I think of you often, but you were especially on my mind on a recent weekend as I was out at the farm. It's where I think of you most. Not because you are buried there, but because it was a favorite place of yours. Because I can't go there without remembering the good times we had there. Because you did so much to make it what it is.
It was also just over three years ago that you passed... as you know, and a lot has happened in that time. I moved back into the St Louis Park house, got married and had a daughter. Karen had heart surgery and became a grandma for the second time. Megan has a new boyfriend and works a couple jobs. Dad... well, dad is still dad. He keeps himself busy and outworks anyone I know. You two were alike in that way.
At the farm I spent some time alone by your grave; making sure the tree we planted was still growing strong, but I didn't need to see it to think of you that day. In fact your name came up numerous times earlier in the day. Dad, Jeremy, Angel, Greg, Ben, Chuck, and myself were out there to paint the farm house. Dad mentioned that he was going to have you do this with your paint sprayers. It took 7 of us 4 hours to paint the house in what you would have done by yourself in half the time I'm sure. (Reminds me of the time you spray painted my one rental unit inside. I came home and flipped on the lights, but could barely see as you happened to spray paint on all the light bulbs too. Ok, maybe your attention to detail could have used some work, but you were always willing to help me out.)
Your name also came up when we were trying to figure out how we were going to reach the top peak. Dad came up with a way to prop a ladder up on the slippery, moss covered roof. It took us some time to make sure that one could reach the top and still be somewhat safe. (Of course, dad offered to go up there himself.) Someone joked that in all the time that it took us to figure this out you would have built a special ladder and started painting yourself. So true. (Reminds me of the time you built a ladder for Ben's deer stand. You whipped that thing together in record time and knew just what was needed to make it fit right.)
Once the painting was done I went over to your grave to make sure that the area was in good shape. The renter keeps it well mowed, but the area is relatively undisturbed.
I wish my daughter had the opportunity to meet you. Listen to your hilarious stories, see your art... I wish Megan could turn to you for support and guidance... to know that her dad is just a phone call away. I wish you were here to provide Karen with comfort that you're looking out for dad and me. So you two could reminisce over the bond you had as kids... I wish you were here to help dad with all those things I can't.
I miss you bro. I know you won't be coming back and that is a reality I have learned to live with, but I sure wish it could be different.
Some day we'll all be together again and you can resume telling us your crazy stories, but in the meantime I hope that you are able to follow along with the stories unfolding in our lives. Just know that you are never forgotten... that you will always have a place in our hearts and homes. Feel free to stop by anytime.
Love you with all my heart,
Your little sis, Jo