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Monday, April 11, 2011

Emails Written That Will Never Be Sent

Today marks the one year anniversary of the passing of my mother-in-law. In true of our relationship, I’ll compose an email that will never get sent. We both worked for the same company up until her death and we usually communicated via email throughout the day.

Good morning,

Well, the bad news is that you’re still gone. That sucks. There’s been a ton of stuff that you would have gotten a kick out of over the last year. I’ll make sure to send another message with attached pictures. You’ll love them.

Yeah, not much to report here. April really sucked. The rest of the year sucked as well, but April was definitely the worst. Nice work with the tree by the way. A week after you go and a damn storm took out Moyer’s shed. What the hell was that all about? Was that a sign that he needed to get that tree out of there or get the shed redone? Well, it’s still there, even though my dad and uncle came over late in the year to help get rid of the tree. Hopefully, we can get it figured out once the year dries up.

Your grave site is very nice. It seems morbid to talk about that but you would have loved it. We will spend a lot of time visiting and taking Bailey to feed the ducks and the fish at the pond. Also, on another morbid note, I took the opportunity to get our own plots. It’s very unsettling to think I now have a final resting place. After all, I figured I would live forever. I mean that quite literally. I’m sure I’m wrong, given all the health issues I will probably face. It’s also unsettling to think that not only does your daughter have one; your granddaughter does, as well. I hope we never have to use any of them.

First of all, Mother’s Day really sucked, although, Bailey managed to keep us laughing with her little bits of cuteness. She made sure we sent some balloons to Kevin’s for you.

Moyer’s birthday had a little celebration to it. We did a dual birthday for him and Ronnie. Vail made an impression on Bailey and now she includes him in her prayers.

Oh yeah, and someone took your cell phone number. I know. Pisses me off, too. Because I have those meat hook banana hands I often find myself pushing your speed dial number when I try to call someone and it gives me a moment of sadness.

Well, at least you’d be happy with Moyer for breaking out the Wii. Sucks that it took your death to get us to do that. He and I spend most evenings shooting everything in sight on the games we play. Bailey loves the one we have, House of the Dead 2 and 3. I know it’s probably not good for a three year old to be seeing that but she understands the difference between games and real life and isn’t scared by it. She calls it the ‘booby guy game.’ There is a bit where a few, very large, shirtless zombie men come after you. Yes, the kid is nuts.

The trip to beach was bittersweet. You would have loved the house we had and cracked up at the sounds of gunshots that echoed through the neighborhood when we fired up the Wii with Cabela’s 2010 and forgot to check the volume knobs for the surround sound, outside of the house.

You also missed the cavalcade of steaks I cooked up. I know you’ve had this thing about meat, especially beef and I hope that you’ve learned, ironically, how short life is and to not worry about stuff like that. For all the concern over lemons and beef and other things, it was the stupid blood thinner that caused you the biggest problem. Still, the steaks were awesome and I would have made you eat one because we had so damn many of them leftover.


You would have also gotten a kick out of crabbing. It was a bit pointless since we didn’t catch enough to eat but still, it was an interesting process. Damn things bit me. As soon as it happened, I could just faintly hear the snort and laugh that would have come out of you.

You also missed another great moment. Jeremy visited and brought along his girlfriend. She’s a keeper. I think you would have agreed. They’ll be with us this year. We took a trip up to the 4x4 section and you would have liked it. You’re probably a little pissed that you can’t go this year and see the house we’re getting. I know you are not a big fan of the pool temp when it’s not heated and it would have been a bit cold. However, we have a plan.

Lastly, you truly missed out on Captain George’s. You would have been knee deep in that flan. Looking forward to going there again, next year. Unfortunately, being in the four wheel drive section will limit us to probably one visit this time.

Oh, and you can blame me for your grave marker. I know, somewhere, your saying, “Asshole”, for my benefit. You’re welcome. Hey, they disregarded my first suggestion which was, “How am I doing?”

Like always, you have a way with throwing a party and you are probably upset that you can’t add your personal touch. Bailey had a wonderful birthday and even Fourth of July was fun for the most part. You would have liked the fireworks from our vantage point.

August and September
The only thing of note is seeing what has happened around here… work I mean. Yes, there is a bit of mass exodus. Doesn’t surprise me, considering. I’m still looking and getting tired of doing it. You know of my pursuit to find a better career and all I can say is, maybe you got lucky. I mean the early retirement not the permanent one… I’ve even expanded my search to start up companies. I know how you feel about that idea. Don’t think I haven’t completely thought about what that would mean. It could disintegrate in an instant. Believe me, your voice is in the back of my head harping about benefits and security and everything. Just know that for every start up that folds because they can’t hack it, there is probably another large, well established company that has just outsourced another sector of its workforce to save a buck. I may face the same reality that you did when we got bought. It’s coming. I don’t know when, but it’s a matter of time and you know as well as I do that I’d be on the chopping block. We’d both be, especially since you aren’t here to protect us.

I’m sorry about Woody. Well, at least, he’s with you, now, if you actually did make it somewhere. He was just too sick and it’s not like he was getting any younger. He was 24 years old. Unfortunately, your prediction that your mother and that cat would outlive you came true. She’s fine by the way. Anyway, it was just another stupid moment of 2010 that I wish we could have avoided. Poor little bastard. I was supposed to be there with your daughter for moral support and I was the one who came unglued. Too much death this year.

