Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Whole Year

Dear Dad,
    I can't believe it has been a whole year since you got to go to heaven.  A WHOLE year.  365 days.  Well, technically 366 because it was a leap year.   A whole year of our lives that you have missed and that we have missed you!  You wouldn't believe how much Olive has changed!  She is quite the "little girl" now and she talks and talks and talks.  A lot like a little girl I know that you remember.  She is so funny and you would love playing with her!  She misses you too.  She talks about you a lot.  She will be looking out the window in the car and say "Oh!  Look! Dano is in the sky."  She knows where you are, but I think just like the rest of us she wishes you were still here.  We have a sweet picture of the two of you in her room and she says goodnight to you every single night.  Sometimes I think you come to see her in her dreams because she will talk about you like you were just there.  Thank you for staying so vivid in her memory! 
      It still feels like yesterday that you left.  Actually, it still feels like yesterday that we were sitting at the table at Chuck House and you were going to the doctor that afternoon to get the news that changed everything.  I still remember you saying, "It is going to be fine. We can't worry about it until we know something, so there's no use in worrying now."  Not a single day goes by when something doesn't make me think of you, whether it is the Goop hand cleaner on the shelf in Homeland, seeing a Bounty commercial, sweet-n-low on the table at a restaurant or seeing your bicycles hanging in my garage.  All of those things make me smile because they remind me of you, but they make me miss you too.  I know that a year ago, it was easy for me to say how happy I was that you got to be in heaven, pain free and enjoying the most amazing and indescribable place ever.  I still feel so happy for you, but selfishly, I wish you were still here.  I wish you were still here so I could talk to you on the phone or ride bikes with you or work on projects with you.  So much has happened this year that you should have been a part of and I hate that we had to do it all without you.  
Lots of good things...
*Olive got a playhouse that I wish you could have built, but you would be so proud of it.
*Olive's second birthday, she got so many presents she had to take a break!  You would have loved watching her open them!
*Her first day of "school", she was so nervous and had a rough start but loved it after the first few weeks.  I wish she could have told you all about her friends and adventures.
*I started my new job and I love it.  I know you were nervous about me taking it and I wish you could see that it has been one of the best decisions I could have made. 
*Thanksgiving and Christmas were special and Olive loved celebrating, but you not being there was obvious and hard.  You would have loved watching her open presents and watching her fancy dance moves to "Extravaganza-lorious!"  
*It didn't snow this winter and we got to actually play outside a lot, you would have loved playing at the park on crisp days with her!
*I turned 31 and I hated not getting to hear you tell me that I was turning into an old lady.  You would have loved teasing me!
*Olive and I took Mom to eat cupcakes on Valentine's day because we knew she was missing her Valentine!  You would have loved watching Olive devour her chocolate cupcake.  
*We spent your birthday eve at the Science museum.  I still remember going on field trips as a kid and you coming as a parent helper.  You would have loved to see all of the changes they have made and how much fun she had there!
*On your birthday we participated in a 5K to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society hoping to do our part so that no one else would have to lose their Dad to this terrible disease.
*Easter was fun too, we didn't have it at "The Point", we had it at a park instead.  Without you and Wesley, the two biggest kids, things were a little more low key.  You would have loved watching Olive fly a kite for the first time! 
*I ran the memorial half marathon!  When you were in the hospital, I remember asking what you would want to do when the leukemia went away, something you had always wanted to do and you said run a marathon.  I told you we would do it together and so we did.  You were with me the whole time.  I even wore a bead on my shoe so when I got tired, I could look down and remember that you were running with me.  I know you would have loved to have actually run with me, but you got the easier end of the deal this way! 
*We took Mom out for your anniversary and we looked at pictures of your wedding.  You guys were so young and hip!  I know you would have loved to be able to take her out yourself, but we did our best to make her happy.

Lots of tough things happened too and I desperately needed to ask your advice or get your reassurance on things.  I still don't think it is fair that we had to go through those things without you.  Terrible heartache from loss of loved ones, one we didn't even know yet. Judgement and rejection from people about values that you taught me.  I have been truly challenged in my faith and we had to deal with it without you!  Not that you could have changed it, but you being here would have made it easier.  I know that in your own simple way, you could have helped calm the storm.

I miss you every moment of every day.  I try to be grateful for the 30 years that I was with you on this Earth because I know there are so many who grow up without a Dad at all and I was so so lucky to have one of the best!  I know heaven has been good to you and I am sure you are having a wonderful time, I can't wait until we can join you and all rejoice together.  Happy One Year Heaven Anniversary!  I love you THE MOST!  -Danee'

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