I just wanted you to know that I think of you everyday. I know you were ready to go, and that does help this ache inside of me... but only a little. I miss you.
Sometimes it's little things. I'll think of you when I call Mary "Petunia." I told the kids the other day that we'd be having "must-go for dinner--everything in the fridge must go." I have a special place in my heart for John Wayne, and McLintock is among my favorite movies. You hated bagpipe music--I think of that every time Nathan puts in one of his CD's. I recently told lil'Nathan, "I'm not making any promises." He, too, is learning that really means "no." And did I really just say "up the road a piece" when asked where something was? I still love folding sheets. It must have been all that practice every morning while we were visiting you.
Sometimes it's bigger things. Thanks to you I can knit and crochet. How many people have baby blankets, afghans, toys, or sweaters because of that? I've also taught others, the same way you taught me--even tricking them into learning to read the pattern. There are no summer memories that don't include you. How many miles did we cover in your motor home? I know we hit 34 states, or was it more? Mexico once. Canada several times. Remember the year you were going to take us girls to PEI by yourself? Grandpa was worried and you calmly told him that if we had car trouble you'd have us stand out by the car in our swimsuits and we'd have plenty of help in no time. He came.
From you I learned a few songs to impress my friends at BYU:
"Starkle, starkle, little twink,
Who the heck am I you think?
I'm not so much under the alcafluence of incohol as some feeple pink I am.
I just had tee martoonies and I fool so feelish,
Me is woe."
We always had to have milk with dinner. Sometimes, when we were little, we could have a "party" before dinner. We always had to ask to be excused from the table and in me that instilled great fear, b/c sometimes you said no! But other times we were allowed to crawl around under the table and what a cool table it was! (Though when I saw it a few years ago I was shocked at how small it had become.) The best dishwasher in the world was a paper bag for "cleaning" the paper plates.
You always defended us against the grumpy old people in your park who accused us of misbehavior. We didn't misbehave in the park--we wouldn't dare!--and you knew it.
Sometimes you drove us crazy. No matter how many times you suggested it, Jenny would never cut her hair to "let the curls show." Stacy was sick to death of hearing about how she ate breakfast with Wyatt Earp. I must admit I was a little tired of hearing about how I "ate that nice young man out of his first year of college" when I sampled during strawberry picking, or about the time I nearly poisoned the family with my key lime pie. Now those stories are part of our memories of you. You sure loved telling them.
We used to play "hide the Zak" with that picture from one of my freshman year BYU dances. Why did we stop that after I got married? Why, also, did we never manage to get a picture of you after we played beauty parlor? (Our 6 and 3 yr old selves always thought the blue eye shadow on your cheeks, the green shadow up to your eyebrows, and the hair in the "electric shock therapy" style looked beautiful on you.)
I can still hear your laugh. I can still see your smile, especially the mischievous one. You loved us so much. I will always remember you as being full of life, full of love, and full of opinions. I know we will see you again someday. Thanks for everything. I love you.