First, I am so very proud of you and love you so much words just cannot truly express it. You became the most amazing young man and a wonderful husband and above all that, you were the best son a mom could have. You have always been the light of my life and I truly do not feel whole without you here, but I'm still blessed if you can believe that. Here's why (I think you would be proud of them all).
- Candi, Nathan, (now Lorin), Tia, & Trevor have done a great job of continuing to help me feel like a mom. On days when I feel less of a mom one of them does something or says something to make me feel like a mom. I know you would be so proud of them. One thing I know for sure (yep, I've been reading Paige)... I'm blessed to call them my kids.
- Your school friends (yes, the NUTS) have been amazing to keep us included in their lives and they are constantly doing something to make me feel like our family just continues to grow. When they have babies, they include us, when they graduate or have a milestone in their lives, they include us. Across the street Justin named his baby boy after you. What I know for sure is these guys are always working to fill your shoes and remind me that I am needed and they love me. You would be so proud of them.
- Your Marine brothers go out of their way to check on me and make sure Tebo and I are ok. They try so hard (and succeed) in making you proud and keeping your memory alive! They name their babies after you and they truly honor you with that. They are allowing me to feel like a grand"Ammy" every bit as much as Candi & Nathan do. They may continue to struggle from time to time, but Chad, they are working so hard not to let that beat them. One thing I know for sure, you would be so proud of them. I know you would want them to continue to live a happy and full life and they are trying so hard every day to do just that.
- Our families do a great job of lifting me up or just listening on hard days. They remind me that it is ok to be sad and miss you and for that I am so grateful. All the parents are great about encouragement and just loving on us (you included) to help us through this journey. Some days are easier than others to allow that to happen and they continue to do it even on the days when I'm not that easy to reach out to. You would be so proud.
- Tebo... What can I say? He has been amazing. I cannot imagine having to walk this walk without him by my side. One thing I know for sure, he is my rock. He knows when I just need to be quiet and alone and he knows when I need to be pushed to get out of the house and do something. He puts up with a lot and he has been a stand up man when it might have been easier for him to just walk away. He has never considered not being here for me and for that I know you would be grateful and proud.
- My friends have been so amazing too. They support me without making it about pity. They send me sweet notes or just come by to give me a hug. They do a good job of listening to all my stories about you and letting me share my memories (and there are a lot of those, so thank YOU for that). I would imagine they sometimes get tired of all that, but they never let me feel that. One thing I know for sure is these are true friends and I know you would be proud that I have them as much as I am.
You continue to live on with so many people and for that, I am truly grateful. It makes missing you a tad bit more tolerable and for that I know you would be proud.
I won't lie, there are days I find it quite the challenge to want to get up and face the world. Some days I merely go through the motions of life and those days it feels like I'm in a fog. I would imagine those days will never truly end and honestly, I'm not sure I would want them too as it seems that would mean it's easier to miss you. It will never be easy to miss you nor would I want it to be. You were the biggest part of me for 22 years. That doesn't go away just because you are no longer on this earth.
I hope you are dancing in heaven and I hope the angels know how lucky they are to have you. I play the song "Dancing in the Sky" every time I go to the cemetery and the words couldn't be more perfect. Since our song was always "I hope you Dance", this just feels like it fits perfectly. Jorden sent me that song one day and she was spot on with it. You would be so proud of her. She is in the last year of college and she is just an amazing young lady. Timothy is a great husband and working so hard, you would be so proud of him. Peanut & Scooter are doing really well with home schooling and have turned into some great kiddos. You would be so proud of them. Christopher is really growing up and seems so adult and Cole is very much taking after you with skateboarding and bicycle trick riding. He is so funny. You would be so proud of them. Betsy and James (while you didn't know them as well) are some pretty great kids themselves. They are smart and so well behaved. You would be so proud of them. Kayla & Caleb are such good kids. They are in high school now and will be driving soon. Kayla is amazing at soccer and Caleb is all about hiking. You would be so proud of them.
BoBo is still doing great and not slowing down a bit. He is still the same BoBo with a little hole in his heart too, but he keeps on keeping on. You would be proud of him. Nana continues to take good care of him and loves him through all his craziness.... :) You would be proud of her.
Granny struggles with Alzheimer's, but she keeps putting one foot in front of the other each day even when she doesn't feel like it. You would be so proud of her. I know they all miss you very much. We talk about you all the time. I know, that shocks you not.
Son, I could talk to you forever. I used to never get tired of our chats (in fact would have been thrilled to have had tons more). I look back with great fondness and pride when I think about our date nights and the fact that you just obliged your mom with that time and never complained. I'm not sure you will ever truly know what that time meant to me. I cherished them then and I cherish them now. You truly are my sunshine and will forever be missed tremendously (more than words can express).
I love you and will continue to do my best to make you proud. Love, your momma bear...