Tessa’s Dad’s Click

@Tessasdad is another great person I’ve been following on Twitter for some time now.  He is a stay-at-home-dad and blogger.  After you’ve read his click you can find more on his blog here and follow him on Twitter here.

April 4 of 2009 was all at once the happiest, most exciting and anxiety-producing day of my life.

It was the happiest because I got to fall in love instantly with my beautiful daughter Tessa.

It was the most exciting because I waited nine months to finally meet her, hold her and tell her how much I loved her.

It was the most anxiety-producing because now that Tessa was here, I was a father for real now. I was a first-time father a month away from my 37th birthday. I was also a first-time father that was going to be a stay-at-home dad. Most scary though was that I was a first-time father who wasn’t really confident he was cut out to be a good father.

All sorts of voices were in my head trying to convince me that this was a huge mistake. “You’re too old. You’re too selfish. You’re too used to being able to do whatever you want. You don’t know how to be a father. You don’t have any idea what a good father is. How can you be one?” Over and over these things ran through my head – until later that day when I saw Tessa’s head turn at the sound of my voice.

At first I didn’t think I saw what I thought, but my wife, Deb, noticed it too. She commented about how Tessa had been listening to me for many months now and knew who her Daddy was.

It kind of hit home then. Tessa and I were starting out fresh. There was no history, but only today. All she knew was that her Daddy was there to hold her, soothe her, kiss her forehead, and change her diaper. We were starting our first day together and with me being a stay-at-home dad, we were going to get to know each other really well, really soon.

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Jack M’s Click

I’ve been following Jack for a long time on Twitter.  I was super excited when he surprised me by writing the following story just for me!  You can follow Jack on Twitter here and read his blog here.

I’m in Labour!

The title of this story was what my wife told me during an early morning phone call while I was away for work in Perth, Western Australia. At the time of this story, my wife and I and our eldest daughter were living in Adelaide, South Australia.  My wife, Lisa was heavily pregnant but wasn’t due for over 3 weeks. I had been away for 4 days and I was due to fly home that afternoon.  With a little over 3 weeks left to go I thought no problems with the schedule.  How wrong was I!

Here is the story of my mad dash home the day my youngest daughter, Lara was born.

12.45am Perth time, February 8, 2005.

I had just jumped into bed after a long day working.  My usual pre-bed routine was to put my phone on vibrate as the usual east coast phone calls would start coming in at about 7am local time.  My head office was in Brisbane which is 2 hours in front of Perth time.  As I wouldn’t be rising until after head office started clicking into gear, I always kept my phone on vibrate during my Perth trips to avoid any early morning wake up calls, especially tonight, having gone to bed so late.   I was lying there and I had an urge to actually put my phone on ringer.  Not sure why I had the urge, I took it off of vibrate, just in case.

At 1am, I am still awake. My phone rings.  I have a different ring tone for my wife so instantly I knew it was her calling.  Glancing at the clock I also knew it was 3.30am in Adelaide.  It doesn’t take a scientist to know what this call is about.  I answer the phone expectantly.  Lisa informs me that she is in labour.  I don’t recall the exact specifics of the conversation but I am sure we discuss whether it is real or not as with her first pregnancy, Lisa had a few falsies.  I think they are called Braxton Hicks (someone can correct me if I am wrong).  It doesn’t take long for Lisa to convince me that this is the real deal.

Shit! I gotta get out of here and get to Adelaide, pronto!  By car it is 2,703km or a 4 day drive.  Too far to start driving.  The baby will be celebrating her first birthday by the time I get there. By plane and as the crow flies the distance from Perth to Adelaide is approx 1,750km flying over the Great Australian Bight, Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent.  Quicker option but I know flights don’t leave Perth in the middle of the night.  I hang up the phone from Lisa after telling her I am coming home and secretly wishing she keeps her legs crossed.  I call QANTAS and explain the situation.  There is a flight leaving Perth at 6.25am which will have me back in Adelaide at 11.45am.  Now I hope there are spare seats available.  There are!  I am then informed that I have to purchase a new ticket as because I was within 24 hours of my flight I couldn’t make any changes.  Not in the mood for arguing, I do so.

