Dear Dad (6 Years)

Dear Dad,

 I can't believe it's been 6 years since I last saw you. In some ways it feels like forever and other times, just like yesterday.

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 On the long weekend, we went camping. (Even Christina! 😊) Grandpa Jim was playing with the kids at the beach and Ang commented, that's exactly what dad would be doing if he were here. Grandpapa took the older kids biking and fishing and we know you'd of been right in on the action. Even Uncle Lope came. One afternoon, he was napping in our trailer, arms up, feet crossed, when Mike came out and said jokingly, if anyone wants to see your dad sleeping he's in there! You would've loved it. Everyone was there and together. Though we probably would've made you sleep in your car. After all, who can sleep with all that snoring?

We were all there except your baby girl because she's not so little anymore and bravely went to Germany on a basketball tour with Athletes in Action. She's had a hard time with you being gone but God is slowly and faithfully healing up her heart and crafting a beautiful story out of it. She shared with me the other day that all of her memories with you were playing and having fun and how that's been a struggle for her since you've been gone. But don't worry, as I know you wouldn't. She has a praying mama, and a host of people that love her and are determined to see her flourish. No one will ever replace you, but God is showing up in her life in big dad like ways.

Did I mention you have NINE (soon to be 10) grandbabies?  You can thank Ang for 50% of those. 😉 Ethan, Maia, Jessalyn, Leila, Sophie, Joshua, Jonah, Bella, and Arianna. They all know who you are and recognize your picture. Sophie keeps asking when you're coming back from heaven. I think she really wants you meet you in person and thinks you're long overdue to come home. I think after hearing all the stories, she's just getting more and more anxious to know you. I tried to explain you're the one that's home and we will all eventually get up join you!

They're all so different and so special. I know you would know that and see that just like Grandma does. She has a special way of making them all feel like they're the only one in the room. I so wish you were here to do the same. I just know they'd all be clamouring for your attention and they'd all get it.

Josh is the one that everyone says reminds them of you. He's handsome with your big brown eyes but more than that, he's got your gentle spirit. He also happens to love "ccccars." Jonah is very into fixing things. I'm sure I know where he got that from. We know Ethan will show them the ropes.

A couple weeks ago, Uncle Greg came over for dinner. I sat quietly on my stairs and watched him sitting on the carpet, playing with Sophie and Jonah. They were building a train, at Sophie's direction (what can I say, she's like her mama) and were all laughing and having such a fun time. Afterwards, I said to Mike, that felt like a little glimpse of dad up there in the playroom.

You're irreplaceable. But I'm so glad you're still everywhere. You're unforgettable. I see you in Sophie's stubbornness, Joshua's gentleness, Ethan's helpfulness, Jonah's willingness, Bella's mischievous smiles, Leila's playfulness, Maia's brilliance, and Jessa's cleanliness.

What can I say? I miss you. I'm so thankful for you. I wish you were here all the time. But for whatever reason, God saw it best that you go ahead of us. I look forward to being able to see you again!

Love, Steph