Today is your birthday. We celebrated the same way you would have, by going to lunch at one of your favorite restaurants. It was good to be together with family, and it felt like you were there too. I told the boys this morning that it was your birthday and that we were going to go to lunch. They jumped up and down excitedly and said, "Grandpa Louie is alive again?! He's all better? He gets to have lunch with us?!"
They miss you too. We talk about you all the time. The boys pray for you every night. It's sweet, and so genuine and innocent. I always wondered if they would remember you, but they do. I'm so grateful for that. I want nothing more than to keep your memory alive for them. I want them to know the type of person you were. I want them to know about your personality. Your wit. Your intellect. Your compassion. Your heart. Your love. You would have been one of their very best friends, I know that for certain. You could make everyone feel like your best friend. Everyone who got to feel that was honored. Your dedication and loyalty to those you cared about were so inspiring. I so long to be like you in that way. You made it seem effortless. It was just part of who you were.
I could surely use your friendship now. I'm not the only one, either. How deeply our entire family is missing you now.
I'm sorry I haven't written a letter for awhile. I've wanted to, but there are things that are sometimes just too hard to write about. Too hard to even think about really. I have a deeper understanding of why you were taken when you were though. God knows the plan for lives much more clearly than we do. I believe that strongly. Our family needed you fighting for us from the other side. Someone who cared as deeply for us as you do. Someone who would never give up on any of us. Keep fighting, keep pushing, in the long run I'm certain it will pay off. We'll do the best we can here, and you fight for us all from there. Heaven knows you're a fighter. :)
We're lucky to have known you. Our family I mean. We were blessed to learn from you, and to continue learning from you.
I was blessed beyond measure to be your daughter. In my eyes, there was no better dad for me in this world than you. You taught me how to be loved, how to be confident, how to laugh, how to trust, and how to tolerate. Pure love. If I can share those things you've taught me with even one person in this life, I'll know I've made you proud.
I love you, Daddy. Happy Birthday!