I do the maths quickly in my head.  Ok, she’s in labour at approx 3.30am Adelaide time.  I arrive in Adelaide at 11.45am and then add on 30 mins for cab to the hospital.  Ok, I can get there at 12.15pm.  That’s less than 9 hours after going into labour.  She can hold on.  Our first daughter, Michaela was in labour for well over 22 hours.

I’m a chance to make it.

I call Lisa and tell her the news.  She is on her way to the hospital with her mum and Michaela.  I talk to Michaela and tell her everything is going to be ok.  She sounds excited, even after getting woken in the middle of the night.  She said she’ll look after mummy.  What a good girl.

Now what do I do?  By now it is 1.30am and I have the flight in 5 hours.  I decide sleep is a must as it is going to be a very long day.  Remember I still hadn’t slept since the night before.  I quickly pack my things so I am ready to fly out the door when I wake.

Did I sleep?  Of course not. I am excited.  Nervous. Scared. On edge.  Disappointed I’m not there.

I get up and send a few emails to work and to people I am meant to be meeting in Perth that day.  Don’t try contacting me. I’m rushing back to Adelaide and explained why.  So that took all of 5 minutes.  I remember flicking on the TV and watching some infomercials.  That’s some quality TV.  I quickly switch it off.

I then recall a time in 1994 when I was in Darwin, eager to leave asap.  I arrived at the Darwin airport at midnight, 12 hours early for a flight to Brisbane in the hope I might get an earlier one.  As it turned out, I did.  I was put onto an international flight which was stopping over in Darwin.  I landed in Brisbane 4 hours before I was due to depart Darwin.  I was also upgraded to first class which was amazing but I digress.  So I get my gear together, check out and go to the airport.  I dropped off my hire car and proceeded inside to a ghost town.  There was no one there so that was a bad idea. Then I remembered that the international airport was separate to the domestic.  I decided against trying as I had dropped off my keys and knew that it was a hopeless cause anyway.

So I waited.  Slowly the airport buzzed into life.  I still hadn’t slept.  I checked in and got my boarding pass.  Mid deck!  Damn.  Being mid deck means an extra few minutes waiting to deboard the plane.  It could be costly.

While waiting to board the plane I call Lisa for an update.  She is big time in labour and this is the real deal.  I hope I hid my panic!  I didn’t panic.  I don’t think I did.  Maybe I did.  Who knows?  Passengers who overhear my phone call wish me well and are all hoping I make it on time.  Lisa also explained that Michaela would be taken home by our friend, Belinda.  This is good as the poor thing is probably really worried and a bit of a fish out of water.

We board.  So slowly.

We get the safety instructions.  So slowly.

We taxi. So slowly.

We finally are in the air and for the first time, I am out of contact.  I have no way of knowing what is happening at the hospital.  It is the most anxious, slowest 3 hours of my life.  I fight the urge to go to the cockpit and explain my situation to the pilots in the hope they might put their foot on the gas and break the sound barrier for me.  They probably wouldn’t believe me anyway, mistaking me for an impatient businessman eager to make a meeting on time.

I think I drifted off to sleep. If I did, it would have been for seconds at a time.  I refuse the early morning flight breakfast. I’m too anxious to eat.  I keep checking my watch.  The minutes are going so slowly.  Different scenarios are being played through my mind.  When we land do I push my way to the front of the passengers waiting to deboard?  Do I run like a mad man to the taxis?  I imagine that I make it to the hospital on time, arriving seconds before the baby is born.

Finally we land.  We are on time. Yes!

The taxiing to the terminal goes slowly.  I could run faster than this.  Actually anyone who knows me back then knows this is not true but adrenaline does amazing things when you call on it.

The passengers in front of me deboard so slowly.  I want to punch each one of them in the back of the head for being so slow.

I finally make it into the terminal and I turn on my phone – in those days the Adelaide airport is a shed and you have to disembark and walk across the tarmac so no mobile phones are allowed.  My phone springs to life and I receive a text message from Belinda.  I debate whether to read it or not.  Curiosity gets the better of me and I do.  I can’t recall exactly what it said but it went along the lines of:

“Congratulations. You have a daughter.  Born at 9.01am weighing 7lb 5oz.  Lisa and baby are well”

My heart sinks.  I am so disappointed that I wasn’t there for not only the baby, but also for Lisa.  Every mother wants her husband with her during this amazing time.  I hold my emotions and get in a taxi and I head to the hospital.

