I cannot believe its been 12 years since you left us. Sometimes it feels like moments ago, and other times it seems like forever. I think about you every day and I miss you still. I wonder all the time if you are in Heaven where I will get to see you again some day.
I wish you were still here to see how well the boys are doing. Andrew is working through some things in order to make the next step in his life. He is so smart and has such a huge heart. His sense of humor is top notch. He has this zeal for learning new things that never stops. He has overcome so much in his young life and while he still has some struggles (who doesn't) he never lets them keep him down. He is so resilient and just keeps pushing forward. I can just imagine the political and sports conversations the two of you would have. He would keep you on your toes! He is my mini me.
Adam is a junior in college. A JUNIOR! I am not sure how that happened so fast. He is so much like you daddy. It amazes me. He not only resembles you in appearance but he acts a lot like you too. He is a big teddy bear with an enormous heart. He works hard, and loves to stay busy. He works, goes to school and is in the marching band, Of course, he excels in all of them. He is majoring in elementary education with a minor in math. I cannot wait to see the impact he will have on children as a teacher. He is patient and has a real passion for making a difference. I wish you could see him march. I know you would be impressed. He is amazing.
I hate that they missed out on a lifetime of knowing you. I am sure you would have taught them so much, and you would have probably learned a thing or two from them also. Bob's kids are pretty awesome too. They are all doing well in school and in sports. He left a great legacy in those boys and I am sure Carla will continue to foster greatness in them. They are Schaals after all.
We lost Bob several months ago and to be honest, I am glad you were not here to go through that. I saw how hard it was on Mom and that was enough. I was glad I got to say goodbye to him, but hated that we lost him too. I hope you two are in Heaven together talking about football and this "president" we have.
As for me, well, I took a leap of faith recently and the memories of you and Bob are what helped me to do it, The last time I got to talk to him he told me that he did not regret anything, but that he was sad he would not get to do all the things he wanted to do. I know also, that you did not get to travel like you wanted to so I am out here doing it for the both of you. Life on the truck is fun, exciting, challenging and sometimes hard. I think you would be proud of me for taking this chance and for pushing through on the days when I just want to go home. The other day we were going through Colorado and it was so stunning I could not help but cry with frustration that you never got to see it. or California, or Wyoming or any of those places that you wanted to see, so I do it for you , daddy,
There really is not a way to describe how much I miss you. It still hurts but not like it used to. I don't think it ever stops hurting, it just becomes something you learn to live with. I feel sad for the things that you have missed, I cry for the times when I need to hear an answer for the questions I ask to you. I talk to you all the time, and I see you in rainbows. My heart aches and sometimes I feel cheated for having lost you when you were only 62. We did not get to have you in our lives long enough and I think it stinks.
The beauty is though that I did get to have you in my life as the best dad ever for almost 36 years. My kids do have some memories of you and they know all of your stories and corny jokes because I have passed them along. I have memories of going to Lake Erie with you, of listening to you sing Kenny Rogers and riding my first ever roller coaster with you. They remember pancake breakfasts at the VFW with you. I learned strength and determination from you. I learned how to work hard and love hard too, from you. You taught me so much and I am so thankful for all of it, You were the best dad a girl could ask for and I am blessed to have been your daughter. Thank you for everything. I hope you always knew how much I love you and how much I needed you, respected you and looked up to you. I still do. I always will.
I hope you see me. I hope you are proud of the way I have raised the boys. Of the kind of wife I am and the kind of person I am. I hope that you hear me when I talk to you and I hope it is you around me when I feel like you are here.
I love you daddy. I hope to be with you again some day, but until then I will see you in the rainbows.