I think about how you have grown from a little blonde, curly headed boy who loved to climb trees, build forts with Richard and drive your Big Wheel down our driveway and brake so fast that you literally wore the tires out. The time you were hit in the eye with a bottle rocket at Mark’s house and then the rotation of who would get hurt next…you, Mark or Gregg. Gosh I hope it’s not your turn again!!
I remember how you were never afraid of anything, even jumping off of a very high waterfall in Honduras knowing that I would have gone crazy with fear had I been there, and how you couldn’t wait to tell me all about it when you returned home. The joy on your face was priceless when we were moved to first class on your second flight to Honduras and you were in the very first row all by yourself. We still have your little salt and pepper shakers that only people in first class were given with their meal.
The postcards that you sent to us when you and Jennifer were on a mission trip to Montana telling us how beautiful that part of the country was and that you would own property there one day, are safely tucked away. Your stories of floating down the Snake River and the time when you and Emil jumped into the Snake River only to realize how cold it was still make me smile. Was Tate part of that adventure or was he one of the brave guys who wanted to get close to a moose for a photo opportunity? Maybe it was Philip or maybe it was all of you. I know that you guys kept the chaperones on their toes.
Working at the camp in Montana for children whose families were battling cancer really made an impression on you. It changed your outlook on life and it helped you to realize how blessed you were. The mission trips to Honduras and to Jamaica in Queens, New York all made an impression on you and helped you to realize what was most important in life.
In Italy, you finally told us that you had left your CD player and all of your CDs on the plane when we landed in England. After many expensive phone calls trying to track down your CD player and CDs, everything was waiting on you when we landed in Atlanta. You had your stuff and our pockets were much lighter! I believe that you and Dad had a little “discussion” about being responsible. Little did I know that on our next trip to England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, it would be ME who, after arriving in Northern Ireland realized that my luggage was still in Cashel, Ireland! Shopping in Belfast for emergency clothes was an experience; hoping that my luggage would make it to Edinburgh, Scotland before we headed back to England was a very anxious time. Luckily my luggage arrived the night before we were to leave for England. Guess I needed that talk about responsibility but all I got was a smile or was it a smirk?
Life with you has always been an adventure, some good, some frustrating like the time you hit the stop sign with your fist and the stop sign won. Wasn’t that the time that Lucas was supposed to be your guardian while Caitlin was out of town? A bit humbling when Dr. McGuff in the ER remembered you from a previous visit when you were sucker punched by someone after the Clemson-USC game. In fact, both of the ER visits were after the Clemson-USC game. And then there was your trip to the ER with Scott…this time it was him, not you, but Dr. McGuff remembered you nevertheless…you made quite an impression at my place of employment and Dr. McGuff would frequently ask about you…with a grin on his face.
There are so many more adventures that I could write about, like when your girl cousins dressed you in a tutu one time; after all, you were the only boy cousin at Jane’s that day; the time we were driving thru the back roads in Vermont and you were so hungry you said you would eat a squirrel on a stick; the time I found you and Mark down at the creek smoking your ?first cigar…you didn’t try to talk yourself out of that one. You knew better. My favorite memory, however, is when you and many of the senior class rode riding lawn mowers to school as your senior prank. You even remembered to bring your parking pass! That was an awesome day even if Mr. Gilstrap found it necessary to send a letter to the parents of the “offenders” telling us that riding lawn mowers were not an approved form of transportation. I still have that letter. I could write a book but I won’t.
Now that you and Caitlin have Wesley, I look forward to the times when he has his own adventures. The word, Karma, comes to mind. 😀Remember, also, that if I’m not around and you hear a fly buzzing around your head or see one on the wall, don’t kill it. It’s probably me watching, laughing and loving you.
I love you,