Nov 23, 2016


Dear Dad,

Well, I'm sitting here in your old chair, the last place you sat, and I've been thinking a lot about you today, so I thought I'd drop you a line.  I just finished hand-washing some clothes.  It's one of my least favorite tasks.  It's laborious work that in the end is rather unsatisfying because you don't really know for sure that the clothes are really clean.  They look about the same as they did when they went in. But it feels good to have that task accomplished and be able to sit for a bit.  Barbara is out shopping; I just talked to her and she said she's checking out now.  When she gets home, we're going to eat supper and have a little birthday celebration for Ezra, who just turned four on Sunday.

It's been two years today since you left. Two years from Saturday, the 26th if you want to be technical.  But it was also two years ago, on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.  Just like today we planned to come down and celebrate Ezra's second birthday with you and Mom, and Matt and Jenny.  Just like today, it was cold and overcast--classic Thanksgiving weather.  And just like today, we came to a home where you no longer lived.  Only now, we're two years into learning to live with that reality, and then we were still in shock.  I suppose it would make you a little sad for me to talk about how devastating it was to lose you, so I won't dwell on that right now.

I wanted to let you know a little bit about what's been happening since you left.  We're still in Columbus--Barbara is back to teaching full-time.  We still get down to see Mom about as often as we did when you were still here: often, but not often enough. I'm sure you'd like to hear a lot about how both your daughters are doing, but those are their stories to tell, not mine, so you'll have to settle for news from your son-in-law.  The boys are growing up so fast!  Elijah is 8 now, in the second grade and doing very well in school.  You'd be so impressed with how well he reads!  Ezra is no longer the toddler you last saw.  People say he looks a lot like you.  I've included a picture, so you can judge for yourself.

 Both boys are really developing as artists.  Elijah loves to draw and paint, and his artwork just keeps getting better and better.  Ezra's specialty is coloring.  He colors really well for someone his age, always right in the lines. You would be very proud and very impressed, I think.  They've inherited your genes!

The past two years or so.   Photo on the bottom right was tonight.

It's been a very warm fall, a warm year really.  Last Friday, just a week before Thanksgiving, it was 75 degrees!  It's cold now though, like normal.  But I prefer the warm weather and I'll be grateful for whatever warmth we can get. I'm hoping for a mild winter, and early spring.

They put in a traffic light over on Bunnell Hill. The intersection doesn't seem that much safer to be honest.  When you're turning left on the green light, on to 73, it's hard to see cars coming up over the hill, who also have the green, so making the turn is always a bit of a dicey proposition.

You will never guess who our new president is!  You would not believe what kind of campaign it's been.  It really feels like our country is in uncharted territory.  I've often wondered what you'd think of it all.  I won't be so presumptuous as to speak for you.  But I think it's safe to say you would have seen it all as signs of the times, that you wouldn't have been rattled by all the political drama because your faith has always been in God and not man.   I can't imagine you would have approved of the nastiness of the campaign, but it would not have shaken the peace in your heart.

We sure do miss you.  I know that might make you sad, to think of us being sad.  But that just means we really love you.  Mom gave me a bunch of your clothes, and I wear them all the time. It makes me feel a kind of still connected to you, and I know Barbara loves seeing your shirts and jackets around.  It's nice to have reminders of you.  Plus, you had great timeless taste, and I often get compliments on  my outfits when I'm wearing what you wore!

It's nice to write you. It'd be even nicer to get a letter from you. Mom and your daughters have spent a lot of time these past two years poring over the letters you wrote to them when you were still with us.  It's a way of still hearing your voice I guess.  One thing I really wish we'd had the chance to do: Right after my grandma died (just three weeks before you did), I bought this book, where we could ask you questions about your life and write them down.  I was planning for us to start working on that book with you that Thanksgiving.  I thought it was important to do it while we still had time.  I had no way of knowing that our time was already up.  So now the pages are all blank, the questions are unanswered.  I talked with Uncle Gene about us all getting together and trying to piece together some answers from what we all knew.  We haven't followed through on that yet, but even if we do, it won't be the same.

I know we'll see you again.  The way things are going these days, some say it won't be long.  All I know is it can't come soon enough.  In the mean time, we'll keep plugging along.  There's still a lot of joy in life; I only wish we could share it with you.

I guess they're about ready to eat, so I better go. We'll be up to Woodland this Sabbath.

Rest well, Dad.


Your son-in-law, Sean

"I've seen for myself, there's no end to grief. And that's how I know. . .there is no end to love." 

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