“And it’s dance with me, dance with me Nautical Wheelers.. take me to the stars that you know..” -Jimmy Buffett
What I wouldn’t give to go back to these days. Four years ago we spent the day on this beach on Jost Van Dyke, BVI that I consider the most beautiful place in the world. We loved it so much we all went back the following summer and Glenn proposed to me in that very water. I had crashed in on your plans to go on a Caribbean vacation that summer with Mom, but you didn’t mind in the least. I was always so grateful I was able to take that trip with you and mom and now even more than ever. We stayed on St Thomas but explored St John and Jost Van Dyke as well. You and I would hang out, wine glasses in hand, while we watched mom dance (as she always does) to the live reggae music they played every night at the local bar/restaurant on the beach at our resort. It was an amazing bonding experience as It was the first time as an adult being with just the two of you for an entire weeks’ vacation.
We didn’t have a care in the world then very much unlike today. Currently, these last two weeks have been the hardest of my life. I’ve never felt such pain and anguish as I have as of late. I know things will get harder before they get better but I promise you one day they will get better or maybe easier for us.
I put on a daily facade in front of others that I’m doing okay but that’s far from the truth. I try hard to be, but I can only lie to myself for so long. I don’t like to look or feel weak, and I think that is a trait I got from you. This might be because we know how strong we can be, but sometimes I just have to let go and let it out.
Though the hardest times have been recent, we know it started a few years back. Only days after mine and Glenn’s wedding, things were never quite the same again. I’ve always felt as though a part of life has been missing ever since. I wish he had more time with you, when you were stronger, and had more memories of how you were. I know you had plans. You two were going to go out on our boat, and you were going to teach him how to fish. We had more trips to go on, and even you and I had talked about going back one day to our St Thomas resort, Bolongo Bay after Kelci and I had kids for an amazing family vacation. Kelci and Jose will be leaving on their honeymoon soon, and you told me you were looking forward to having us over for dinner. You had wanted to cook Glenn a steak and potatoes dinner with biscuits and gravy. I’m not quite sure how you were going to achieve this with our situation as of late, but it’s all you’ve talked about on a few of our last visits together in the bedroom I grew up in that had recently become yours. It was your way of thanking him for all the work he does for you and Mom around the house and yard, and I knew he would have loved that. I have not shared this with him, but I was trying to keep the tears at bay.
As we get to where we are today, I can’t help but feel angry at times. I’m mad that I believe certain things could have been avoided to lead us to the point we are today, I’m upset because we didn’t get nearly enough time. Kelci and I still have not had children of our own yet, and I feel guilty sometimes for not having made you a grandfather. Though it does comfort me to know how much you loved Hunter and felt as though he was your own. I started to expect that weekly Friday evening call wondering if it had been our week with Hunter so that he could spend the day with you and Mom on Saturday while we worked. He loved you very much as well and has been very comforting towards me during these rough weeks. I can only be angry for so long though because I do feel we all have a plan beyond our control and everything somehow happens for a reason some way or another.
I know you’re scared right now Daddy, I am too. All I can do is wish you peace and make sure you know how much your family loves you. Your girls will be okay. Mom is Super Woman and will be around forever, but you already know this. You will be missed beyond belief, so much that I’m sure it will physically hurt at times, but in the end, we will be alright. We will keep up traditions you started, like our Black Friday drive through the Upper Keys including drinks with a little shopping at Robbie’s followed by lunch at our favorite spot, Lazy Dayz, and the Peppermint Pig that has become famous amongst our clan at Christmas. I will proudly show off much of your nautical decor as I have been obtaining my own collection through the years and I promise to make you proud in the adult I continue to grow into.
I love you so much Daddy and just remember… it’s not goodbye; it’s just “see ya later”.
I’ll forever love you, Hillary
…and just so you know as I finish writing this I am drinking a cold one with Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson’s, Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys blasting in the house. Everyone could use a little Merle Haggard Radio on their Pandora…
>I wrote this a week ago. I had not wanted to post it yet because my Dad is a private and prideful man and the last thing he would want is to have people dote on him or feel bad for him. He would not want to be remembered that way. He was to come home this past Sunday to be at peace and be comfortable in his own home with his family but I guess there were bigger plans for him. He passed Sunday morning in his sleep. Rest easy Daddy.<