But, the real reason that I was moved to tears was because I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I thought about how you used to call me Shortie, and how you took me up to the Rattlesnake Lakes in that old rattle-trap International Scout of yours, and how you would come home from the Army on leave and bring me gifts like Santa Claus. And I thought about how much you’ve shaped who I am and what I’ve become. I love mountains because of you. I remember when you pointed toward the Bitterroot mountains and told me, “Never take those for granted.” And I wanted to learn about the world because of you. I remember when you recited the distance from all the planets to the sun. And I learned to play because of you. I remember snow ball fights and playing in leaves and trips on that little motor scooter of yours, and how you taught me to shoot the BB gun.
And now, I cry because I am helpless to pay you back for all you have given me. I feel awkward around you as this rotten, horrible disease claims your body. I’m so sorry that I don’t know how to help you. I’m so sorry that I can’t make you better, and that I resort to talking about bills and insurance and whether or not your oxygen levels are optimal. But, please know that I recognize your fire within. Please know that I am in awe of your spirit and your will to live. Again, as always you teach me how to live. You have been my hero since the day I was born. And you will be my hero until the day that I die.
I love you more than words can say,