Alan Jackson has a song called “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning.” He asks this in the first line of the song and he goes on to say… “That September day.” Well, there is a day in September, which was not September 11th, where my world did stop turning. It’s today, September 23.
You have been gone for 3 years today. 3 years. It feels like it just happened yesterday. I remember every single heart beat that day. I had literally posted one of my Questions of the Day and asked the World Wide Web, what they would do if they had one extra hour in the day. We had no idea you passed quietly in your sleep. We had no idea that life as we knew it would change forever that most beautiful day in September, and my God, it was beautiful. I cannot remember a more beautiful day.
How are you Dad? Sometimes, there is an ache in my heart and it is not like the normal aches, it is like the kind of ache you get when you know someone, somewhere, is missing you, real bad. And your heart aches back because you cannot fix it or get to them. I FEEL you missing me. I FEEL you missing all of us. And although I know you are at peace where you are, I also know you are sad you had to go. Actually, I have no idea if you are at peace where you are, I just hope to goodness you are.
So much has changed in the last 3 years Dad. You would be so proud of your grandchildren, who are no longer children, but grown young adults. Ethan FINALLY graduated college, I wish you could have seen it…it was such an emotional time for Sister. Bella is on her last year of college, can you believe that? The one who hated school? She has to work so hard to get where she is going, I hope someday life gives her a break. Dalton is a beast and I mean a beast. He is probably going to be in strongman competition someday soon and he is so handsome, he is a senior this year Dad, graduating High School! Kolbie, oh my goodness, you would not recognize how beautiful she is, and a different hair color almost every other week! She still loves school as much as she always has, not, but she is going to the homecoming dance this year and I am positive you would have raked that young man that is taking her, over the coals before they went. Brother is doing well, I am so proud of him, you already know why. I see so much of you in him anymore, it is kind of scary. Sister works like 4 jobs and I hardly ever see her anymore, but we stay in touch.
The most important news I have for you is about me. I don’t even remember the last time I was able to talk about something positive about myself with you, it always felt like I was just going to be faced with many adversities my whole life and I guess I was getting used to just living that way.
Anyway, I am getting married; her name is Kristina. On a Beach in the Florida Keys. And most importantly to my best friend. I never fathomed this day to would come. Someone I feel like I have already known for a lifetime. You would love her. She is originally from Up North, near Green Bay, BOO, but she is smart, she is funny, she is beautiful, she loves me unconditionally, she was a total surprise and by surprise I mean I had been trying for years to get her to pay attention to me, and for whatever reason she finally did. We work together, I know I know, but it works for us. She is my car pooler and we have a lot of fun. She makes me laugh. A lot.
She has 3 teenage boys Dad. THREE! TEENAGE BOYS. They eat a lot of food. And we always never have enough in the house. They are active and involved in a lot of things so sometimes its major chaos and if you remember me, I don’t do chaos well. I am not very good at this parenting thing. Not good at all. And I am always reminded about the time I was told 3 years ago that I would not be able to have kids and you grabbed my foot and said “they aren’t all they are cracked up to be.” They are a lot of work. They are a full time job. I don’t parent them, as they have parents, I just try to support her and be supportive and it is hard when they push her buttons, to keep my mouth shut and let what happens, happen. Contrary to popular opinion, she is a damn good mother and its one of the reasons I fell in love with her.
I am saddened to my core that you are not alive to see one of the biggest events in my life. I can hear you say “Florida, what’s in Florida?” Well, we both love beaches and hope to someday end up living close to one. I know you would have made the trip, as you had become quite the world traveler before you passed. I also know you would have driven me nuts once we got there.
I am sad you will never know these boys. I have a feeling you and Brock would have hit it off quite well. He’s a ladies man and has these huge dimples which usually win people over, but he is quite ornery. You would have loved all the boys and I would have said good luck getting much out of Drew, he’s the quiet one. But don’t let that fool you; there is so very much going on in his mind. You would have loved coming to the basketball games and watching Quinn play, he is amazing and very fun to watch.
There are moments, I cannot breathe without tears rolling down my eyes…and sometimes I just look at Kristina and say, he should be here and she knows what I am talking about. You see, her father passed suddenly too, it was something we had in common and she gets it, she really gets it.
My health has not been the best, but you know I have fought this since I was 7. We take one day at a time and Kristina has been a blessing…for the first time in my life, I don’t have to go through things alone. After you died I took on the motto of getting busy living instead of getting busy dying, but this has made this hard to do sometimes.
Most importantly, I wanted you to know that I am no longer alone. 43 years…was a long lonely time. She fills and continues to fill, all of the empty spaces. She lets me be me, and honors and respects who I am.
I finally published my book and I finally made it to see Adele. Never mind who she is, it was a great concert. This year alone, I have been to Mexico, California, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Collecting memories not things. We get a lot of grief about our travels, but if I die tomorrow, I sure as hell am not going to care about people who think I travel too much.
September is so hard for me. On so many levels for so many reasons, but today, on the day we found out our father was gone, I try to take a moment and tell myself that I need to live life to the fullest. To embrace all the good days and bad days because at least I still have the days. I know we don’t tell the people we love that we love them enough. I know we get caught up in the nonsense of life…
I am glad you are not here to see what the world is becoming, everyone hates everyone. It is so sad. Donald Trump could be our next President for the love of God, which you would absolutely love. And you would love telling Crooked Hillary jokes…all day long; to whoever would listen to them. God you would love it. I don’t want either one of them running our country but I can assure you that if Donald wins, the world will never be the same.
I do not know where you are, or what you are doing today, I just hope you don’t have to relive what happened like we do. I hope you are happy, laughing, fishing, and telling stupid jokes, whatever it is that makes that ache a little less today. And wherever you are, I hope you know that I am finally, for the first time in my life, deeply loved. And it feels amazing.
I love and miss you so very much.