Thirteen years ago today our lives changed, never to be the same. Don's death has affected each of us in ways that we can't even describe. There are times I am so angry, no, mad as hell at him for checking out. He left us at the most critical time of the kids' lives. Jenna was 15 going on 16; Tad was 13 going on 14 and Maggie was 11 going on 12. I always thought the first few years were the most critical in a child's life and they are for learning and gaining the sense of who they are and where they fit in the world. But a teenager needs both parents, even though they don't think so. I know there were times after Don died that my kids wished that it had been me instead of him, heck, so did I. We balanced each other...he was the easy going, wise one. I was the mean, fly off the handle one. I bet the kids can count on one hand the number of spankings they got from their dad.
I get mad when they have trouble and need to talk to their dad. They have no one. Tad has a couple of good friends he will talk to but mostly not. Jenna, I think, talks to Weston. Maggie, I'm not sure about at all. With the recent trouble in Maggie's life, I think she had no one and that's part of her problem.
I get mad when a new grandbaby is born and Don isn't there to be grandpa...he would have been a wonderful grandpa.
I miss him so very much, and I always will. We started dating in High School and married after he got home from his mission. I thought we had it all. We struggled to have babies and he loved Jenna, Tad and Maggie so much. I always felt like I was the one who missed Damara - I carried her for 9 months then she died four days after she was born. He never got to be a daddy to her, so he was a good daddy to the other three.
I learned that you really never have it all. Satan is waiting for us to make one wrong choice and he's in. Unfortunately Don made some bad choices at the end of his life that ultimately took his life and it makes me so sad and sometimes mad. No matter what the choices he made, Don was a good person. He was kind and thoughtful and generous and fun and loved his little family.
I hope that before this life is over, I won't be mad any more. I hope that the sadness I feel for my kids will be replaced by the sweet hope of expectation.
In a short while we will be teaching the grandbabies about their Grandpa...the one that they never got to know here on this earth. They, too, will look forward to the time to see him, because he truly is somone to look forward to seeing again.
Hard as it is at times, it is a good life. Don wanted his kids to have a good life and to do better than he did. I hope that they know this and mostly, I hope they know that their dad loves them. I can promise them without reservation that he loves them and that wanting something better for them was part of the last choice he made here.
Our song was "Baby, I Love You" by Andy Kim...makes me miss him all over again. But hey, I love listenting to the oldies, you know our make out music of the 60's and 70's such fun times and such good memories.
Yes, Don, I love you and I miss you and know that you love and miss us too.
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