Happy Easter, Pop! I wish you were here.
We went to see your grave today. Tom and his family...Mike and his family drove up from Virginia...Bean and her family...Ed, the boys and I...and of course, Mom. Meg couldn't make it this time, but she was here in spirit.
It was definitely surreal to see this...
Mike brought an old baseball and had all the grandchildren sign it.
And Mom brought you a single red rose. Something you did for her for over 50 years. I love your headstone. It has your rank in the Navy, your service in the Korean war, your birthday (two days after mine!) and the day you died. But my favorite part is the very bottom. Your favorite saying, "Keep the Faith"...and your song with Mom, "Always". I know you appreciate the play on words. You loved a good play on words. It seems as if it's a message from the grave to anyone passing by - to Keep the Faith, Always. That's you - Mr. Encouragement. Even after you're gone.
I'm sure you loved seeing all of us together.
But something tells me you were there with us.
I took some photos of the boys outside yesterday. If you had been here you would have been a big help - standing behind me and whistling or singing to get them to look at the camera.
But maybe you were here.
It's been a while since I was able to get a great picture of the boys together. I know you had a hand in this!
Brian has been so anti-camera lately. But for the past two days he's surprised us with two random things.
He's been talking about seeing Pop. Wanting to visit Pop.
And the other shocking thing? He ASKED to pose for these pictures!!
So, whatever you're doing, Pop - thank you. Maybe you're whispering in their ear. Or singing Tiddly Winky. Don't ever stop.
Tomorrow morning the Easter Bunny will come and leave fun presents and maybe a Lollipop or two. And then we'll head to Mom's and have dinner with "the gang", as you would say. This is the day you could FINALLY eat sweets after a long Lenten sacrifice. I will be sure to eat lots of desserts - you know, as a tribute to you. See that? It's a win win, Dad. You keep getting my kids to pose and smile for pictures - and I'll keep eating desserts in honor of you.
And I'll keep on keeping the faith. Always.
Happy Easter, Dad. I love you!