I miss you.
It's taken me a long time to write this. I knew the next post would be my letter to you, but I didn't want to do it. It seems so final. I know, you've been gone a year and a half. I still don't want to say goodbye.
I was there. It was so hard to watch you laboring for every breath, concentrating so hard to fill your lungs as full as you could. The sweat pouring down your face, just trying to breath was heartbreaking. You gave it your best. You lasted longer than most. Why you kept going, I'll not know for a long time.
I know I miss you. I think about you often. When I see something I know you would appreciate, when I hear a joke I know you would love to repeat, when my son does something I know you would approve of, and when he doesn't.
I have an idea why it was so hard for you to say "I love you." Being the baby of older parents who didn't seem to believe in getting all mushy had to have been it, right? I am my fathers daughter. I had a real hard time saying it to you, because I never knew how you would take it. I remember the first time you told me you loved me, I shouted it from the rooftops. I didn't know you never told my brother or my sister. I hope you did before you passed. I always felt you and I had a special bond, and maybe I was right. I used to make excuses for you to my siblings on why you acted the way you did.
I know by the time your parents had you, they thought they were done with babies. SURPRISE! You were always full of surprises, even from birth. I think they were just tired. I know they loved you too, but I don't remember your mom showing it very much. I don't remember your dad.
After the funeral director moved your body out of the house, they told us to go through pictures. I've seen that ploy before, and it's very effective. We went through pictures of you and we laughed, and we cried. Trying to find one for the big display was the hardest of all. I couldn't agree with anyone on the best picture of you. They wanted the posed pictures that you had taken. They didn't look like you. The eyes weren't quite right, the smile wasn't quite right. I can spot a fake smile on just about anyone, and that was all I could see. There was no crinkle in your eyes, no sparkle, no laughter. No quirky little smile. Then it dawned on me. I didn't see that in the picture because you saved that look for people you loved. For me. for my sister. for my brother. for your family and friends.
You're brother passed away yesterday. I found out this morning. I hope you are both rejoicing and dancing in the streets together. I hope and pray you are. I remember him at your funeral. Another "can't show my feelings guy" with tears falling freely from his eyes with no trying to even dry them. They were falling and I just wanted to squeeze him and tell him you are in a place with no pain and no sorrow. You are with mom again. Being my father's daughter, I just gave him a little hug as he came through the line.
You were loved by a lot of people. I hope you realized that while you were here.
You're wife is an amazing woman. I know what you mean about when she doesn't know when to quit. She is so busy all the time, volunteering here and there, going on mission trips to foreign countries, mission trips in the states, any place she can lend a hand. I know she misses you, and is trying to fill the void that you left in her life. Did you think it would take all that? She said she needs a reason to get up in the morning, and you were it for the longest time. I have really grown to love her more and more every day. She called to tell me about your brother this morning.
I'm so glad you're not hurting any longer. I sure miss you though.
Let me just say I LOVE YOU DADDY! so there. <3 <3 <3 See, that didn't hurt a bit.
God Bless, tell Mom and my beautiful daughter I love them too. The words don't hurt to say out loud, I promise.