Dad - Mom wanted to send you a message too, so here it is (below). I hope someday I can find a partner who loves me this much. Knowing who you were, I can see (easily) how she would write these words. :)
A YEAR LATER - from Virginia Baker, loving Wife and Mother of three
I DON’T know if I can write the feelings in my heart. I don’t want to make them anything more or less than what they are.
You have been gone now over a year, and the pain I feel is as though you left me yesterday. How do I explain that ?
Our relationship was not perfect. There were times when we were driven apart by one event or another. But it never kept us apart for long.
In the end, I knew I was always your favorite, the one you wanted to stare out the car window with, be with, hold hands with. For me, that knowing was what brought life its buoyancy, its thrill. When I knew you were coming, I always wanted to ‘fix up’ for you, “pretty up”, be your girl. It was just the way it was. I never questioned it because that was part of the ‘dance’ of us together.
So much of my life, I sought meaning to understand the Universe. To know . And my mind found an understandable latch that I could attach to, to explain the mystery of life to myself.
But then you left, and I understood that what you gave me was love without the need to explain anything to myself. It just WAS. It IS. There you were. For 43 years, just being there,, wanting to be there, being there going down the road with me willingly.
Always. Ever and always.
If only married people knew from their first moment of “I do” that the most important thing they can do is put that ‘other’ first in all that they do. First in respect, first in defending them and holding them dear. First always, in all things, and before all others. To hold another in those terms means to be worthy oneself for such endearment. It lifts a person up to their highest game.
You taught me to communicate by communicating so well. By saying what was in your heart. Teaching me patiently with words from your heart. I would be taken aback, awed by it, which I never let you know except perhaps by the expression on my telling face. I could never hide anything from you.
And now you are not with me anymore. How is that possible? Where are you? You HAVE to be somewhere. Because you are part of me forever. Forever. What you gave me. What came my way without need for understanding it, mentalizing it, or seeking it, was the most precious thing there could ever be. You wanted to be with me, go down the road with me, share your life with me, devote yourself to me, listen to me, give me your ‘best take’ on whatever it was, and in the end, let me know how much you appreciated me. You always let me know. You made SURE I knew.
Now I live with that. Such a gift you gave me. And though it pains me to have you gone from my sight, I hold you dear and will forever. And always. Always. I will try and find you again, with all that I have and am.