This is when it really sucks. It’s the beginning of the holiday season. I think you would have loved Bailey’s outfit, a little ladybug. She had her first real trick or treating adventure. The men toughed it out here, giving out treats as usual, but we had an added bonus. We used your gift from Christmas to keep us warm. I know it probably makes you go, “What the hell?”, when you realize that you gave us the fire pit 10 months ago and we finally used it, now. We did use it a couple of times over the summer but the real test was using it on Halloween. You would have been in there with a marshmallow, making your own smores. As usual, your little girl did you proud. I know that there is always that moment when she wishes she could ask you for help in cooking or putting together a party. I know we sort of suck at it, but she is her mother’s daughter. Genetics plays a huge roll and she’s taken the mantle very adeptly.

Also, I know you are probably a bit disappointed in us over dinners. Believe me, I show the biggest amount of collateral damage of your death. I’ve gained almost 30 pounds since April. When I saw the pictures of me as Thing 1 from Halloween, I realized how bad looked. I also realized how bad I felt after trying to carry Bailey up the steps after another fat filled dinner out at a restaurant or fast food joint. I’m going to start trying to lose weight. I mean seriously lose some weight.

It sucks because we never eat at your place anymore. Part of it is because it’s still too raw of a wound to poke at. The other is that we just simply don’t cook and we can’t expect Moyer to do it all. He’s still working, ya know. Yet, I think you’d be proud at how we’ve managed to cope and keep going.

Happy Birthday. : (

I’ll have you know that I was thoroughly impressed with your daughter’s first attempt at cooking a Thanksgiving Day turkey. Except for the fact that we all had the stomach flu, which happened prior to dinner, it was tasty. I pretty much ate leftover turkey for the next week. Well, that’s what happens when you die. You don’t get to partake in turkey sandwiches. Sucks to be you.

Merry Christmas : (

Yes, we threw out your love seat. Willow is breathing a sigh of relief.
That thing was a death trap for the cats and except for losing the extra seating, it opens up the room a bit more for Bailey’s toys.

I managed to convince your daughter to decorate for Christmas, even though she didn’t want to. It was for Bailey’s sake. Of course, that screws me because I have to help do the decorating. Yeah, and by the way, once again, ‘eff you for dying. That leaves a bunch of decorations for your daughter to inherit and believe me, I’m not happy about that. We have enough crap in this house, half of which we don’t use.

On a more positive note, I did get a new job, right before Christmas. Giving my two week notice right before I took the last two weeks of the year off for vacation would have gotten a ‘Good boy’ from you, I’m sure of it. Your old buddy at HQ told me that it was one of your secret wishes for us. It gave me a little sadness that you didn’t get to share in that conversation about getting the job. The fact that you secretly wished that both myself and your other daughter would get a better job, somewhere else, tells me I made the right decision. Of course, I am getting a bit of a raw deal. I have to go 45 days without benefits. Your advice would have been greatly appreciated in this matter.

On an even more positive note, I managed to lose the weight I gained after you died.  I can't promise that I'll keep losing the weight but I'm trying.

A new year hopefully brings a better one. What the hell is up with the cold and snow? Figures. I get a new job that takes me out towards the airport and two things happen. Hell freezes over and gas prices skyrocket. I spent the better part of two evenings stuck in traffic, trying to get home. I had to nearly miss your daughter’s birthday dinner because I had to drive all over Hell’s half acre trying to go visit my poor mother, who had a hip replacement up in Passavant UPMC. Priorities are a bitch. It just made better sense since I was already on this end of the world. Everything would have been fine but the doctors took forever to get her into her room. Thanks for being there, by the way. You know what I mean. You also know how I feel about that stuff, but I’m willing to accept that maybe I should at least be appreciative that it could be true.

Damn Steelers lost. Oh, by the way, your daughter stole your Polamalu jersey. I got my own, so don’t look at me. Valentine’s Day sucks, well for Moyer anyway. I know it’s not one of your bigger holidays but it’s still another excuse to be in a shitty mood because someone you love isn’t around.

You’re little fuzzy babies are soooo big, now. I know you probably miss them but I’m sure you at least have Woody and Lulu on your lap, somewhere, which makes you smile, or irate depending on how crowded it gets in that recliner you got.

Nothing much new, here. Yes, Bailey is coming up with some interesting things to say, all of which are not my fault.  I’m sure it will only get worse.

Your daughters need you more than ever, and by extension so do I.  I won’t give you the gory details but you understand.

Finally a break in the weather and the first year without you is finally over. Hopefully, this year will be a little better. There aren’t a lot of perennial events that you haven’t already missed by now, which means the worst part is over. It just really sucks because I think we’re finally starting to accept and move on, which means it will be harder to keep the memory as fresh.

Yes, we have pictures but not a lot of video so that Bailey can hear your voice and see you in motion. Of course she still remembers you and wishes you could be here. We all do. I just find myself unable to place you into a conversation as, ‘I know what she would say if she were here.’

It wasn’t that you were predictable. It was that you left that much of an impression that you were able to be utilized for any scenario. Whenever your daughter asks me for advice, I always say, ‘WWMD’. Of course, she didn’t listen you when you were alive, so I guess I’m doing it for my own benefit.

I’ll be sure and keep you update on the rest of year. Take care and keep us safe. And help us put a filter on Bailey. She doesn’t seem to understand that you shouldn’t always speak your mind. I blame you for that. : )

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