Dear Don,

I know you are in a better place and it would be selfish of me to wish you were still here. But I do hope you understand how much you and Vi mean to me.

When I close my eyes to think of you, I hear your genuine contagious laugh and wish with all my heart that I could hear it one more time.

As a child, one of my most poignant memories was when you took me for a spin in your bright yellow dune buggy. Your love of automobiles and zest for life were embodied in that car. For me, all laughter and pure childlike joy is measured against that moment.

As I roam about my home this evening…looking at all the wood carvings you’ve crafted for me over the years, I feel your love. I also feel like the world just took away one of my favorite teddy bears and that brings tears to my eyes and an emptiness to my heart.

But through my grief, I know that your goodness far outweighs your days. You taught me so many things by example: love, loyalty, friendship, fine craftsmanship, joy and peace. I’ll be at your funeral on Friday, but not to say good-bye to you…because you are forever part of the fabric of my life.