happy birthday, dad! today you'd be 49 years old, or as i like to think of you, 49 years young. i'll always remember you just as you were - not sick, not older, but young, full of laughs and pranks and a love for adventure. and you know what? you'll forever stay that way in our memories. when we see you again, i'm sure you'll still be hiking all over heaven, or using your hands for another project, strumming your guitar, or enjoying a conversation with someone you met along the way. but until then, there's still a lot going on down here. it's been an incredible year.
did you hear you're a grandpa now? your little granddaughter is the sweetest thing, and we are all so smitten with her. mom loves being a grandma (she likes to be called 'nana') and simon is an amazing dad (i think he learned a lot of that from you). we are all wrapped around little emma jane's finger, and she has brought so much joy to us all!
did you also know you have a son-in-law now? travis and i were married last august, and it has been the most amazing adventure since. i know you would love him - he fits right in with the family, and we all think you would be two peas in a pod. he shares your goofy sense of humor, your love for others, and your sense of adventure and spontaneity. he is so good for me, and i'm thankful for him every day.
i also graduated from college last year and am now almost finished with the teaching credential program. by next year, i'll hopefully have a class of my own! i'm so ready to be done with school, but am also proud of everything i've been able to accomplish so far.
sometimes, i desperately wish you could come back for a day and just see where we're all at. it'd be like old times, just for a little while. in each of us, there's a piece of you, and together we keep you alive in our hearts. i think you'd be proud of all of us - our quirks, our mistakes, our accomplishments, and our growth. we're still so proud to have you as our dad. here's to another year of adventures, inevitable change, and endless joy. thanks for leaving a legacy of tremendous love. it's the best gift you could have ever given me.