I probably should have written a real letter to you... months ago. When you could have read it. But I was in denial, so I didn't.
I just wanted to thank you for being such a huge part of my life. For nearly 23 years I've considered you a second dad. You lived next door to me until I was six... You were my best friend. You would hug me every time I'd come running to your house crying, because my mom or dad told me "no". You collected my tears and saved them in your pockets, and occasionally in your wallet, for a later day. You would tell me that you'd keep them until I really needed them one day.
I remember one time I was playing with my friends... It was almost Halloween and we were talking about what we wanted to dress up as that year... We were walking past your house and you were outside. You asked us what we were doing, so I told you what we had just been talking about. You asked us all what we wanted our costumes to be... That year I wanted to be a bride. I remember you got this huge smile... and you told me I would make the prettiest bride. And one day, when I was all grown up, you were going to tell me that same thing at my wedding.
Shortly after that I remember you told me you were moving. (I was six, so I really didn't understand what divorce was, or why you had to leave me...) I remember running home to my mom and crying. Big alligator tears. I was so heart broken. My best friend was moving away. You and my parents both promised me you'd still visit and we'd still get to see you.
Many years later... You had gotten remarried. We were so excited for you! She seemed awesome... and you seemed happy. She got you back into the church. I remember the day my parents told me you were going to be ordained an Elder.. and shortly after that.. you were going to go through the temple! We were so happy for you! My parents got to be there for your endowment session... and I remember them coming home and telling me how great it was to see you so happy. That summer you came to Bear Lake with us! It was so much fun!! Our house was SO FULL!! But it was so great to spend so much time together! I remember you tipping over the canoe and losing your super expensive sunglasses! I remember everyone diving in and searching for them... but the mission was a failure. I think you're right... there is one stylish fish sporting those bad boys and showing off to his other fishy friends. I remember laughing a LOT that weekend. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much! Spending time with you was always the best way to cheer us up!
For some reason we lost contact for a little while.. I think we tried sending you an announcement for Kade's wedding and it got mailed back to us... We had your old address and after you had divorced the crazy woman with way too many children we didn't get your information updated.. But by some miracle we found some contact information for you and sent another invite... but something came up and for some reason you and Iola couldn't make it...
We are stupid and still didn't talk to you as much as we should have... We heard you and Iola had gotten married! And the two of you were doing so well! Of course!! Iola is amazing!! She brought out the cutest side of you!
The world of Facebook arose and became a huge blessing! Misty and I became friends with Jeri... My birthday is in December... and she wished me a happy birthday... in her birthday message to me she added this, "My dad wanted me to tell you "Happy Birthday" from him, too. He said that you still hold a special place in his heart and he still thinks that he needs to have the final say on your husband when you get married.. :)" I laughed so hard when I read that! Of course my husband had to have your stamp of approval! I wouldn't have it any other way!!
Two months later Misty called us on the phone... she had just read something Jeri had posted on Facebook. I don't remember what it said exactly.. But I remember it being about a brain tumor. We got her phone number right away and got the details as soon as we could. I was in shock. I cried a lot then, too. How could someone I knew have cancer? Cancer doesn't happen to the people I love! It happens to other people! My parents and I drove down to Orem the next night to visit you in the hospital the night before your big surgery. It was so good to see you!! They had just shaved your head, so you were bald! I had never seen you without hair! But I was sure glad you still had that mustache! We talked to you for a bit. Told you we love you and you'd be in our prayers. You told me you loved me. And that I get prettier every time you see me. You asked me if I was getting married yet. And reminded me you still got a say in my husband. You also promised me you'd still be at my wedding.
The surgery went pretty well.. and they started you on some heavy chemo and radiation. There were a lot of complications.. and we were all very worried. Never once did you leave my thoughts or prayers. A couple more months went by and we thought you were doing pretty well... You went in for a check up and they found another tumor. At this point... there was no longer anything they could do medically. More crying. We were going to eventually lose you, whether we liked it or not.
We decided we were going to enjoy the time we had left with you. We would always say we need to drive down and go visit Blaine. We need to check on Blaine. etc. etc. But of course.. our summers are always so packed. We'd be getting ready to go to Bear Lake and we'd say... We needed to visit Blaine before we left... and we'd be on our way home and say... we need to go visit Blaine. FINALLY about a week and a half ago.. we called Jeri and asked if we could come visit. She told us they didn't think you had much longer to be here. And really you weren't supposed to have anyone come visit but family.. But she told us we could come anyway...
I was getting ready for church and I was in the kitchen with my mom. She asked me if I was ready to say goodbye to you. Tears started flooding down my cheeks. Of course I wasn't ready for that! But... We drove down as soon as I was out of church.. I cried the whole way down. My mom told me I couldn't cry while I was there... and I tried really really hard. I promise I did. I held your hand and had a conversation with you... Then my dad came over and started talking to you... You asked him if he would say the opening prayer at your funeral... and that is where I lost it. It had suddenly become so real. I regained control of my emotions and talked to you for a bit longer. I then hugged you, kissed your cheek, and told you how much I love you. I walked away with tears running down my cheeks. I debated on talking to you about being at my wedding but thought maybe I shouldn't say anything... I was standing by my mom and we were talking to Iola... I then turned back to you... tears really flowing down... and I made you promise me you'd be at my wedding! I told you I didn't know how many strings you'd have to pull in Heaven... but that I needed you to pull them. I needed you there. You promised you'd be there. Standing right next to my parents. Don't forget your promise.
Last night my mom called me.. After getting off the phone with Jeri... Just minutes after you left this earth and returned back home with our Heavenly Father. Blaine, I am so grateful you no longer have to battle. You can finally be at peace. I am also very grateful I knew you. Thanks for letting me adopt you as a dad. Thank you for taking care of me as a little girl. Thank you for always telling me how beautiful I am. Thanks for wanting to be at my wedding since the time I was born. And most of all... Thank you for letting me be so attached to you. I love you so much. Probably more than you will ever know. I miss you so much already. But I look forward to the day I get to see you again!!
I love you!!