The first anniversary of your death is around the corner - June 29th to be exact. It's been such a surreal year. Planning your funeral and saying goodbye seems like a distant nightmare, yet it feels like that first sting of death's presence happened just yesterday.
We had been separated nearly four years to the day when you died. Images of happier times, of saying our vows at the bottom of the Teton Mountains, of the days our children were born - they took up an aching permanence in my heart that still hasn't left. Your death opened the floodgates of what- ifs and should-haves that only reinforced the reality of death's presence.
I can only hope that wherever your energy may be, that you have an awareness of the lives of our children. I hope that you can hear the weekly conversations that Brandon and I have, the ones we call "Daddy Time." We sit together on my bed and clean out the wounds of a young life lived without his father by talking about the things he would rather bury deep inside and try to forget. I hope you can see how far he has come and how, instead of hiding from the pain, he faces it and plows through like the fucking awesome little boy he is.
I hope you can see how grown your daughter is, both physically and emotionally. She was so brave when she went to the leadership conference in Washington DC a few weeks ago - in spite of her fears and anxiety about doing something that would take her away from home, she took the bull by the horns and kicked ass like the fucking amazing kid that she is.
You would be so proud of them, Dave. I'm sorry you are missing out on probably the best years of their childhoods, when we all hang and converse like grown-ups, yet act incredibly goofy and play like children to the point of delirious laughter.
We talk about you often and miss you terribly. While times like holidays and birthdays will always have the bitter sting of an empty seat at the table, our kids couldn't be doing better in their lives. They are incredibly strong and resilient young people who teach me life lessons every day.
Thank you for being my partner in bringing our children into this world - I will always do my best to make sure that while they are here they will know that they are loved, cherished, and valued both from a mother who is here and a father who will forever be in their hearts.