I’m sitting in the dark at the dining room table, listening to the happy noise of three little girls, thinking about how much you are missing. This first sleepover with all three girls really should have taken place at your house, but that house has been sold and those memories tucked away. We talk about you often. Molly is probably the only one who really remembers you. She’s the one who had all the sleepovers at your house while the other two missed out on them.
These little girls all remind me of you. Molly is so your granddaughter. She has a natural order to how things should be done and gets so worked up if they aren’t exactly right. Abby is always watching. She’s figuring out her place. Maggie is mischievous. Maggie reminds me a lot of your brother, Lynn. She likes to do things to get a rise out of a person. I think her Burgess blood shines through there.
It’s been 24 months since we saw you last, and we’ve missed you every second of every day.
Mom is doing better now. She used to cry until her eyes were red and ask if she would see you again. I’ve never been able to answer that question. In my heart, I hope that she’ll be able to see you again, but I can’t promise what I don’t know.
So much has happened since we all saw you last. Chris is having another baby. This time they found out the gender and your first grandson will be arriving in early September. They call him “Baby Legend.” Abby is very excited about her baby brother. Ariana must have told her how babies are made because all weekend she told me about her eggs and how she can feel them moving. Seriously hilarious.
Maggie is now 2 1/2 years old, and she is a jokester. She has the best sneer and likes to pretend she is sleeping with huge snores and snorts. She also talks about being a baby all the time. We’ve been working on potty training her, and she is fighting it almost as hard as her big sister Molly did. I have stubborn children, but I know that doesn’t surprise you.
Molly is getting so big, as the tallest in her class she is starting to do some amazing things. She's lost two teeth already. She swims in the big kid’s class and kicks their butts. Her swim teacher said he was used to having 6 year olds in his class and was impressed to find out that she was only 4. My kids are water babies, and I’m often reminded of the joy you had watching Molly swim. I think you came to every swim lesson that first year of her life.
Oh Dad, I miss you so much. This past weekend, I built a run for my chickens. Oh did I tell you that I got chickens? I bet you never thought you’d see that day since I was so scared of them as a kid. Long story short, I was offered four chickens and a coop. Maggie is obsessed with chickens so I got them against the advice of my husband. The girls adore them, and I’m oddly fascinated by them. So this weekend, I was building a run for the chickens: It was so hard. I am not good at building things. I just always assumed that I’d have you around to build things for me. Chris came and helped. He said it was really good for a beginner and then fixed a ton of things that I had done wrong. I really missed you this weekend. I could see you playing with your granddaughters and helping me with my hare-brained project.
I am grateful that we did get to have you for as long as we did. It was good that we had some warning that you’d leaving us but the day we received the diagnosis will always be one of the hardest days of my life. I remember driving down 99 with Maggie asleep in the backseat and wailing on the phone to Scott about the injustice of it all. Someone as kind as you shouldn't have been taken so young by pancreatic cancer. Someone as devoted as you should have lived forever. Sometimes life just isn’t fair, which is something you told me over and over again as a child. Do you remember? You’d play the world’s tiniest violin in response to my cries over the injustice of the world. This injustice requires more than the world’s tiniest violin.
Dad, We miss you every day. And remember I’ll love you forever, my best Dad you were.