My dearest Caleb,
I have sorely missed you this year. I long to share new memories with you. I will never understand why you thought you needed to leave.
The day after your memorial service was Father’s Day. I missed hanging out with you, playing games or watching a movie. I didn’t even get a cool T-shirt from you. This was not your favorite holiday, but it was one of mine. Becoming a father, your father, was one of the greatest joys in my life.
We took a camping trip for Madi’s birthday. You and she always shared birthday celebrations but not this time. You were there in a way which we did not thoroughly understand then. We now know you are always here in our thoughts. You left 2 weeks before your birthdays and we had to push to keep from stopping her celebration. Your mom missed you on her birthday as well. She probably cried more than during the 38 hour labor she had for your birth.
Madi had to step up into her new, only child, role at Halloween. We went to pick a pumpkin, and she had to design and carve it without you. She did not have you scaring her with stories and jumping out at her though she has become pretty good and doing it to us now. Several times a week she used to ask when you were coming home to visit. This year she has not asked once, but she misses you fierce.
Thanksgiving and Christmas were not the same without you. These 2 holidays were so special when we decided to not go anywhere. Spending time with you and Madi, individually and together, made it become such a special time. We would deck out the house with thousands of lights, multiple trees, and tons of decorations. I did very little outside this year since I did not have you pushing and helping me and mom could not bear to put up many of the decorations. How you came to dislike pumpkin pie is beyond me but I cannot argue with your choice, apple pie. I cannot smell it without thinking of you and your mom has not made it all year.
I never imagined my birthday being so hard this year. My birthday has not been a big deal to me in a very long time. Last year when you came the day before my birthday, I never imagined it would be the last time I saw you. We went to see Avengers: Infinity War. You were so excited I was going you made a list of movies I had to see beforehand. This year when Avengers Endgame came out at my birthday I broke down. We should have seen it together. Your mom and sister went with me to see it but they really are not into discussing the political and social aspects of the movie. It was not the same without you and not much will be again.
Now I have a new date on my calendar, June 9, the day you left. Here I sit 400 miles from home because sitting in the house today seems torturous. On the day you left I cannot be where I found out. Maybe I can manage it next year.
Love Always, Dad