Suitcase in hand, I rush into the maternity section.  To my surprise, Michaela is still there, waiting in the waiting room with Lisa’s mum.  I drop my bags and fall to my knees and hug Michaela and then burst into tears.  The emotion of it all has finally caught up with me.  I wasn’t expecting Michaela to be there. I am glad she is.  I apologised for not being there with her.  She hugs me back and is excited that she is there for the birth of her little sister.  She had been so excited that at the age of 7, she was finally getting a real life playmate.

We go in and see Lisa who is recovering from a C Section.  I start crying again and tell her how sorry I am that I wasn’t there.  Lisa is a fragile thing and I know she needed me there at the time that she needed me most. I had let her down.  She looks beautiful and is happy.  The baby is not there with her in recovery so it is time to go and see my new daughter.

Michaela and I go to the nursery and that is where I meet Lara for the very first time.  I look down at the most precious little girl. So beautiful.  So perfect.  I pick her up and cradle her in my arms.  She’s tightly wrapped in a pink blanket and is wearing a little white bonnet.  She is sleeping soundly.  I am so happy and I cry again.  This time it is tears of joy.  I tell her something which she wouldn’t understand.  It is a promise.  I promise her that I will always be there for her and I will never miss an important moment in her life.  I feel like I let her down by not being there when she came into this earth.  The least I can do is make sure I am there for her whenever she needs me in the future.

So far so good.

I missed the birth of my second daughter, Lara by 3 hours.  This was the story of my journey home and what happened that morning. Hopefully she will read this one day and know how sorry I am that I wasn’t there for her during her first few hours.

Allison’s Click

I have connected with Allison through Twitter.  I was grateful to receive the following story in my inbox  over a month ago.  I read it and sobbed.  It is a story of love and grief and a reminder to live life to the fullest.  You can read Allison’s blog here and follow her on Twitter here.

I Can’t Think of a Title

My last memory of them was the day my beautiful boy came into this world.

My husband and my mom left the hospital to grab a bite to eat. I was alone in the room with my new baby, trying to figure out the whole feeding him with my boobs thing, when I heard a soft knock coming from the other side of the door. In walked the four most beautiful people I have ever had the pleasure of loving.

Susie floated in the room, her three musketeers in tow, her smile and presence lighting up the room, as it always did. As they always did.

Scooping Luca out of my arms, she quickly swaddled him and held him to her chest.

“I’m your Tia Susie, Luca”, she whispered to him in her soft voice.

Luca was then passed down the Jacomini receiving line, each of them holding him, welcoming him into our family. Our new, tiniest member.

Still way loopy from my c-section meds, I slurred, “Sue, how the fuck am I supposed to be feeding this kid.?”

She shooed the two boys behind the curtain and handed Luca back to me.

“Do you mind, Ali?”

Before I had time to answer, she whipped my right boob out, grabbed hold of it, and shoved it in Luca’s mouth. That was just like her. Never shy.

Vivi watched from the foot of the bed, so ADORABLY curious.

Is that how you used to feed me mommy?”

How could I have known how special this moment would turn out to be? How could I have know this would be the last time I would see them?

Oh sweet, sweet, beautiful Susie-Q. My cousin. My mother’s sister’s, oldest daughter. The cousin who had always been more of a mother figure to me. You see, there was a big enough age difference between the two of us that she did not consider me annoying, much like my other cousins and sister did at the time. She always made me feel more special than anyone I had ever met. I worshiped her. I wanted to be her.  I always thought that she was the coolest person I’d ever met. I still feel this way. She was.

One day, after kissing a few frogs not worthy of her, Susie met her Tommy. Soon after, they had their Vivi and Thomas, tiny replicas of each of them. The family was complete.

This is where I get stuck when I try and write about them. In my heart, I can go on and on about how wonderful they were, but when it comes time to articulate this,  I am never able to find words that do them justice. How can I possibly express how amazing and special they were as individuals, and as a family, with stupid fucking words?

True beauty, inside and out. No words are worthy of them.

So, I’ve stopped trying.

I will never forget where I was when I got the frantic phone call from my mother. Luca had been in this world for exactly 10 days. It was a peaceful morning. Just the three of us Zapata’s hanging out, getting to know each other as a family.

I answered the phone and my mom told me to sit down.

I sat.

The words came through the phone and punched me in the gut.

Susie, Tommy and the kids are missing.

