Happy Fathers Day.

Because I wanted to go long………

So we all know, its been a long roller coaster of a year. But at the end of last year my parents came to see me and the fam after christmas. We went to the deep end of the pool with everything that was on my mind. You know, usual stuff a guy in his late forties thinks about. How in the hell am I going to move on with my life, what am I going to do with myself after all is said and done, where is my backscratcher, all off it. It was put in my head that after Ham and cheese split and move on with their lives, thats when it’ll set in. So I’m singing the blues. As I’m really thinking wow, I’m in a bad spot here my dad looks at me and says something I’ll never forget……..

I’m not worried about you.

At that moment I thought, wow, well that makes one of us. And I thought for a split second, Really? Seriously, not at all? What the (comment censored) are you talking about? Because I was.

He then went on to explain. Do you remember where you were 10 years ago? 5 years ago? At every point you can look at think, it cant get much worse. And at that moment, things get better. And the stuff you remember as terrible you stand back and laugh at it and have moved on. Life moves on. I explained that seriously, right now is defcon 5, the button is gonna get hit, everything is gonna get burnt to toast. Scorched earth and all that.

“You’ll be alright. Trust me.”

He was right there by my side til the end. Even though I didn’t think I wanted or needed him there, there he was. I’d wake up, stumble out to the waiting room, there he was. We walked around the hospital, got chased by an angry goose, but he was there. So yeah, there was that. But back to the story about “I’m not worried about you”……….

As much as you dont want to admit that experience means everything (and ham and cheese will never say this), your dad is always right. There’s been some space sense that conversation. And a lot has gone down. But great googley moogley he was right. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve had three people look at me in the past few days that say theres a bounce in your step, a light in your eye. Something we haven’t seen in a year or so. I think though about that conversation with my parents a lot. I can remember him saying that. I can actually still place my feet on the square foot of earth I stood upon hearing that. I can remember the feeling when he said it and its a complete 180 degree turn as to how I feel now and thinking wow, you were right. I know without a shadow of a doubt I wouldn’t be the person I am today without him sticking with me and propping me up when everything was going to hell. He’s told me, I dont know how you do it. Well, its easy when you have the best Dad ever to push you in the right direction. So happy Father’s Day. To all you lunatics who keep the ball rolling and to my dad, a guy who I will gladly concede the title of the baddest savage on the planet. Love you. That’s all.

Back to the jokes about Uranus and farting now, immediately.

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I didn’t have a stamp

Hey Elizabeth, its your boy.

So, its been what, two and a half months? I’m pretty sure wherever you are you’re running the show by now. Telling whomever was in charge, thats nice, but let me show you this. Anyway, just writing you first to let you know I haven’t broken the kids yet. We’re actually doing pretty good all things considered. Still learning how to be a single dad but I think I’m getting the rhythm of this. They both got sick the last couple of weeks and nobody went to the hospital, just the minute clinic. I’m sure you’ve been looking in on us (more on that later) but let me run over things so in case you got busy you’ll know what’s doing.

First, Hannah. Look, she’s still amazing. Her and Carson just had their six month “anniversary” or whatever they called it. They’re cute together. We always laugh that he’s just a taller version of me. With better hair and not quite with my barrel like physique but he’s a super guy. I met his parents as well. Wonderful people. Went to school in Gainesville. Hannah said from the first time “you guys were like old friends”. We’re going to the Pixies show in a couple of weeks so they’re my kind of people. he makes his own beer (I can see you rolling your eyes, stop it). And his mom is super cool as well. She couldn’t have picked better people. You’d like them. She’s turning 19 in a few weeks and as usual “wants nothing”. I have an idea but I don’t know.

And Haley, look, theres been hiccups but I think we’re turning the corner. I actually went to a parent/teacher conference where I’ve never felt like so much a fossil. Her English teacher graduated from high school 10 years ago. Let me repeat 10 YEARS AGO!!!!!!! I’ve got t-shirts older than him. Seriously, he also had a man bun. But they all said she was really smart and doing well. And look, with everything going on truthfully, she did pretty good. And is doing great at dance. Her and her friend Anna are lead dancers on the school team and shes just kicking ass at Marks again. She found her love for it once more, I know you were concerned. But everything we did turned out right for that. We have her recital Monday coming up. We can’t wait. It’ll be a little bittersweet for obvious reasons (Hannah and I are going to be a frigging mess) but she’s so great at it. I’ll remember flowers, I promise. But I still see so much of you in both of them. From their beauty to their independence to their humor, I’m thankful for that. They took the best from you.

As for me I’m getting by pretty good. Our friends have kept me so busy to the point my therapist said, you can say no. Oh yeah, I’m going to a therapist. There’s good and there’s bad but on the whole she has helped. Not gonna lie, that first couple of weeks were tough. Not the going to sleep which everyone said but waking up. The getting out of bed to face another day. But I took a page from your playbook. To just keep doing. Because people are counting on me. From the guys I need to find jobs for to Hannah and Haley. It’s hard sometimes but I know I can’t stop. I know we talked about you wanting me to be happy. It’s coming around. I’m sure you saw the couple of fastballs the universe threw at my head. That was awesomely craptastic but I think I outlasted the beating and am getting back up to throw haymakers. And I reconnected with someone who honestly makes me smile every time talk to or am around her. It hasn’t been long but I haven’t genuinely smiled like this in months. On the subject of universal cosmic circumstance she sent a picture out the other day she took that had the strangest connection to you. Pretty sure you had a hand in it because it was uber-pintresty. I think though that the mourning has subsided a bit. Not the memories (I still tell stories about you) and still use the terms we and our. But our friends get it. Not sure if that will ever go away. Probably not but I think we talked about it once with about some friend of yours, eventually, you’re/I’m still alive and you have to continue to live. So I’m trying and its hard but I think I’m doing a decent enough job of not tripping over myself.

So I know one of your last wishes was not to be forgotten. I think we’re getting to the point where we talk about you and laugh a lot. Remember those pictures of the girls on the mantle that you said eventually we’d change out? Yeah, I dont remember that either but Haley did the other night. Now she doesn’t want to change them. And I can’t speak for the girls but theres little hints and clues you throw out to make sure we know you’re still around. Sometimes its pretty bold but sometimes very subtle. But you know what you’re doing, and whatever advice I would have would just make it worse. We’re headed to New York during Christmas this year. I swear we won’t get into any trouble and we’ll make “good choices”. Well mostly good, some might be just plain fun. Somewhere we’ll need to find a place to serve a slider and a Malibu and orange. We still think of you, a lot. But we’re doing as good as we can. There’s been some stumbles and missteps but we’re still learning this new normal.

I haven’t been able to write without you here so excuse me if this letter rambled a little. I also don’t think I have a stamp that the USPS will deliver to parts unknown so I’ll just leave this out in the ether to find you. I’ll write you from time to time and we’ll see where this goes. A next chapter to the blog if you will. Just to keep up with our nonsense. The last hashtag #uphillbattle is officially in the books. We’ll start using #threeleggedtable for this installment. So I’ll end it here for now as our good friend Mike drove us into a cow poop filled creek with a golf cart (don’t ask, it was just typical what we do, we’re not that smart. There were about 104 things that could’ve gone wrong so getting stuck wasn’t a huge problem.) and I need a shower, but we’ll keep in touch. Still love you more.

Bob