It's hard to not think about my brother today. It's hard to not think about my niece and nephew and how they have to go through each day for the rest of their life without their father. I know my brother and I know he wasn't the perfect father (who is??)but I do know deeply he loved his kids.
Troy was the funny dad. He sang songs badly, he made awful jokes. He was silly and crazy and could have you rolling. He was so proud of Nolan following his footsteps and becoming a hunter. he loved deer hunting (poor Bambi) and Nolan loves it just as much. Nolan got his first buck this year but Troy wasn't there to see it. Just another of the long list of moments he will miss in their lives.
And Holli, well I know he was proud just to have had a part in creating such a beautiful girl. He was her escort for a beauty pageant she was in and I will never forget that beaming look of pride he had on his face as he walked her across the stage. He just glowed looking at her, bursting with pride. He loved going to her games and cheering her on. In fact it was Troy who picked her name. He always said he was gonna have a little girl and she was going to be names Holli Ann. How many kids can say that were destined to belong to their parents like that?
I can't imagine going through each day without my dad and I wish like hell I could take that away from them. I wish there was one thing I could do that could even come close to dropping a stone to fill that chasm. I promised when he died that I would be there for them twice as much and love them ten thousand times as much. Check on the love part but I feel like I am failing them is the being there department. I don't know how to be there and they are teenagers and trying to hard to find their own way. Its so hard to know how much to step in and how much to hang back and let them come to me. I know they both know I am here for them. I just hope they actually feel it in their hearts everyday.
We buried Troy this day last year. I flew home for the burial and then his headstone was set on his birthday so when I come home next month it will be the first time I saw the completed grave.
Its pretty where he is buried. Its woodsy and quiet and I hope he has found peace there. And I hope when his kids go there to see him it brings them peace and they know that he hasn't really left them and he is with them everyday.
I love you soooo much Holli and Nolan. You are very loved and I am thinking of you today and everyday....