Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I’ve been thinking about you a lot the last couple of days. In just a few days you will be gone nine years. I still think of you every day. I know you always told me you didn’t believe in life after death and once you are gone you are gone, but I wonder what you are thinking now, looking down on what you have left behind.

I remember once, right after Mom died, you said you were lucky to have kids who cared for you as much as they did and once you told me that the greatest compliment a man could have was when someone told them what good kids he had, do you still think that?

Sometimes I wonder if I have disappointed you. I can barely keep the house going here, every month it’s a struggle and some days I do want to just give up. I think God for Tonya being here because she is what keeps me going. She is what keeps me working to keep this place. She loves it here, but then I think she would love it anywhere as long as we were together and I feel the same way. But she appreciates what this place means to me and wants to keep it as much as I do. Every day I see her struggling to get out of bed with her back so she can go to work to help pay the bills. I couldn’t ask for more than that from anyone. I never felt like your ex-daughter-in-law felt the same. My guess is I we were still married we wouldn’t be here and this place would probably be gone.

I also know that you always wanted this house to stay in the family and you wanted to see it passed down to your grandchildren and to your great grandchildren and I am trying to see to it that will happen but I don’t even know if it will. Josh just bought a house and he and Rona will be getting married soon and moving in with Courtney. You must be proud of Josh, he has turned into quite a man. The way he has taken control of his life and that of Courtney’s is something to be proud of. But I, like you, can’t always find the way to tell him how I feel about what he is doing. I just hope that like me, he can see how I feel about him, as I was able to do with you. Now wouldn’t that be funny if I was wrong all that time? Lately Dad, I have been really wanting to talk to you, to have you here so I could ask your advice.

Then there is Steph. I really don’t know how to handle her situation. She is just as much to blame for what is happening as is he not soon enough to be ex husband is. The sad thing is that no one will win, every one loses and the biggest loser will be Brayden. I tried to talk to he and tell her what she needed to do but she wouldn’t listen. Josh tried to tell her also, but she wouldn’t listen. Now she doesn’t have Brayden and things are getting worse and worse. If you are up there Dad, watch over Brayden for me and make sure nothing happens to him. If anyone needs a guardian angel, he does.

I was out looking at the lake today. Did you ever do that? I can’t remember. Did you just sit and watch the fish and wonder about them? Every time I look at the lake I always think the same thing: it is the only constant in my life that has never changed. It was there before I was around and it will be there long after I am gone. I know when I wake up in the morning and look out the window it will be there. Some days it’s calm and serene, other days it’s wind blown and rough, but it is always there.

You would like Tonya Dad. She is such an honest, down to earth person, she is just the kind of woman you would like. You can talk to her and she will always be honest in return. And she keeps me in line. Well most of the time. She let me out of line last night. She didn’t complain when I got a little drunk. First time in a real long time, but do to the situation I guess it was somewhat justified. It isn’t pleasant thinking of your daughter sitting in a cement cell. But you know what Dad? I know and Tonya knows that this won’t become a habit. She knows I needed it last night and may some more today, but she knows, and more importantly I know that I drank for the wrong reasons and I won’t go back to my drinking ways. Although admittedly it would be pretty easy. You know I go to thank you Dad. I believe that the reason my kids don’t drink is because they remember how you and Mom used to and they saw what it did to you and they decided they would never do it. I guess that probably isn’t the kind of example you wanted to set but you did. But don’t worry Dad you set other better examples than that. You grandson has your work ethic which was passed down from me through you, and he has your sense of dealing with people. I remember how you always treated people, especially your employees, with respect and always would take care of them as long as they took care of you. Kind of hard to do that today though, people are so different, there just aren’t that many who think like you and I did (and do). Josh deals with this every day. It’s a different world here now than the one you left.

Well I am going to wrap this up. I believe you are watching us. I hope I haven’t disappointed you too much Dad.
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