Today marks the second anniversary of your death, and true to form, it feels like yesterday. I wish I could say that things get easier with each passing year, but they don't. They just don't. To say that I need your help would be an understatement; to say our kids need their dad, even more so.
Our kids - I just burst into tears after writing those two words: Our kids - Dave I wish you could know them! They are two of the most real, down-to-earth, imperfect human beings I have ever had the pleasure to know. They are absolutely fucking perfect in their imperfections. The beauty of our family is that life is about being unique, and different, and real - and Amanda and Brandon embrace that wholeheartedly.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - Brandon is just like you. He is so smart and so filled with the most useless knowledge, I'm convinced it all came pre-installed in his brain 'cause I don't know where it comes from. He starts middle school in the fall and I have a feeling he'll blow through middle school and into high school courses. I wish you could see for yourself how smart he is, Dave. He's going to change the world one day, but for right now he's busy being a little boy with his Minecraft, his huge books, and the local swimming pool, and I'll cling to that as long as I possibly can.
Our teenager happens to be just like me. We have a TEENAGER. Amanda is 13 going on 35. I literally have to remind myself she's only thirteen. She's got my height - even you could almost look her in the eye - and she has my artistic/creative talent. The girl can pick up a musical instrument and play like she was born playing, and she very much enjoys playing her alto sax. Like Brandon's pre-installment of useless information, she was pre-installed with a keen ear for music, something that's become a bit of a lifeline for her. I wish you could see her drawings as well, Dave. So much of her soul comes out when she creates, and it is beautiful, and impressive, and so completely her. She is so smart and works so hard, and I wish you could witness her resilience - she is strength personified.
Yesterday Amanda and I went to yard sales and picked up a mattress for her. Having no other way to get it home, we strapped it to the top of the car Clampett-style. We laughed so much at how absurd we looked, but we really had no other choice. As we drove home it occurred to me that we have always found a way, and I told Amanda that our family motto should be "We'll figure it out." Life wasn't easy before your death, Dave, and it certainly hasn't been easy since, but here we are intact and stronger than ever because we have always managed to figure it out.
As a parent it's natural to question how I'm doing, but as I look at Amanda and Brandon, I realize I'm doing a pretty damn good job. It's hard doing it alone, though. So. Fucking. Hard. As the kids get older it becomes clearer how much they need their dad. They miss you so much, Dave. Now that we are living in Denver, their memories of you are everywhere. From Perkins, to the Golden Corral, to our old neighborhood, to the Denver Broncos. You are everywhere.
You and I were separated when you died, but that doesn't keep me from wishing you could be present and healthy so that you could see our kids grow. I would love for you to have been sitting with me at Amanda's band concert, or Brandon's elementary school graduation, or in the emergency room when Brandon was so sick last month. I don't care what terms you and I were on, at least when it came to the kids we were solid as a rock.
I hope you know you are missed and loved, Dave. Whether it's a grand gesture like a post dedicated to you on a blog, or a sweatshirt of yours worn by Amanda, or your bathrobe that sits on Brandon's bed, you are always on our minds or in our hearts.