Hi Dad,

In a few days you’ll have been gone for seven years. I can still hear the phone call I received today, “Your dad was rushed to the hospital.” I spent the morning in tears thinking about how I long to hear you call me Hun Girl just one more time. Or to watch your fingers strum against Baby hearing you belt out tunes like Hey Jude and Tie A Yellow Ribbon. This year has been a rough year, Dad. How I needed you this year more than any year since you’ve been gone.

I know I usually write to you on your birthday but I figured I switch it up. The first ten days of February is always the hardest for me. I’m hoping writing to you on the anniversary of your passing helps me get through it a little easier. I’m just hoping writing gets me through whatever the emotions that have been coursing through me the last few days. So, here I am trying to heal a heart currently hurting.

In a few weeks it’ll be the year mark of O leaving our home and a few weeks later when COVID-19 rocked the world and literally shut down most of our lives. What would the pandemic have done to you? Probably nothing. You’re not a social butterfly. At least not enough to be affected. You’d have spent your days with a Heineken in your hand fishing for dinner. You’d probably have had us camp on the beach like we did so much as kids living the life. No, you wouldn’t have been affected by the social shut down.

This year I found my faith. Well, it was never gone. I just spent more time talking to God about the hard things versus talking to him on just the small things. The real hard things like my infertility that I still struggle with after all these years. Or my anxiety and depression, which he has freed me from. At least the anxiety. The depression is still a gut punch on some days – like today – but it doesn’t keep me down for longer than a really good cry.

In December I tested positive for that bloody COVID. At first I thought it was a mistake. I was just jet lagged from an amazing weekend in Texas. But, nope. After avoiding the ‘Rona for most of the year I was hit and hit hard. I was taken via ambulance at 3a one morning to the ED. Dad, I’ve never been so scared in my life. I’m still recuperating. I’ve been out of commission since 12/8 and it hasn’t been easy. I’ve been dying to get back in the kitchen to cook, just like you taught me, but just standing to rinse my plate is exhausting. The minute I feel normal again I’m heading to the beach, putting my toes in the sand, feeling the sun warm my face with a mixed drink in hand. Remember all the days we spent at the beach? We’d look for limu, go fishing, catch hermit crabs and maninis. Those were the days, Dad. I miss those days. One day, I’ll take my family to Hawaii and do all the things you did with us with them.

I went back to school this past year. It’s been fun as I gear up to run my nonprofit. I did it, Dad. I created Hummingbird House. The mission is mostly the same, but we had to make a few tweaks to it. But, it still helps to change the life of those in need. The pandemic has stifled our progress but we at least have one family we are working on. Our website is crap but I’ve connected with some people who could help. I need to really get into it. The year has gotten away from me and I’ve neglected my passion. I’ve neglected a lot of things but mostly HH. The day I got my ass handed to me by my mentor changed a lot of things. Now I’m just afraid to take a step. To make a stand. To make a difference. I don’t think I’ve ever acknowledged that.

Last update, I got a German Shepherd for Christmas. His name is Marley. He reminds me so much of Rosco. At least his looks. I don’t remember much of Rosco minus the time I cut the tip of his tail off or the time someone tried to break in our home and he ensured that didn’t happen. Marley is cute and smart and already very protective. I was upstairs one day home alone. I had thought I barricading the room door enough where he couldn’t get out. I was wrong. The moment he heard sound by the front door he was in guard dog mode. He cleared the barricade with absolute ease, hackles up, a big boy bark ready to take on whoever it was at the door. Jumping over the barricade made me remember all the times Rosco jumped over the 6′ fence we had in our back yard. So many memories in Seattle. So many memories wit you.

I hope you’re singing in Heaven today, Daddy. Sing one for me will ya? I miss you, old man. Every single day.

Love you always,
Hun Girl