Monday, March 03, 2008

Love, Deanna

Dear Daddy,

So much has happened since you've been gone. There's no way I could write it all in one letter, but I'm sure you understand. Here are some of the highlights!

The year you left us, Skyler was born. She was truly a gift from above as she reminded us of the gift of life when our hearts were broken by your death. She was a tiny little peanut - still is! - but with a big, stubborn mind. Her mommy has met her match! The following year she gave us quite a scare, contracting bacterial meningitis. In the backs of our minds, we kept saying to you, "You can't have her! We want to enjoy her for a lifetime!!" We won, and she's still here, ruling the roost down in Savannah.

A couple years later, your first grandson was born. He was NO peanut, let me just tell you! And he's got some lungs to match his stature. Brendan will not be ignored and if S didn't meet her match the first time around, there's back-up! There are so many things about those two that remind us of you. Brendan's love for food and his Lovegren glare. Skyler's intellectual bent and her piercing eyes. There isn't a day that goes by that we don't all wish you'd had the chance to meet them!

On the homefront, I'm doing just what you told me to do. I'm keeping busy! I even pick up odd jobs here and there and every time I read the want ads (like you taught me), I can see your proud, approving smile. I still think I should call you every time we make a big purchase, are expecting a big storm or just want to meet up with mom somewhere. I also still can't believe it when I forget that you're gone. People have told me that would fade, but it really hasn't. Sometimes it just feels like you're right next to me or in the next room (watching TV!). Most of time, I just feel like you're a phone call away.

Speaking of TV. you should see the nice TV you have now - I mean, that your son has! =) He has taken over your remote control and has talked mommy into some pretty nice technology. She even has a laptop now! D & J... well, let's just say that we're all still waiting on Doug. ;-) You remember what that was like, don't you? I might have more news for you in another 5 years!

My girls still miss their Pabu. We've discontinued our stops at Pilot for M&M's, we still check the weather before we venture out and we still enjoy taking turns in Pabu's chair. Kt - you would be so amazed by her. She studying one of your favorite subjects right now - Ancient Egyptian Civilization. She's even using your Pharaoh books! I really wish you were around to help her make a scale model of a pyramid (like the Mount Vernon you made for S;-)). Kt still remembers you dearly and her deepest desire is to make her grandmother move next door so she can take care of (pillage!) her!

Em doesn't remember you so much anymore, but she can recount any number of stories we've told her about you. While she doesn't remember, she is so like you in so many ways it's eerie. Em is intuitively attached to all weather events and stories. She faithfully listens in the morning for temps and is sure to inform each of us of any impending storm warnings. She also has a unique sense of her individuality, keeping firm in her belief that it really doesn't matter what the norms are, she's her own normal. (I keep waiting for her to happily go off to school in inside out shirts or mismatched shoes!) Em also shares the twinkle in your eye - it's the warmest thing on her most days, and my heart leaps when I see it because for me it's a glimpse into my father's eyes.

Finally, mommy. I know she told you that she would never go anywhere ever again without you around, but we've taken it upon ourselves to disprove that prediction. Since you've abandoned her, we've taken her to Disney World (of course!), Hilton Head, California (Disneyland!;-)), D&J to Montreal and other places around here. Most of the time we've driven or flown her.... she pretty much takes us, though! This summer, she's embarking on one of your dreams - and Alaskan cruise. (She turned down a trip to Hungary with us to go for that one!) You would be so proud of her in so many ways. Actually, you'd be amazed. Life has not been easy, but she's had the most positive attitude towards it all. She is living life to it's fullest despite the lonliness - and most of the time I think she's pretty happy.

There are many other things I could tell you, but really I'm just thankful that we had you around as long as we did. We all miss you dearly but look forward to joining you someday. Until then, we have lots of living left to do and we rest in the belief that you are in a better place, warming up the sofas for us! Don't worry about mommy - we've got her covered. In fact, we're fighting over her all the time. You taught us to value her, respect her and love her unconditionally - and it's a good thing you did that.

Miss you and love you lots,

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