Thursday, November 15, 2012

for November 16

Dear Papa,
You have been gone for three years now. Sometimes it seems like longer, and sometimes I forget you are no longer here. Many things have changed, though some are the same, but I'm sure you know all about it from where you are.

There are times when I'm talking with Mimi on the phone when I almost ask to talk to you or ask how you are doing.  I miss our weekly phone calls. I miss the funny emails you would forward, even though I confess, I didn't read every joke one you sent. You sent a lot when I was in college. I did always read the ones where you wrote your own words.

I miss you asking me about Herman, and I miss you reminding me to check my oil. I miss the care packages filled with homemade Christmas cookies, and I miss the way you would sneakily hand me some gas money when I would be home for a visit.

In my garage I have three pieces of wood from your workshop. I still don't know what I want to do with them, but I know someday I will figure it out and be glad I said I'd take them.  Right now I just like the way that every once in awhile I catch their scent as I walk in the house, and I am instantly transported to the basement of your green house on 21st Avenue. I miss being a little kid watching you carve and getting to sweep up all the wood chips. And I confess that these days I am a little bit glad I have the scar on my left hand from the Thanksgiving when I played with your knives.

This week I painted Christmas cards with the boys.  There were some Santa pictures we made, and as I was painting on eyes and smiles, I remembered how you always had Mimi paint the eyes on your Santa carvings.  I sat at my kitchen table this week, once the boys were in bed, and I cried because I wish you could see your great-grandsons' Santas. You would love them. I wish you were here to play with Cole. Sometimes I can almost hear you laughing about the crazy things he does. I wish you were here to meet Grady.  You would say, "He's a beautiful boy, a handsome boy," just like you said about his big brother three years ago.

Tomorrow I will wear your Illini shirt, and I will once again make homemade chicken and noodles. Next week we will hang your ornaments on the tree, and I will keep missing you in those moments, too. 

In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.
In the sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.
With love,


  1. This is so sweet! I LOVE that picture! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Beautifully written. Thinking about you as you remember Papa, and wishing I could have some of your chicken and noodles. :) Love, Jane


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