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Saturday, January 17, 2015

In Less Than Two Weeks

In less than two weeks…

I had surgery.
Tony died.
Tegan gave birth to baby Leighton.
My dad is hospitalized.
We had another showing today.
Conferences and long days loom ahead this week.

It is just about enough to put me over the edge.

My friend Sue offered to take the kids during the showing.
I said, "Oh, no thank you."  But she offered several times.  The kids adore her, so….

I took her up on it and grocery shopped at Target.  Alone.
Then when I went to pick up the kids she insisted on keeping the big kids longer.

I came home.  Read to Brecken.  Put him down for a nap (which entailed teaching him how to climb into the crib since nobody was here to help me lift him).  Put away the groceries.  Ate lunch in peace.  Watched TV. Read.

It was peaceful.  Just what I needed.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Dear Tony

*Originally written on January 10, 2015.  Not sure if or when I'll post this.

Dear Tony,
    I finally went to your house today.  Amanda wanted me to bring Christian to play with Rosie.  As expected, Rosie is having a hard time with you not being there.  Your house was filled with your in-laws.  Amanda's sister kept referring to you as Uncle T.  It was cute.  She's been helping Amanda tons with all of the arrangements.  Your neighbors have been extremely generous and helpful too.
    At one point today we were all laughing at your kitchen table and I looked up at the doorway to the hall and for a split second, expected you to come around the corner smiling and laughing.  I thought being in your house might make it seem more real for me.  But it didn't.  It actually made it worse.
    Amanda was saying a couple of your friends stopped by.  Just to check in.  Just because they wanted or needed to be at your house.  Amanda was just leaving, so she told them, "Please come back.  Come back anytime.  I will drop what I'm doing to talk to you.  To hear what you have to say.  To hear you share a memory."  She got tears in her eyes and looked off.  She misses you so!
   Christian and I stopped and got a bag of junk food on the way to your house.  We did bring a bag of fruits and veggies too…I didn't want to be too annoying…

The entire bag accidentally poured onto Christian's plate, right on top of his Oreos.
It was hilarious.
Christian was a disaster.
Orange face.  Orange fingers.  What a mess.
I said, "Hey Dude, you better learn how to eat."
Then I cracked up and Amanda started laughing because you always used to say that to him at Yogi.
I told the story of when he was about 3 years old and ate so fast he puked his whole meal back on his plate and you looked at him and said, "Dude!  You need to learn how to eat!  You don't want to be the kid puking on his plate in kindergarten!"  It's been an ongoing joke for years.  Today, it really lightened the mood.  We all needed that.

Christian and Rosie played hockey in your basement.  Amanda is taking Rosie to hockey practice tomorrow.  Amanda said, "Tony would have wanted me to take her."  She also wants to learn how to help Rosie put all her gear on.  She doing a great job in being there for them in all the ways you were.

One of your Duluth buddies put this amazing four minutes of you playing hockey in your junior year and you scored two goals in the final game.
You were interviewed after the game.
It was incredible.  I'm so glad I saw it.
I sure wished I would have watched it with you.
I would have loved to tease you.
Instead tears streamed down my face and I couldn't catch my breath.

I told your neighbor, Scott, I have a ton of great pictures of you and would be happy to share them with him for the slide show he's putting together.

I cannot believe how few I actually have.
I immediately pulled up our Yogi pictures.
Victoria and Christian loved looking for pictures of you.
Sure there are pics of you, Mark & Beth shot gunning beers that first year.
But that's not quite the level of appropriateness I was hoping for.
I found a couple cute ones.
But I am disappointed I didn't have more to share.
I bet you're thinking if I would have put down that beer down once in a while, I would have more pictures.  So true, my friend.  Wish I had.

I wrote a blog about you on the day you passed away.
I mentioned that you were the funniest texter.
I woke in the middle of the night last night  
and had a feeling we hadn't texted since I had this new phone.
I scrolled and scrolled and was so relieved.
There they were.
The joking texts about the dirty RV in the Walmart parking lot saying Walter White was there.
You thanked me for bring you "blue stuff" and balloons on your bday.
I sent you a pic back of Amanda and all of our kids playing at the park by your house saying you missed out on all the fun.
The last one was a pic you sent me of Amanda with this massive thing of brussel sprouts you brought home from a farmer's market from the side of the road after work, with the caption "Isn't she hot?"

Damn, you were so funny.

Your death has affected so many people.
You were so loved. 
You are going to be so missed by so many.
I know you already know, but we will continue to be there for Amanda and Joe and Rosie forever.
Not just in the next few weeks, months or years, but forever.  

Oh T. Burns how you're so missed.
My friend's husband didn't just pass away on Thursday.
My friend did too.