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Saturday, December 24, 2016
It is now eight years counted in Earth years since you parted so quickly, at the beginning of that Christmas season. Since you missed the Christmas in 2008, then you are actually about to miss the ninth Christmas since your departure.
There are a number of things you know I do since your departure, in part as remembrances of you, and in those early years, as a probably attempt to stay sane. Each year, I have either written a Christmas letter to you that is found in your Christmas stocking, or I post it here on your blog, or both. I place your ornaments on the tree each year.
As you know, this year has been richly challenging. Your brother's wedding was beautiful and memorable, and yet, I did not see you there. I hope that while I concentrated on suppressing happy tears that day, that you and my Dad were able to sneak in and get good seating. The wedding cake was superb and unusual and I hope you both got a taste.
The world continues to be difficult, fitfull and uncertain at times. Sometimes, even I will admit to having learned to appreciate that you will not know some of the trials that are all too common here. This year when one of your brothers were hit on the interstate and his car rolled over, I was two things. I was grateful for the life of your brother and for his safety, and a small part of me was grateful that this would never happen to you. You will be spared many of the sorrows of life, and I have learned to be somewhat grateful for this, even though I have no real choice.
The animals are still fine, and when they are not, they are home with you. I still remember your big shining eyes. I remember your rare but generous tears. I remember your generosity to people and how well you conversed with human beings of all ages. How can it be that this year you will be twenty-one ? I love you and my Dad more than words can say. Each one of these years beings me just a bit closer to the breath that will see me reunited with you both. I love you, Daniel. Yes, I know, you love me more.