If I could, if there was some way I could talk to him once again, I would let him know I am thinking of him:
I have missed you so much! Your unconditional love for me (your Pumpkin), has guided me all these years without you. I have wanted so much to show off my boys to you; you were such a great influence on them. They loved "Grandpa from the farm" and then when you moved to the Oregon coast, "Grandpa from the beach."
They’ve grown! One got married! Can you believe it?
Dad, I wish you were here – so many good things about my life are because of you. I want to emulate your goodness, kindness, and compassion. I want to be held to your high standards of professionalism and integrity.
And I want to have the same enthusiasm you did for the little things in life – the short cuts that really weren’t; the home made sling shots that were the best invention for sibling interaction – why call it anything else – we weren’t rivals. No way! We were warriors and soldiers and adventurers, our only "prop" a simple wooden sling shot made from old inner tubes. The fantastically fast six-man toboggan run you made, that got so smoothed out from many rides that we could make a complete loop and never have to get off the toboggan. The igloo made out of the two feet of snow we had in 1964. In 1969 we had another record breaking snow and that’s the last time you ever shouted to the winter gods, "I wish it would snow two feet deep!"
I thought of you the last few days as I spent about eight hours cumulative in shoveling and scraping snow, and finding a place to dump the snow I shoveled. We have had three feet of snow in the last four days! Isn’t that phenomenal? Imagine the igloo palaces you could make!
As I move on and leave you over the Rainbow Bridge, I would really like to crawl in your lap and just lean into you, my comfort and my strength.
God bless you, Dad!
Dedicated to my Dad, Don Rice, Chronicle Editor, who passed away 15 years ago this week at the age of 67.