I cannot believe it has been six years since you passed away and went to be with Jesus. There is so much that has happened since you left us. Harrison graduated from high school, has a good job and is in a union. He is such a hard worker and a good man. You would really be proud of him. He reminds me a lot of you.
Penny’s girls are growing up to be such beautiful young women. They are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. Penny and John have done a great job raising them! I try to have family night often with them. We play cards and eat and yell. A true Strickler tradition minus the 66 and alcohol ;) . (I sure do miss playing cribbage with you.)
I am cooking a lot more. I actually like it and I think you would love some of the stuff I’m making. I really regret not having you teach me how to can and do some other things around the house. I plan on putting a small garden in this year. I know what I’m doing there. Hard to forget you making me line the rows up with rope in the pouring down rain because the plants had to be in by a certain time and in a certain way.
I got another useless dog. She doesn’t hunt or do anything like that but she scares salesmen away. I get a reminder every month to keep my dog inside so the electric company can read the meter. I don’t understand why….the back yard is fenced in…the meter is on the outside and Woodstock is too fat to jump the fence. You would definitely make fun of Woodstock along with the rest of the family…she is kind of fat.
The Browns still suck. Nancy and Scott miss you being in their football pools. And you still can’t say Pittsburg around Karen without a violent reaction or a penalty flag being thrown. Lebron dumped us on national television but all was forgiven when he came back a few years later. The Indians are still the same.
I am still pastoring at the church. And I love it! God has been so faithful! I quit Papa Joes a few years back. I’m not on city council anymore but stay involved by being on Planning Commission. I miss talking city politics with you and having lunch at the Amvets. Election day isn’t the same without you. I dream one day of writing more to supplement my income.
I have been to Jamaica twice and Israel since you’ve been gone. All trips of a lifetime.
Kate, Uncle Jake, and Wayne are no longer with us.
I think often of your stay in the hospital and the day when you told the four of us girls that “we always have family” before you tried to punch the nurse. I take that to heart. You would be so happy because your girls are planning on spending Christmas together down in Florida with Bill. We are renting a beach house and spending the week. I really wish you and Jerry could be there with us. And mom and Kate. I think we have avoided family things because it reminds us of our losses. But we know we can’t do that forever. There are nieces and nephews that need to experience all things Strickler.
I miss our car rides through the Ogontz and hearing the stories of your childhood. I miss the sound of the pressure cooker rocking. I miss how you could never pronounce anyone’s name correctly. I sometimes even miss how you would yell my name when you weren’t happy.
I still don’t miss going to the grocery store with you, though. We went enough for both our lifetimes combined plus eternity. You sure could grocery shop. I really hope there isn’t any grocery shopping in heaven.
I wonder whatever happened to the whistle you would use when telemarketers would call.
The Jehovah Witnesses finally stopped coming to the door. I think she had a crush on you.
Ollie and Pongo are both gone. I think Scott still wonders how he ended up with your crazy dog! You sure could pick ’em.
I have taken up the mantle of warning everyone as they back out of the driveway “to watch out for the fire hydrant and the flag pole.” (Remember the time you were warning me and as you said “fire hydrant”, I hit it? You didn’t let me live that one down).
I’m glad you are no longer in pain and that you are enjoying the presence of Jesus with Jerry. And that both of you are whole and healed and happy. And I know where you are sure is better than here but there are days I wish you and mom and Jerry were here with me.
I write all of this to simply say “I miss you, dad. And I love you and bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”
See you soon,
Me and my dad.
One of my favorite pictures of him…on a fishing trip to Canada.
My brother, Jerry and dad at a family Browns party.
My brother, Jerry and my dad.