For my family: It has been said over and again that we are not promised tomorrow; with that mindset, I would like to share with you a few of my favorite memories and what makes me smile widely when I think of you:
Mom: That infamous day at Callaway Gardens when you ran into your only daughter with your bike because you couldn’t figure out how to use the pedal brakes- I can still see your face… laughing so hard you were crying and unable to say anything, including the helpful words, “Move out of the way!” That memory has made me laugh so many times!
You have sent me a Valentine’s Day card every year of my life. Thank you. You always know how to lift my spirits.
Trying to figure out how to work the card/key elevator in NYC… eleven!
Dr. M: When I was in high school, you would come home from work in the evenings and kick around the soccer ball with me. That was so awesome of you.
It takes a special man to love someone else’s child as if she were his own, and that’s what you have done.
Playing the word game, “Ghost,” on car rides, and “pocket repeat” from Radio Shack- I still have it after all these years.
April: Sitting on the floor with you at the Point Clear house listening to records; we looked at the Doobie Brother’s album jacket and you told me all of their names. We sang to each of the songs.
I love your sense of humor and hearing you talk makes me happy.
The night before I left for college, you gave me a popcorn maker; you covered my eyes with your hands as I opened it so I wouldn’t see the box and we laughed so hard while you gave me directions on getting the tape off.
Claudia: After I passed boards, I came home, pressed “play” on the answering machine, and heard your voice saying, “Woohoo! Is there an RN in the house? We are so happy for you!” That meant so much to me.
You make life fun.
We were all together in church one holiday years ago, and I spontaneously started crying snotty tears for no apparent reason. You didn’t try to ask what was wrong- you just handed me a tissue, smiled, nodded, and held my hand. That was perfect and made it all better.
Hank: Going with you and your Dad to the old auction building on a covert pigeon rescue/adoption/relocation mission in the dark of night- I think we may have rescued one or two. How did we get in there anyway?
The ways you show your love mean a lot; I never have to walk to my car alone after a family get-together because of you.
You let Austin ride in your boat as you pulled it back to your home. I don’t know whose grin was bigger that day as you both drove by and waved, yours or his! Thank you for doing that for him.
Missy: The Great Loon Rescue… you were so brave.
No one can make me laugh as hard as you do! I also love it when you open that tender heart of yours – talking with you replenishes my soul and releases buried tears turning them into laughter and snorts…well snorts for at least one of us…wait, I have heard you snort before! Shhh, I won’t tell anyone…
You taught me how to drive stick-shift. I’m not sure we were completely successful that day, but I do remember you saying it’s easier to feel the clutch bare-foot then warning me to always drive with shoes on.
Mary: Playing countless card games at Point Clear- MAMTG and AMCTG- many great memories of that summer.
You have such a sweet voice.
Walking with you at Gulf Shores, talking, dreaming, and collecting sea shells, then seeing a school of dolphins… we came close to deciding to swim out to them…until a fish bumped into my leg. Then it was over.
Mark: Seeing you at the grill every Easter with the lamb chops, and knowing you are doing it out of love.
I’m grateful for the special bond you forged with Austin that exists still. He would talk your ear off when he was little and you were always patient and listened.
The well-timed SEC football fan e-mail