Missing? I had no idea what she meant. Someone took them?

Panic started rising inside me and I asked her over and over, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN MISSING? WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY ARE MISSING?!!!!”

They had taken a final summer trip to Steamboat Springs, before the kids went back to school.

They flew up in their airplane, with Tommy in the flier’s seat, as they often had. The four of them together, in their small plane, loving every second of it.

They were expected back in Houston on August 15, 2008, as school started the following week.

That horrific call from my mom came early in the morning, on the 16th.

They had not come in. No one had heard from them. They were missing. All four of them.

The next 24 hours are a blur. So many feelings.

Hope, that Tommy had to land the plane somewhere and that they were all okay, waiting to be found.

Dread, that the worst had happened.

And it had. The worst thing in the world had happened.

The wreckage of the plane was found on the side of a mountain, not too far from where they took off.

No survivors. No survivors. No survivors.

To this day I cannot stop hearing those two words. They changed our world forever.

Left behind to try and make sense of something, that will never make sense, are two mothers, two fathers, a brother, sisters,  aunts, uncles, cousins, best friends, tiny classmates, and strangers who loved them, if only from their pictures  splashed all over the news.

I. Am. Mad.

A year and a half later, this still makes no sense.

This was God’s plan, is what most people say.

If this is true, then I don’t like this God.

Can God feel the hurt in Susie’s only sister’s, heart? Can he comprehend how wrecked he has left my aunt and my uncle and the rest of us that were left behind?

Because, if so, that doesn’t seem very kind or loving to me.

My beautiful and brave cousin said to me, “I can choose to be angry or I can choose to be grateful for the time we had with them.”

Some of what I feel when she says this is anger that she has to be saying this at all. Angry that she has to go through this and so sad that I can do nothing to make it better.

I am so pissed that the world keeps turning without them in it. I am furious that someone else is living in their house. I am pissed off that this story cannot have a happy ending. That there is nothing or no way to fix this, makes me panic.

So, yes, I am so grateful for the time we were privileged to have with them.

But, less angry? Not really.

I want them back.

Kim’s Click

The following “Click” is from Kim Wencl.  I connected with Kim through the Owning Pink Posse.  I was immediately drawn to her and her story.  She sent me a copy of the book it is published in and I read it and wept (you will understand more when you read below).  Weeks went by and I didn’t cross paths with Kim online, then on the day that Amy died I clicked on Owning Pink and there was a post written by Kim about dealing with the loss of a loved one.  The next day I checked my blog and Kim had left a comment for me.  I believe that the timing of this was meant to be.  Every time I think of Kim I am reminded of our connection to loved ones that have transitioned and it is no coincidence that she was back in my awareness in the days following my best friend’s death.  Thank you Kim for sharing your story and for what you represent to me!  It is obvious you came into my life for a reason…

WAITING FOR THE CLICK

When thinking about what events in my life “clicked” thus changing my life forever, I found I could narrow them down to two.

The first was September 12, 1983 – the day Elizabeth Jean came into my life. This day was also the most physically painful time of my life.  After an excruciating labor and finally a c-section, my girl was born, and when I learned what love was really all about.  Elizabeth was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.  She had a massive head of wild black hair, and the biggest blue eyes ever.  I knew she was special … but I wouldn’t know just how special until 20 years later.

The second event was September 20, 2003.  This day was the most emotionally painful day of my life – the day the physical presence of Elizabeth left me.  But, as painful as that was, it was also the day that the God of The Universe came into my life in the most real and vibrant way.  It took my breath away and propelled me through some of the most difficult days, weeks and months of my life.

Up until that day, I had a relationship with God, but he seemed to be this distant, far off deity that for a very long time I had cried out to and begged for help … but remained ever silent.  Liz’s high school years were tumultuous at best.  She was gregarious – she was a cheerleader, she got good grades … but she also smoked, she drank and she experimented with drugs.  My husband and I were beside ourselves with worry and fear.  We could never understand why she chose to do these things – couldn’t she see how they were ruining her life?

September 20th happened and it was literally the last straw.  I breathed a sigh of relief – she’s yours now God – I know you will take better care of her than I ever did.

But God was no longer a silent deity – that day he stepped into my life and became real for the first time.

He gave me peace.  Peace that Elizabeth was just fine, that I would be fine, and my family would be fine.  We would get through this very difficult, dark time in our lives, and we have.

