You would have been 70 years old today, if cancer hadn't taken you from us. Instead, we took you on that sunny beautiful day to the Veterans Cemetary, where men and women in full uniform saluted as we brought you in for our final goodbye. It seems almost fitting that I will be sitting today with another family who has lost someone they love.
Things are going pretty well for us. MrG and I still like each other more often than not, and after eleven years of marriage, I think we've finally got the swing of things. We're one payment away from paying off the van. I know you were so proud when we brought over the first car I ever bought without your help.
Your precocious little granddaughter continues to grow and amaze pretty much everyone around her. She stands physically head and shoulders above most of her classmates, and seemingly has the self confidence to pull it off with grace and finesse. We have had her in soccer the past two seasons, and it has been so good for her, both physically and socially. She has emerged as a real team leader and it has been so good for her self confidence. It's too bad her playing skills aren't quite as refined as her leadership skills, because she would certainly be a force to be reckoned with if that were the case.
She is blowing it out of the water at school. You're probably rolling over in your grave at the thought of her learning Spanish, but she's doing it, and she's doing it well. She placed in the Gifted & Talented program at school in all four subjects, and her work is so good that they will be using it as examples for the teachers in a G&T workshop this summer. She is so sassy and has the vocabulary of a fourth grader. This is not always a good combination, as you might imagine!
Your other daughter and her husband have continued to collect very expensive toys, as is their right for their station in life. They brought home the most beautiful boat last month, which would both delight and terrify you, I think. She has had a very trying two years, and I know you would tell her, if you could, that it's the challenges that make us stronger. She has certainly had the chance to become stronger, and I know she misses having you here to help her.
Your son, believe it or not, has finally gotten a real job. After 20 something years of doing his own thing pretty successfully, he's decided that being his own boss is not all it's cracked up to be. He's doing the 9 to 5 thing, day in, day out, just like the rest of the world. He now spends his evenings and weekends with his son playing baseball or riding motorbikes and with that lovely daughter of his just radiating in her pure beauty. She is so much like you at times that it's heartbreaking. She was born on Mom's birthday six months after you died, and there is not a one among us who doubts that she brought parts of you back to us.
Mom is as busy as ever. Church and bunco and bridge and who knows what else all keep her social calendar booked. She went home last weekend for a class reunion and when I fussed at her for not checking in with me after a 200 mile trip on her own, she reminded me tersely that she is a grownup and she has a job. Not much has changed in that regard. She is going this summer to Mongolia, and this holiday season to Bethlehem to sing with the choir. Although you found your faith late in life, I know that her commitment to the Lord would bring you a sense of pride and contentment.
As for me, I am still doing the sales gig. It's been a decade now, and I truly love what I do. I work with nice people. I make decent money. And what I do makes me happy. That's a lot more than a lot of people can say. Jimz is still my very best friend in the world, and we see each other as often as we can. I am on the PTA board at LittleG's school, and at least three times a week, I turn into a total soccer mom.
We miss you here, Dad, and we hope you are happy where you are. I'll try to write again soon.
Lots of love,