A couple of months ago, I was sitting with my dad while my mother was out. Out of the blue, he said that according to the medical records, the heart attack he had had back in April should have killed him. And as he lay there, unable to get out of bed anymore, he said he did not really know why he had survived. But he thought maybe it was so there would be more time for Colby. Beckett and Eliza and Juliana will remember, he said, but Colby is so young and I am worried about him. His Opa will all of sudden be gone and he won’t know…and then he trailed off, tired and unable to speak anymore. I have thought about that conversation a lot in the last few days. I wish I had told my dad then what I am telling him now: Don’t worry, daddy, I will make sure he knows.
He’ll know that you loved history. That when we were younger, instead of going to Disneyworld or an amusement park, you took us to battlefields and historical sites and taught us what had happened there. You knew it was important to be able to place things in their historical context.
He’ll know you enjoyed collecting stamps because they are a part of history and because you loved the stories they told.
He’ll know that you loved Western movies. That you wanted someone to watch them with you, but in a house full of women, you rarely had any takers. He’ll know that to this day, I still regret not going to see Silverado with you.
He’ll know that you became an avid Patriots and Red Sox fan later on in life. That you watched every game and dissected each play, that even when they won, you always talked about what they could have done better.
He’ll know that you were a man of great faith, who still trusted in God’s ultimate plan, even towards the end when it became very difficult for you.
He will know that you were passionate about your beliefs, but that you never forced them upon anyone, instead choosing to consider what opposing points of view might teach you.
He’ll know that you were a man of science, whose hard work and dedication led to several important discoveries.
He’ll know that you were kind, patient and loving. Always there to lend a hand or an ear if needed, but not to push too hard.
He’ll know how much you loved and cherished his Omi for all care she gave to you and to us. He’ll know you told her often “Schatzchen, Ich Liebe Dich” (I love you) and that every decision you made was made with her wellbeing in mind.
He’ll know how much you loved me and my sisters. That upon our request, you once spent your whole birthday building us a tree house to make memories in.
He’ll know that I married his daddy because he has a quiet, thoughtful, caring heart like you had.
He’ll know that you loved music and song. And that because of this love it gave you immense joy to hear Juliana sing, especially in church.
He’ll know how proud you were of what a caring big sister Juliana is to him.
He’ll know that when you found out he loved Thomas the train, you went out and got him every single Thomas item you could find. And that you spent hours playing trains with him.
He’ll know how happy it made you to see the great relationships your grandchildren have with each other. How much fun and laughter the four of them share.
He’ll know you loved to hear Juliana and Eliza squeal with excitement at the very sight of each other, and he’ll know how glad it would have made you to see Beckett doting on looking out for him.
He’ll know how admired and respected you were by so many. And how very loved you were by friends and family.
I promise you daddy, I’ll make sure he knows. I’ll make sure he knows what an amazing man his Opa was. I’ll make sure he knows that the world is a better place because his Opa was here, and I’ll make sure he knows that we hope he grows to be as kind, faithful, loyal and caring as his Opa was. But most of all, I will make sure that just like the rest of us know how much you loved us, Colby too knows just how much you loved him.