Today I was sitting outside enjoying a cigar, a bourbon, and my Kindle. I’m reading a book about near-death experiences. I had some difficulty focusing on what I was reading and found myself after several minutes staring off into the distance.
My mind drifted as it has a tendency to do especially when I am outside and enjoying the solitude that evening tends to bring with it.
Marissa and Chloe just left. Chloe was just four months old when you left. You would love her. The smile I saw on your face when you held a baby screamed happiness. Marissa is pregnant with another girl and they are going to name her Charlotte. Chase, as I’m sure you can imagine wishes the new baby was a boy but he’ll love her the same way he loves Chloe. You’d be so proud of him. He was recently playing a game of chance at an amusement park and won. He was told he could have one large prize or two smaller prizes. He opted for two smaller prizes. When I asked him why he made that choice, he stated, “One for me and one for Chloe.”
Stephen and Caitlin are expecting their first child in December. They opted to not know the gender. They went to a sonogram and the tech who completed noticed after she had handed the sonogram to the parents that the gender was listed on the front of the form. It’s a boy! They’ve opted to only tell Caitlin’s mom, Nancy, and myself so don’t tell mom. To everyone else, gender will remain a secret. In case you’ve not been keeping count, we started the year with two grandchildren and we’ll, God-willing finishes the year with four.
The other day mom said, “I felt dad here the other night.” She said she swore she heard footsteps, your footsteps. If it’s true what they say about Cardinals being the embodiment of a deceased loved one then I know you’re around. When I visit mom, you too make a visit and I am comforted as I know mom is.
This year has been a challenge for me, more so than in recent years. My on-call time with Crisis Services has seen many difficult cases. I feel like you’ve been watching over me and guiding me. For that I am grateful.
When I arrived in the morning to give you your medication you would often ask “Why are you doing this?” I did it because I love you! I did it for the same reasons you did what you did for me for all those years. You and mom always made sure we had clean clothes, food on our table, and shelter over our heads. You made sure we had a loving home. For all of those things, I am grateful.
Christmas is just four short months away. This Christmas, the spot you normally occupy at the table will be empty but I know you will be there in spirit.
It’s been a long day. Nancy and I stopped by to visit this afternoon. I still struggle when I am at the cemetery and think of you. The cicadas are singing and the crickets are chirping. It’s time for me to bring this letter to an end. I will miss you for my birthday next week and for your anniversary with mom at the end of September. I know you’ll be there watching over us. You will be present in my thoughts and prayers.
I love you!