It has been two years since the accident, and while I have found peace and a great deal of joy in my life (especially since your birth), I still find it hard to believe that Dad and your brother, Sagey are gone. I wish I could call Dad and tell him about the funny, sweet, wonderful moments I have with you. And I wish Sage were here, toddling and talking and being your buddy.
My Aunt Coreen sent out an email with a list of ways to celebrate Dad's life. My aunts Elaine and Margie and I added some more. Here is the list:
Ways to Celebrate Dennie's Life
(1-9 from Coreen)
1. Dig in the dirt.
2. Plant some spinach or lettuce seeds. Maybe throw in a radish seed or two.
3. Eat a HUGE slice of rhubarb pie. If that's not available, apple pie may be substituted as long as it isn't too damn sweet.
4. Eat thick slices of banana bread with just a little butter. If you don't have Mom's recipe, get it from Elaine.
5. Every morning for breakfast have a serving bowl sized serving of hot cereal. It may not taste the best, but it is filling and you'll never be constipated!
6. Work in your yard until you are sweaty and tired. Next, sit in your back yard and drink a cold beer to wash away the sweat. If one doesn't do the trick, have another.
7. Laugh out loud no matter how dumb the joke is.
8. Hug someone you love so tightly you can hear the air escape from their lungs.
9. Live each day trusting that it is your best day ever no matter how painful. Learn its lessons well, so you can move on.
(10-16 from Jessie)
10. If you have the misfortune of being stuck in a hospital, break out and walk to a coffee shop for a chai (dragging your IV along with you). When the security guard finally catches up to you, act innocent.
11. When gardening, pay small children to kill the cabbage moths. Children might also be hired to change baby diapers or wash your truck.
12. Leave dirt on the carrots. A little dirt never hurt anyone. Why the heck would anyone wash a carrot?
13. Laugh your ass off . . . frequently.
14. Remember, only boring people get bored.
15. Love your family. And love your kids more than you ever thought was possible.
16. Remember, even if the house you build is never finished, your life is your masterpiece.
(17-20 from Margie)
17. Become who you are . . . And then let go.
18. Let others tell the story of your life.
19. When the doctors tell you you don’t have long to live, start renovating your kitchen—a ten-year job.
20. Go trout fishing; swamp the canoe and dump your passengers in the creek.
(21 from Elaine)
21. meditate often, as he did on:
the existence of God
the beauty of the sagebrush desert
the magnificence of the coyote
the limitations of traditional medicine
the pitfalls of alternative medical treatments
the connections that we make with others
the bonds that are forged
the possibility of second victories
I hope this list gives you a glimpse of who your grandpa was, Teo. When you are big enough, I'll give you a giant bear hug, and then I'll throw you over my shoulder "like a sack of potatoes" and run you around the house, which is what he did to me when he would get home after a long day at work.
I am the person and the parent I am in part because of his example, so even though you will not meet him, he will be in your life in some indirect way.
Loving you, and Sage, and Dad, always,