How can I miss you as much as I do?
Absent from here for five years.
Still very present in all of our lives.
We had to pull out our old memory box this week.
Lance was wanting to wear Kevin's Varsity jacket on "dress like your parents day" at school.
He's a senior, ya know.
Our baby is in his last year.
I saw a picture in that box of you, m and me at my graduation.
You looked young.
Happy to have your arm around me.
Proud of me.
The last of five.
And yet, I think we all felt that way, Dad.
Remember the "tunnel tunnels"?
Those forever tunnel going under the mountains on our way to Virginia?
If I close my eyes I can still feel like I'm sitting on the hump in our front seat...
~The "car seat" of the 1970's~
And you are pretending to be scared as you drove us through that long, lighted tunnel?
Oh, and using your pretend voice?
I miss that voice.
You know what?
I think I use that voice now.
With our grandkids.
I wish they knew you.
Well, wait a minute.
It's almost like they do know you.
Your legacy lives on.
Your love for life still flows through us.
Those silly songs are still being sung.
Cards are still being played until all hours of the night.
The tickle mousey lives.
Milkshakes are still being made.
Even the "car game", Dad.
We all still talk about and play the "car game".
You made life fun.
You didn't take it all so seriously.
You laughed a whole lot.
And made us laugh too.
Trampolenes and pool tables.
We didn't have a ton of money.
Didn't live in a big house.
One tiny bathroom.
Shower in the basement.
Our little home was a safe haven.
A comfortable place for everyone to congregate.
Mom's kitchen was always open.
Soup on the stove.
You siting in your rocking chair.
Reading the paper or waiting for the mail.
Available to talk.
Just plain available.
Thanks for that, Dad.
I broke my ankle this past year.
it was completely humbling and a tad bit funny.
I think you would have laughed.
But it knocked me off of my feet for a good couple of months.
And I sat.
You know what the kids said about it?
They kinda liked knowing they could find me on the couch when they needed me.
That was you, Dad.
If one of us needed picked up from school?
If I needed someone to rock one of my babies.
I will just call Dad.
Ok... I know, you maybe threw it at us and said "Just take it all".
Haha... that makes me smile just thinking about it.
You know why?
Because it didn't scare me.
You never did scare me.
As mad as I made you sometimes?
I wasn't ever afraid.
I don't think ever.
Again, how can I thank you?
I think I'm learning how.
By being me.
Loving my kids.
Loving Mom well.
~She is starting to say she is ready to go and be with you.~
~You can't have her just yet though.~
~Not just yet.~
I can learn to laugh a little more.
I can stick with the Tigers.
I know right?
You know what I did one day when I was missing you?
I listened to an old replay of a Tigers game.
Just wanted to hear Ernie Harrell's voice.
Music to my ears.
The sound of my childhood summers.
Baseball and golf.
No Air conditioning.
Sweat it out.
Go play outside.
Go to the pool.
Enjoy the outdoors.
You helped show us all how to live.
I'm sitting here with Leslie right now.
We are watching a few of your grandsons play Spikeball in the backyard.
Football is on T.V.
Mom is in Columbus holding your newest great grandson.
She got to see Sawyer play in The Ohio State Band earlier today.
BUT... you would be so stinking proud.
You would have shed a few tears watching him.
And let's be honest.
Holding that baby too.
And watching the boys in the backyard.
All of it.
You would have shed tears for all of it, Dad.
That's what we all love about you.
Your love for us.
Miss ya, Dad.