I cannot believe a whole year has passed since you took your last breath. If we are to believe that we find each other in the after life, then you are definitely with our beloved Austin.
You are so missed by all who loved you. Obviously the boys and I are at the top of the list, but let me tell you, the rest of the family: Lisa and Tracy and their families, Mom (Mo to you) & Yvon – they miss you like crazy, too.
Don’t get me started on your friends like André, Paul, Armen and Leonard and, geez, I won’t list them all because this letter will just be filled with names. A LOT of names.
Things have changed quite a bit around here. During the day, it is too damned quiet. I don’t have your music blasting in my ears while you are drawing! I don’t have you sending me texts, asking me what’s for lunch? I’ve lost my dishwasher/driver when I have catering contracts. I miss your bitching about whatever was supposed to be done by either the boys or me that wasn’t done! You’d be appalled by the state of the house right now. No worries, though, I am working on it. I’ve got to get it up to snuff as I want the “For Sale” sign put up by February. It just doesn’t work for us without you. It’s too big. It’s too empty. For a not-so-big guy, you sure took up a lot of space! Not just physically, you understand. You are still everywhere. I don’t want you to think I want to get rid of you by getting rid of the house; that is so not the case. We do, however, all three of us, have to move forward and I think it would be easier for us to start fresh in a new place.
Now that I am the sole coffee drinker, I’ve taken to using the “special occasion” Italian coffee maker for myself. Remember how, even after drinking a whole pot of coffee, we just wanted one more cup so I’d make us a special? Espresso for you, latte for me. Most days, though, I just use the Melitta and make myself one cup at a time.
You had so wanted to bring the boys to the Habs game on your birthday but, as we all know, that was not possible. Paul was sweet and managed to sell those tickets. I did, however keep the January 10 tickets and brought the boys. It was so bittersweet. I would have been very happy to stay at home while you three went out for one of your “Boys Nights”. I did my best and I think the boys felt like I did. As you can see, they wore your shirts!
I sold your beloved F-150 and the trailer after the boys told me they were no longer interested in camping. I’m sure eventually they would have no longer followed along, having summer jobs and such but it just happened sooner since, as far as they were concerned, camping without you was just not something they wanted to do. I did, however, take the money from the trailer and booked an all-inclusive holiday as you promised the next one would be. (Already booked for Cuba during spring break – I know, eh? I always said “never” to Cuba, though you kept saying we should at least try it! Well, there you go, we’ll have you on our minds for sure during the whole week.) It won’t be the same without you.
I know you wanted to get me the Ford Edge next but frankly, with the new situation, I couldn’t afford it so the truck was switched for an Escape. I think you would not be surprised that it has an orange tint to it!
Mother’s Day was weird this year. Even though we had started a new tradition of holding the brunch at each our houses, you had, for so many years, organised the restaurant details. You would have loved seeing all the kids in our kitchen (as it was at our house this year) laughing and working hard to make us our eggs and bacon and whatnot!
Father’s Day was a sombre affair. With both you and my dad gone, we were just wandering around, not knowing what to do with ourselves. Obviously, we felt bereft.
The summer came and went with nothing in particular happening. We went nowhere as the boys were both working and I am the only one who used the pool. No wait, Aidan dipped into it twice and Iain and his friends threw two of their friends into it. Sébastien and Aldo helped me to start it, Robert came to complete the start up (there was a missing piece to be installed) and Mario came to help change the skimmer – thanks for that, Mr. Handyman MacGyver! You may have known how you finagled things to make them work but us poor folk left behind had no clue! And sorry, but I will not use a wrench to turn the broken lever! Thank goodness I’ve some handy friends, eh? Oh, and you know how that bloody motor made so much noise? Well, that got replaced too…
I continued taking walks with Zeke and would think of you many times whenever he would go into the water. How often did I send you pics during my walks, while you were at home working away?
Fall came ’round and school started up for the boys again. You would have been pleased with your son, pleading his case to be reinstated. He did a fabulous job and was accepted. Both boys are doing quite well, school-wise.
You were right to surround yourself with such a great group. Raffi and Armen made sure that I was okay and Jesse made sure to keep hounding the insurance company. Would you believe the insurance finally went through in November? It took 11 months but finally was settled. We still have a bunch of stuff to iron out but at least this issue is off our backs. I don’t know who is more relieved, Armen or me! You know me, I’m a go-with-the-flow-type and was not overly worried. I was sure all would work out fine! Mick Design Group is not yet officially shut down but you would be pleased with how well Armen took care of business. He is a fair man (and we both know you would have done exactly the same for him, were our situations reversed). Raffi is also still working on stuff! I also have Daniel to help with legalities and he’s also helped with investments. I am truly blessed.
I guess I just want you to know that we miss you so much but we are doing our best to move forward. I’m sure there are things that would drive you crazy – no, I will not list them – but there are many you would be proud of. The boys are pretty darn good, even if I have to hound them on occasion! They will eventually remember garbage day is Monday and recycling is Thursday… till then, I’ll just keep on asking them or do it myself (sound familiar?)
I see so much of you in our boys. It’s funny, as it’s in different ways. From expressions to actions, you are definitely in there!
Just know, dearest Mick, we are doing well, and even if we are moving forward, you will forever be a part of us. Your space in my heart will always remain yours.
All my love,