Looking at the calendar, I realize that it has been more than two decades since you left this earth to go back to our Father in Heaven on this date in 1990. At first glance this might look like a letter in sadness but I hope that you'll look at this for what it is, a celebration of what has happened since that time.
Over the course of my life I have met many people who, out of the goodness of their hearts, wanted to feel sorry for me because you were not here. At a younger age I might have played into it a little, but as I've grown older, I've realized that I don't want any one feeling sorry for me. True you have missed out on a lot of firsts. First dates, first days of school, first checking accounts, first grand baby. But in my heart I know that you were there for all of that, even though I couldn't see you. You were there with me when I got my first job, when I scratched up my first car. . .you were probably watching when I had my first kiss. Although I kind of hope you were not watching. I also know you were there in my moments of broken heart, when I was convinced that the world was "SO UNFAIR" (although I'm sure you were on Mom's side). I know you were there when I made the decisions to go through the Temple, and the decision to get married to DH there. I know you were with me in the days and months while I was on bedrest with L. You were there in the hospital when they told me I was in labor, 10 weeks early, and that you sat with me that night while I prayed it would all stop so my baby would not be born too early. I know you kept me upbeat while I was sitting on the couch trying to be still and keep Q healthy before she was born. I know you were there when both of them were born and celebrated with Mom (I'm sure she knew you were there). I know that my kids knew you before they got here and that you probably told them all about me and our family, although sometime I think I'm glad they can't remember. Like when you told me about the time I. . . Yeah, never mind.
Looking at it this way, there is no way anyone would feel sorry for me. I know where you are, and that you're here when I really need you. In some ways, you can keep better tabs on us way better than other Dads (at least that was always Mom's threat, "I can't see what you're doing all the time, but you Father can!"). There are definitely times I wish you were here, but I know that you've probably got more influence for good in every one's life where you are. For that I thank you. If nothing else, the promises of the Temple, that our family will be together forever, is what holds me up on bad days. On good days, I smile when I see the Brooks Brother sign, a joke about handle bar mustaches. . . and the sight of a bow tie will always make me think of you.