It's 2 am and so many thoughts and emotions are running through my head that I can't sleep.
I can't believe you're gone.  It happened in the blink of an eye.  One minute you were there eating dinner that we brought you in the hospital and the next minute you weren't.  Thank you so much for everything.  I can never return all that you have done for me, given me and my family.  I will carry so much of you with me for the rest of my days.  

You gave me a love for well trained dogs, chocolate dipped ice cream cones, reading, and a life long love of all things educational.  Because of you I will never vote for a liberal, I'll never have any other dog for a pet besides a Great Dane, and I'll never listen to an Eagle's Song EVER without a smile on my face.  You were the smartest man I knew and an expert on many things.  

You were an anomaly to me.  A solitary man, very private but yet you could also be sweet and emotional at times too.  You had your moments of  impatience but had such a generous nature - both attributes I inherited from you.  You were kind and convicted, passionate and strong willed.

You were such a wonderful son and always attentive to your dear mother.  The silence of  Sunday evenings will be deafening to her without your weekly phone call.

One of my favorite memories of you was in June of 2006.  Brent had been hospitalized and things looked grim for many weeks.  I called you one day and crumbled.  Something about hearing the strength in your voice gave me permission to have a moment of weakness.  It was you that gave me the advice that would help get me through that horrible time.  You were very specific and told me how to go about putting one foot in front of the other and soldiering on.  It was your counsel that day that saw me through the next five years and ten months.  Then, you were one of the very first calls I made to tell you the good news that he was miraculously healed.

These last few days, ironically, it was that same advice that helped me again as I mourn your passing.

Christmas, Father's Day, my birthday, and yours will never be the same.  Brady said it best, "Christmas just won't be the same without Grandpa Stevens, he made it so awesome!"  Apparently the gifts YOU gave were always the most heralded among the males in my home.  Dad, what will I do when there is a debate and I don't have you to call and talk about it with for an hour afterward?   Your absence will certainly be felt when my children graduate from high school and college, when they marry, when I get my Master's, when I watch a western movie or say the pledge of allegiance.  You loved our country so much. 

As a tribute to you I will honor you with the way I live my life.  I will be honest, generous, passionate, informed, and kind.  I will teach these things to my children adn encourage them to teach it to theirs.  Although you are gone, your legacy remains with us.  I love you, Dad.  Thanks for 45 wonderful, memorable years.  You were exactly the Father I needed you to be.


Amanda said…
What a sweet and beautiful tribute to your Dad. I am so sorry for your Loss.

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