Today marks the 9th Anniversary of your death. Last year, I wrote this in your memory.
This week is a very sentimental week for me. Ten years ago today, I was heading to the hospital to have Paige, not knowing if she would survive or not. Nine years ago today, I was preparing to come and see you one last time, to attend your funeral.
So, this week holds a lot of emotions, as you can imagine. But, it hasn't been a sad week for me.
It has been a glorious week, Dad. Because this year, I knew that I would mark the anniversary of your death by telling you that I am honoring your memory in the way you would want me to. My thoughts of you this week have been happy ones - hundreds of good memories of your life, and how very lucky I was to have you for my dad.
I'm living a good life, you know? I am so incredibly blessed with such a good family, and every day gives me a new appreciation for having this life to live. I have a wonderful obligation to live joyously, and I am doing really well at it. You would be proud of me.
I don't take anything for granted, and I do my best to embrace my blessings.
Its been a good year - the kids have done well, everyone has been healthy and tomorrow little "Paigey" will be ten big years old! You would just love her, Dad -- she has such a funny belly laugh, and you would love her hugs and snuggles. She has long, long blonde hair that looks so cute in braids; I remember how you loved my long hair when I was her age.
She has your crystal blue eyes, only with an extra little starburst in them -- I'm sure its your soul sparkling when I look into them.
She walks "the loop" -- round and round our house, just like you would go when you were sick -- round and round in the wheelchair, to get some "exercise". When she does that, we all say she is "channeling Grandpa."
And Dakotah...oh my...you would be shocked. She went from 11 to 17 in a year's time! She is tall and beautiful, and such a good kid. She has a big mop of curly curly hair that she thinks she should color every three weeks. She is a good student, and adores Paige. She has a lot of interests, and is active and healthy. She is really good with Paige too; they are the best of friends.
This year we got a new puppy! You would love him - he's your kind of dog - a big, goofy, lovable dog who likes to velcro himself to your feet when you are sitting down. His name is Kirby and he is part Newfie/part Lab.
Its a rainy day here, and his Newfie instincts have kicked in, because this dog can find a mud puddle from a mile away!
And your great-grandchild count is now up to five - with two little boys, Cameron and Owen, being born this year. Craig has a son, dad! Imagine that! He is so, so cute, and in the tradition that you had of giving Craig the name "Mike" when his mom was pregnant with him, Dakotah dubbed Cameron as "Baby Will" before he was born, and well...Baby Will it is!!!
Thank you for so many things, Dad...so much of who I am is because of who you were. I promise to live a good life for you...
With all my heart,