For someone who rarely has trouble writing, I’ve been avoiding writing this letter to you for some time. The reason lies in the fact that I must confront the fact you’ve been gone for an entire year. I’m constantly reminded of the exact minute and hour you left.
For the first several Fridays I woke up at 2:15 A.M. This went on for about two months. Every Friday morning I’d wake at that time. Then I began waking on the 20th of each month at that time. That’s been going on fairly constantly the pass year. Earlier this month I woke at 2:15 A.M. on your birthday, October 10th. I don’t really mind it. There’s just an inner alarm in me that goes off at that time. I’d like to think that you’re standing next to me giving me a gentle shake or leaning over giving me a hug and kiss when that happens.
I felt your presence quite often in the first three or four months; however, I haven’t felt it for many months now. You’ve moved onto where you belong. That’s OK, I know that you’re still watching over me. The first six months were the hardest; however, the past several weeks has been difficult.
For a brief time I stopped my politically incorrect blog and writings. I stopped listening to talk radio and began listening to Christen radio. I even created a bible blog and started studying various books of the bible. I considered entering bible college and working on another bachelor’s degree. That didn’t last too long. I came to my senses. I realized it’s not for me – at least not at this time.
After a few months I did return to listening to talk radio – mainly Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage. You always liked them.
I then started my blog and regular writings back up – the ones you used to enjoy reading every day. Actually, I’ve done quite a bit of writing this year in that vein; however, I have not yet returned to editing my horror novel. I decided I should spend some time reading horror before returning to write it.
For a few months I worked on genealogy, although I’ve reached a point that I’m putting it aside and perhaps giving it up forever. Genealogy has become too expensive and after twenty-two years of research I’m burned-out.
The highlight of this past year was the arrival of your great-grandson, Jackson Reverdy Orrell. Everyone says the same thing. You would have loved him. He’s such a good boy even when not feeling well. He has eight teeth, is crawling, standing, and about to walk. He has a great personality. You would have enjoyed teasing him, getting him in trouble, and teaching him bad things. I guess I’ll just have to do that for you.
Mom has been doing well. Her operation went well and for the most part, her diabetes is under control. Nora and I keep checking on her blood levels.
We’ve taken her everywhere this past year. She’s enjoyed going to West Virginia with us and going to see Jackson, Sara, and Reb. She misses you terribly and often talks to your photo. I do the same thing.
I made a nice photo of you and gave to all of the family and friends. I have an 8×10 in my upstairs office and talk to you often. I’ve created a shelf in my office that holds many of your items. It’s my tribute and memorial to you. I show it to everyone.
Mom, Nora, Phyllis, Aunt Mary, Phyllis, and Sara all love their necklace that I had made per your instructions. I gave them out when I delivered your eulogy. Rev. Bro. Dan Stone did a great job with your service. The night before I did the toughest thing I ever had to do – your Masonic Memorial Service. Ed Kraft and Ralph Owens said it was the best piece of Masonic work I ever did and that they had never seen a son do his father’s service before. I sat down and cried when it was all over. I wanted you to be proud of me for doing it.
I wish we could be together for an afternoon, sitting on the porch in West Virginia and listening to the talk shows together. I wish we could go to lodge together again. I miss our trips driving in the car. I miss just being able to talk to you or hear your voice on the phone.
All of that is over now, but I still have the memories – all good memories of our times together.