God opened a door for me that day that I never expected to walk through … but I was offered the opportunity and I took it and once I did, I did not want to go back.

God showed me in no uncertain terms that Liz was just fine, in fact she was more than fine, she was amazing and VERY happy.  God reached out to others as well and then in turn they reached back to me.

And I could see this very real path forming in front of me – but again, it wasn’t forced on me – it was always my choice whether to take another step on the path, or completely abandon it for other avenues.  However, I have never in my entire life felt so compelled to follow a path as I have this one – I wanted to follow – I needed to follow – oh yes, I followed.

God does not disappoint.  He has led me through darkness and despair into love and laughter, but most of all to PEACE and a return to JOY.

Because he reached out to me in such a compelling, powerful, and real way, I now reach out to others through my words and my voice to share my experiences … it is but a small way to begin to repay The Universe for the abundant blessings and gifts received over the past six years.

I look forward to the day when I walk through the veil that still separates Elizabeth and me, and we are completely united.  But for now, I am so very grateful for all I have received – it is a sacred trust that can never be broken – not even by death.

Love never dies … and the bond we all share with those we love is never broken … not even by death, and that is the best news of all!

Live in PEACE – but most of all in JOY

Glenn’s Click

This story is written by my dear friend, Glenn Miller

The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.  I’ve not heard anyone to date that disputes that they exist, nor do I know anyone that has gone through the grieving process that has not experienced them all (to some degree and with varying durations).  What people do, however, dispute is that the grieving process only applies to stages of their lives when something negative happens, mostly keeping the process of mourning a loss through death.

 

How often do we think of higher levels or “out of the box” translations to the stages of grief?  In the origins of tarot, we see “Death” as the harbinger of change – not necessarily loss. I fell subject to this mentality many times in the past, but the instance that I recall most clearly came about a little over five years ago.

I remember being woken up from heavy dreams many nights in a row. They centered around themes of people that I deemed older and wiser speaking to someone that I saw as representative of someone younger and more rebellious. Just for a second opinion of what the dreams could mean, I spoke to a friend that dabbled in dream interpretation and tarot.  Of course, she did a reading (as was her way) and drew Death (right side up).  The initial knee-jerk reaction hit me, and my brain began racing in random directions of what (or who) around me would be leaving this world – only to be reminded that the reading in full simply was indicating a change in my life.

Now, I don’t put much “faith” in tarot, runes or other readings by themselves, but in this case it struck home more because of the coincidences within my dreams…  Instead of focus on loss, I began to dwell upon how all things must be just coincidental.  I denied that any real changes were coming, who actually could put stock in dreams or stupid readings?  A couple days later, I started to get mad that I had even let myself put any stock in either medium.  I got mad that the cards ever existed, and that I even bothered to talk about my dreams in the first place.  But, the dreams persisted and began to contort into clearer pictures…  I started screaming out to whatever might exist as a “higher power” to make the dreams stop, just letting me have a restful sleep.  I was willing to do whatever I was told to do just to make them stop.  No one would bargain with me…

As the dreams began to get clearer, it took away all peace of mind that I ever felt…  Until I had a particular dream about standing on a hillside and looking out over the sunset as I held a little boy’s hand.  I still remember holding his hand and talking about the clouds, the stars coming up and just the overall peace that started to come forward.  The day after that dream, I found out that my wife and I were pregnant with our first child.  I knew that it must be my son that was in the dreams…  The older person speaking to the rebellious youth in the prior dreams were telling me of upcoming conflict – my adult self telling my younger self to get a grip and grow up…  I spent the remainder of the pregnancy within myself, trying to go through the motions, but never getting a full handle on how to get over my depression.  I put things in motion to try and give my child a better life – searching for a better job, buying a house and just generally trying to nest.  No matter how hard I worked though, I could not seem to make things “real”.

Putting the gorey parts of childbirth from the male perspective to the side, it took the day of my son’s birth to snap me into place as both a man and as a parent.  I had to look into his little blue eyes to really know that things had indeed changed.  I sat and rocked his tiny self next to a window in the birthing suite and looked out into a thunder storm, feeling him sigh as if he felt true peace and knew that things would be different every day.  I accepted the change.

