I created this blog thinking that I’d use it for maybe sharing recipes, or maybe parts of the book I’m writing (and currently taking a break from), or just venting to the world about stuff, but I think I do enough of that on Facebook, so today I decided that I’m using it to write letters to you. I know people reading these will probably think that I’ve lost my mind, but honestly talking to you always made me feel better about things when you were here, so even though I can’t sit next to you and tell you things that are on my mind, I think I’ll still get the same feeling of talking to you.
Its been a while since I broke down from missing you. I haven’t been able to stop by your gravesite and talk to you. I haven’t really focused on anything except work, school, parenthood, and being a wife here lately. Those things seem to consume all of my time. Its not that I haven’t thought about you, or wished that were still here, I just haven’t let myself dwell on it, because when I do it hurts to realize after almost 6 years how much I still miss you.
Yesterday Tim and I were cleaning out the guest room. We’re trying to get the house completely organized so when Christmas comes it’ll be easier to put away the umpteen million presents your spoiled rotten great grandson will get this year. I went through boxes of photos, clothes, toys, sorting them all out between good will, attic storage, what needs to be put somewhere else in the house, and things for my sister in law. I was going through a box of winter clothes and I came to this sweater that I’ve worn once. I worn it on a cold day in February. I went home and took it off and put it in a box. That box moved to my apartment, back to my mama’s, to Tim’s parents house, and then to our house. That sweater has not only my tears soaked into the sleeves, but Mama’s, Nana’s, Katie’s and Megan’s tears all soaked into the shoulders. I saw this sweater in this box and I picked it up and held it to my chest. I heard the songs I was barely able to sing, felt the tears I tried to hold back and look strong for mama and the girls, could see the smiles I smiled thinking about the good times, and I saw you….dressed in camo overall’s with a green shirt covered in bucks, your eyes closed, pictures of your girls in your hand, your hands over your mid section with your “monkey bitten” index fingers showing and I’m sorry Papa, but I cried. I stopped unpacking clothes and I just held that sweater and cried. I only wore it that day I was forced to say good bye to you. That day all of those people told me that it would be ok, you were in a better place, you would never leave me, and you wouldn’t want me to be sad. The fact is it was impossible to not be sad. One of the people I loved most in the world was gone, and I selfishly wanted you to come back. When I got home from the funeral that sweater went in a box and until yesterday it stayed there. It soaked in a few more of my tears while I sat on the guest room floor hugging it tight remembering you and how much I miss you. Tim sat on the floor and just held me, because he knew without me saying a word why I was crying. Then, like the little light of life that he is that amazing great grandson of yours came and hugged my neck and patted my head and said “Its ok, Mama”
Papa I wish you had met him before you left. He’s amazing. He’s so happy. His smile will light up the whole world. He’s finally starting to talk, and is so smart. Papa you would love him so so much. I now he’d be even more spoiled than he already is if you were here. I wish you were here to bounce him on your knee, or to walk to power line pointing out deer, rabbits, birds, flowers, and showing him the different animal tracks. He’s probably already have his own deer stand by now and a special tree where he could put it. In a couple of years I’m gonna start teaching him how to shoot, just like you taught me. I’ll probably cry when he hits hit first bullseye, just because I’ll remember how happy you were when I did. Those are times I miss with you the most. When it was just you and me at my gun competitions. If I shot the ring next to the center and it didn’t break the bullseye, I’d get so mad at myself, and you as patient with me as you were, would tell me how to calm down and get it the next time. You made me the girl who outshot all the boys. You’d be proud to know that it eats my father in law up when I outshoot him no matter what gun I’m aiming (My husband too)
I graduate College in May. Six months away, and I graduate college with a Criminal Justice Degree. Remember how proud you were when I graduated High School? I wish you could be there to hug me like you did when I got that diploma, because this one is so much more important, and I’ve worked so hard. I have a 4.0 in college! Can you believe that? Of course you can, you believed any of us could do anything no matter what.
Megan’s getting married in June. You’d love Josh. He’s the guy Megan needed to be her soul mate. He’s calmed her down just enough to where she’s not completely wild…but we’re all still scared to be the one who wakes her up in the mornings
Katie misses you and we cry together a lot. I know you wouldn’t want us crying over you, but it shows how much you mean to us. We don’t know what else to do sometimes, but cry. She’s been teaching Braiden a lot. She’s the reason he’s learning so much at such a young age.
Mama I think misses you more than any of us. She gets lost sometimes. When she talks to me I feel like no one could really make her feel better except for you. I know there are times when she just wants her daddy’s arms around her. Just like there are times when I just need my Papa’s arms around me.
Nana talks about you a lot. Danny’s living at home now, and I know you would love to be there for that. Even though you would have to sleep on the couch or with Nana and all her snoring glory I know you would love having him at home with you though. He loves Braiden and asks Nana “Where’s baby?” when he’s not there.
You’d be so proud of all of us. We all stick together and help each other financially, emotionally, and in every other way possible. We’re there for each other no matter what just like family is supposed to be.
I think what I miss most are your hugs. The ones where you squeezed too tight, and rubbed your whiskers against my cheek and you said “MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMHMMMMMM I love you” I always felt loved, safe, and cherished when you did that.
If my phone rings at 5pm I always wish I could look at the caller ID and see your number come up. Just to hear your voice….to hear you say “I love you baby, Bye” again. I took those phone calls for granted. I got used to them and just always thought they’d keep coming. After almost 6 years of missing that phone call I realize how stupid I was not to record every single one.
All of this because I found the sweater I wore at your funeral. I love you so much. I miss you even more than that.
I love you Papa,