Friday August 24th was the 16th anniversary of Don's death. I thought a lot about him, had teary eyes and kept going. I've done a lot of that for the past 16 years, thought about him, had teary eyes and kept going. I know that I haven't always gone where I needed to go, haven't always done what I needed to do. There have been times my heart has been so heavy I thought it would literally explode from pure sadness. There have been times I have cried until I didn't think I could ever cry another tear. There have been times I have gone on only because I literally had to. Most of my tears have been for my three kids who lost their dad at such a tough time in their lives - young kids and teenagers - they NEEDED their dad, they still do. Don was fun. He was kind, he was patient, he was generous, he was wise, he was compasionate, he was not judgmental, he was a true friend and he was a good dad. He LOVED his kids. Many of the decisions he made concerning work were based on what he felt was best for his kids. He could have made more money somewhere else, but he wanted for his kids something he didn't feel he had - family around. He wanted the kids to know their cousins and they did on both sides. He said they moved so much when he was young it was hard to have good friends, he wanted his kids to have good friends and they do. He said it was hard for him in school because they moved so much - he wanted it to be easier for his kids and it was. He wanted his kids to have a past and they do. I will only know if I'm right when I get on the other side but I know with every fiber of my being, he honestly thought he was doing what was best for his kids when he took his own life. He did not want them to be ashamed of him. He did not want to have people talking about him and his kids hearing it. He didn't know all of what would happen, but he honestly thought he was doing the right thing. I know that if he had been the true Don, he would not have done what he did. He would never have hurt his kids in that way. He would never have broken their hearts. He did not know that people would talk anyway and unkind people say unkind things and break their hearts all over again...he would not have wanted that for his kids. He wanted them to be active in the church; he wanted them to date and have fun. He wanted them to marry in the temple. I know he would have wanted Tad to serve a mission and I failed in not getting him there. I know he would truly be the best grandpa in the world because these eight little monkeys that have stolen my heart would have stolen his, too. I can only imagine the fun he would have had with grandkids...popping fingers, teasing, kindness and pure LOVE. Never once did Don participate unworthily in a priesthood ordinance. Never once did he deny his testimony. Because of bad choices he did not always live the way he should and he knew the difference. I can't imagine the war going on inside of him. I cry for him. Don was the true love of my life. I met him when I was a freshman in high school. We dated all through high school; I waited for him while he was on his mission. We married in the Manti Temple when he got home. We waited FOREVER to be parents. We lost our first daughter, Damara when she was 4 days old. We became better parents through that trial. When we had Jenna she was not taken forgranted. It was hard for us to have babies and we truly felt blessed with her birth. We were told that we might have one more but no more. Our blood types fought against each other (rh factor) and the issues were getting worse with each pregnancy. When Tad was born and had to go into intensive care within minutes we were afraid for him and never took him forgranted. With the "maybe one more" thought process I guess we thought we might be through so we were happily drifting along when we got pregnant with Maggie. She was a surprise, never a mistake, purely a blessed surprise. By the time she was born and our rh problems progressing we were advised by Dr. Shill and Dr. Tanner that this was the time to stop so I had my tubes tied and we felt truly blessed to have three perfect, healthy babies to raise. Don grew with every baby. He spent precious time with each of them. He would go home early when he could and watch their favorite tv shows with them (Sheera, Princess of Power) he would take Tad out to the barn and they would "hunt" together. He would hold Maggie and talk to her. He LOVED being a daddy. He was my best friend. He would call me at work and just bull $*% with me. We sometimes worked together, we played together - I love him and to this day sixteen years later I miss him. Maggie was 11 going on 12; Tad was 13 going on 14 and Jenna was 15 going on 16. He's been gone more than half of their lives and that is not fair. They needed him then and they need him now. We were married 22 years and before I know it he will have been gone longer than we were married. That's not fair. I needed him then and I need him now. I hope he knows how much he is loved and missed. I know he's ok and I know that Heavenly Father knows all and I KNOW that in the end, ALL IS WELL.