We named my son Chance, and he has become the true purpose of his name – looking at him every day reminds me that this is my chance to do something right.  Every day is a step within change as he grows up, as it is with my daughter, but I wouldn’t miss a step that either of them take on their journey…

Glennandchance

Jane’s Click

By Jane AKA Faerian, you can read her blog here.

I wrote this in response to Leslee and her loss of her precious friend Amy – Leslee asked us to reflect on the day that our lives changed and this is what came to mind… for you Amy…

the day things changed …Part one.

My husband and I were at the hospital. We had had a baby a few hours before and we sat there and looked at the carseat and the new little red faced soul in our arms.

It was time for us to go home. To start our life as a family. But we didn’t know what to do.

We needed help to get our baby into the contraption and then get the contraption in the car.

And then they let us drive home.

They let us drive her away!

I am sure they should have stopped us. Told us off for taking away a child. We had no experience. We hadn’t passed a test, got a manual even… and here we were taking her away to begin life …. No one did – I checked behind me but no one ever came after us….

The other day my life changed Part 2.

The birth of my second daughter…

That was entirely different… she was born at home and her entrance into the world was peaceful and powerful. The most empowering experience I have had. It was hard work and scary at times but I was connected to the energy of all the women before me who had been through this passage. This place that is the closest to death most of us come… I walked that path with them and came out with a beautiful baby, in my lounge, looking into the eyes of my husband, with only friends around me…

That day changed my life because i knew if i did that – I could do anything

Dear Amy (1)

I am writing this at 9:15 on Sunday morning.  A week ago at this time I had a normal life.  In fact, I had a great life.  The last post I’d written before going to Disney was all about walking to get coffee and imagining all these wonderful things happening in my life.  But on this trip I didn’t picture the book signings or see myself meeting Oprah, instead I just said thank you over and over.  We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  That place is AMAZING.  I couldn’t believe I was there.  I thought about all the stuff I’ve worried about over my lifetime and how insignificant almost all of it is.  I told myself that I was going to stop asking for anything and just let my life unfold before me.

I think I got the call a little after 9:30.  The girls and I were posing for a picture inside the lobby.  Because of our stupid camera’s delay, Mark snapped a picture of me the moment when Kristin was telling me.  He wanted to delete the picture but I told him no.  Maybe one day I’ll agree, but that picture illustrates the moment my life changed forever. YOU were and are my best friend and my sister (although to clarify for readers, not my biological sister).  You held a spot at the top of the list of people I loved the most and people who were the most important to me.

Thank God for Facebook, for everything that Facebook has brought into my life.  It has healed a few relationships, yours and mine being the most important one.  It’s not that our relationship was suffering, but we just hadn’t nurtured it very well over the years.  Because of Facebook you and I talked every night.  I came to you with some things I may not have in the past.  You gave me guidance.  You let me know you loved me.  I know that you are still giving me guidance and I AM listening.

I’m so glad we went to Savannah together.  That was a wonderful weekend, one of the best I’ve had in years and years.  I can see you in my head sitting back on the bed listening to me as I talked.  We put so much out there that weekend.  We laughed, cried, and placed our regrets right out on the table.  I can’t believe I missed so much over the years.  I did run away in a sense.  I’m not running anymore, but I ran for a lot of years.  I know it used to hurt you when you’d ask if I was ever going to come back home and I would respond with a resounding NO.  Thank God for small miracles and that I was able to say two things to you that I know were music to your ears.  The first was my promise to never miss anything again and I haven’t so far.  I made it to the shower and I was driven that day by some force that made me work so hard.  I know you were proud of me, cause it’s no secret how lazy I usually am when it comes to that kind of work.  And of course I didn’t miss your funeral.  I just can’t believe that THAT is the trip that followed the trip home for your baby shower.  I couldn’t see the babies when I was there, but I plan to go back on winter break and meet them.  The second thing I said that I know thrilled you, was that YES I would love to go back home and be close to you and all of our friends.  I don’t know where life will take me, but I do wish that I could be close to your boys and be able to offer my help and support to Tim.

Alright, I’m inching up on my 700 word limit so I’m going to wrap this up.  I want to write to you about the funeral and I want to write about your precious husband and amazing family…but I will do that in the next few days.  This entire week will probably be letters to you!

My friend, Rob, reminded me of this song at church this morning.  I know you liked it…can’t imagine why. 🙂