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It’s been a year since you’ve been gone but it still surprises me. I’ll remember something you said or do something you taught me to do and then I’ll remember what happened. And I’ll draw in my breath sharply… responding to a sudden deep pain. Like when you sprain an ankle, forget about it, and take a step on it without bracing first.

I think often about what your last moments were like. I’m so frustrated that I’ll never know exactly what happened. I’ll never know what you were thinking. I hope you know that you were loved–by me and my sister and Mom. And your grandson.

I miss you terribly.

You died on a Monday after injuring yourself somehow the day before fixing the Jeep. I secretly curse every Jeep Cherokee I see- especially blue ones. The app I use for teaching speech sounds has a blue Jeep for the “word-final /p/” section. I use that app for every other speech sound- but if I have to do word-final /p/, I’ll use picture cards. Your death has affected me in much more profound and sweeping ways, of course. And after a year, I’m still not ready to go into just how profound and how sweeping. I’m still figuring that out, I guess.

I would do anything to bring you back. That’s something I know I’m not capable of, but my poor brain continues to go over and over again the things I might have done to get you to have gone to a hospital instead of dying on the floor alone in the night… or the morning… whenever it was.

If there is any form of you in spirit or energy or whatever, I hope you are at peace.