It’s your first birthday since we lost you, and if I could hijack your birthday wishes, I’d wish for more time with you. I’d wish for you to be at Mom and Dad’s pool splashing everyone w/ your jackknifes, tossing the nieces and nephews into the pool, and challenging everyone to races. I’d wish for you to come by our house to help with some project, like tearing cabinets off the wall with your bare hands or carrying a treadmill down a flight of steps. I’d wish to come over to your house to throw some burgers on the grill while you would shoot hoops with Jack and water your flowers with Cami. And I’d wish to sit and talk with you late into the night.
I know those wishes can’t be granted, but I am thankful for your daily presence. Since we lost you in January, I have been running a lot, making me feel connected to you. It’s as though you are running right beside me (and sometimes behind me- pushing me up the hills). I listen to your music while running and occasionally I see a Cardinal- usually right when I need a boost.
Several of us are participating in the ½-marathon in October in your memory. I just wish I had run the race with you years ago. But when I cross the finish line, I know you will be right beside me in spirit.
Amy, Cami, Jack and I miss you more than you can imagine. I know you hear Cami and Jack shouting up to the sky, “We miss you Uncle Philly.” Not a day goes by that we don’t think of you and wish you could be here with us.
You were the keystone to this entire family, and you still are. As much as we all share in our loss of you, we are also united in our love for you. And we all love you, Philly. We know you are at peace in a much better place now. That is what gets us through each day.
We’ll see you again someday, Philly…but until then, thank you for being a wonderful brother, uncle, godfather and friend.
Happy birthday, Phil. We miss you, and we love you!