire future generations.

Written by JoyGenea Schumer Furnstahl

Writing assistant