Today you would have been 90. It’s hard to forget your birthday since I was born during your 60th Birthday Party. I was certain that this made me your best birthday gift (or so I always reminded you).
It’s hard to believe that it’s been just over two years since I last held your hand and heard your voice. I had known loss before you died, but somehow it was different this time. I felt (and still feel) that life this side of heaven will never quite be the same.
Some days I still have to catch myself when I want to call you to share some exciting news or ask if you want to go to Planks for pizza and beer. I still picture you on the sidelines of the softball diamonds at Berliner and still hear your voice of reason and encouragement when I need it most.
You were the life of the party and the heartbeat of our family. You always knew what to say and were the calm to my crazy.You knew how to get anyone to talk and could light up even the darkest of places. You knew no strangers and somehow were humble beyond belief.
Your house on Frebis will always feel like home. It’s where you taught me to ride my bike, play cards, sneak a cookie from the cookie jar, cheer for the Reds, watch golf, drink beer and so much more. Years later you somehow trusted me to reverse out of the very same driveway with a much larger set of wheels as you bravely taught me to drive. I’ll never forget the look on your face when you realized I had driven us “safely” to our destination…with the emergency break on. You were the definition of patience.
You were a hero, a legend. Not just for me, but for many and not just because of your service to our country and your city. You taught me so much about life, love and what truly maters. You did this not just through your words, but through your actions and the way in which you lived your life. Watching you love people and love life was a true joy.
August 10th is bittersweet these days. Though I miss you so much it hurts, I have the gift of nearly three decades of memories with you. Though that hardly seems like enough, it will have to do for now.I will hold tight to the time that we had and find comfort in the fact that I will see you again!