It’s Jess…your daughter. What’s it been? 20 years yesterday? Should a 31 year old be able to say that? If you were concerned though, I still had a pretty decent birthday back then in ’96. Sure the funeral the day before sucked, the mourning the entire week was the absolute pits. You were so excited to take me to the State Fair, it honestly felt wrong attending without you, but life had to go on.
It was pretty awesome, the corn dogs were fantastic, fried everything, a few decent (yet incredibly expensive) rides. Kudos to mom for hauling an infant, a toddler, and a
ten eleven year old across the state and through the fair grounds. Aunt Kim came too with Matt and Keri, I wish we all lived closer.
Grandaddy, I hope you’ve bumped into him once or twice in the past two years (he will talk your ear off about Lil’ A), he made sure my birthday dinner was quite festive. We’re talking mariachi band, sombreros, and multi-colored Jello. So all in all, you didn’t ruin everything, I’m sure that was your top concern.
Wow, should a 20 year old be able to say that? The baby Chris has become quite the man. He’s moved here to Alabama, is engaged, and working incredibly hard. He is the kids’ super Uncle, and my family away from home. God, how I love him.
Oh and Chase, 25, he’s married now. I’m sure it’s hard to picture him anything but the toddler you said bye to that fateful day as you drove off to catch that plane. I think you would be most impressed by him, probably if you were here you’d be the closest to him too. He has your conviction that Chris and I just will never understand. We never fight though dad, well not anymore, how childish would that be? Our struggles brought us closer, inseparable, Chase and I are not siblings but survivors.
I sometimes think if you were still around my radical ideals would drive you bonkers. But then I try to think back and remember that love, that love only a father could give a daughter. I really had you twisted around my finger and boy did I know it when I forced you to read, and re-read that torturously tongue twisting Fox in Socks.
Oh ya, it’s my turn now if you haven’t seen. Sometimes I like to picture you an angel watching over me, although I’m pretty certain that’s not how those things work. Lil’ A loves taunting me with the same terrible ill-rhythmic propaganda Good Night Texas. We read it over and over and over again, still unsure that it was every really written with any decent pace. You were not forgotten when she came into this world, your first granddaughter, the yellow rose was for you.
And Baby K has come into this world too, we call her the bruiser. She is passionate for food, and her favorite two people are her daddy and her sister. A daddy’s girl just like I was.
Two little granddaughters and one bonus grandson you would have just loved to squeeze and spoil. I wish you were here to teach them to ride their bikes, though I’d prefer if you leaved the skinned knees to me. It aches my heart that they will never know you, I’m sure to them as they age you’ll just be some strange distant entity that doesn’t seem real or significant much like most view their greatest grandparents.
I’m picking up mom tomorrow from the airport in Birmingham. Who would have ever imagined ending up in Alabama? She is keeping the girls while we celebrate my 31st in Vegas. I wish you were here to join her.
When we are brought trauma and misfortune it is best to find the good in it. Through your exit I discovered the therapy that is provided from writing. I just type and write, I don’t think technically. I am finally wrapping up a book after years yapping about it. It’s not the book I set out to write, but it has been surprisingly smooth to accomplish. I have also been conditioned with an inner-strength, like a peacock I find strength from strife.
There are so many memories over the past 20 years I would trade my strength for you to have been able to experience:
In a note
of less sentiment. Please check out Eric’s Taboo Challenge: