Tuesday, February 28, 2006


    I know this man, this Soldier
    Whose boots now stand empty.
    He is a father and a husband
    And a son.

    I know this boy, this Marine
    Who lies in state in silence.
    He is a cousin, a nephew, a grandson
    And just recently an uncle.

    I know this girl, this Sailor
    Whose name adorns the cross.
    She is a friend and neighbor,
    And a teacher.

    I know this man, this Airman
    Who makes his final flight home
    Where his family awaits with open arms
    And broken hearts.

    I know these heroes, these warriors
    Who have earned a set of wings.
    They are brave, strong and proud.
    They are my fellow Americans.

Heroism is not created by how one dies, but rather in how one lives.  I grieve and honor those heroes who have fallen in the line of duty, who's names are briefly obscured on a list, pending notification of next of kin. These are not strangers to me, I feel that I know each and every one of them, and I hurt for their families. But I am so proud of the heroes who still serve and I am so very proud of you son.

Miss you, love you... always.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dear Gabe,

Look what we spotted on Saturday when we went downrange for rabbits.  Okay, its not a great picture but its a bald eagle!  It was a gazillion miles away but dad, with his new glasses, spotted it from the road.  Silly me thought I could actually sneak up on it.  I got maybe 250 yards away when it decided that I was close enough and it took off.  This was the best I could do with my zoom.  I need a bigger zoom since I obviously suck at stalking.  By the way, we now have 4 rabbits in the freezer.  Not quite enough for a bunny-burger party.  There's one weekend left.  Hopefully the gang will get a few more.

Dad started his job at range control yesterday.  He seemed so happy when he got home.  He says that was the most relaxed he has been at work for years.  I'm so happy he finally got his dream job.  Now all we need is for him to get his dream paycheck so I can quit again and concentrate on my dream job of being lazy.

I'm off for the next 3 days so I'm going to take off to the ponds for some pictures.  I haven't been there in a little while and miss it.  The geese are back, as are the ducks.  I imagine it won't be too long before we start seeing babies again.  I can't wait.  I love spring!

Take care son.  Miss you, love you always,


Saturday, February 18, 2006


Dear Gabe,

We're off to track down some rabbits again.  Hopefully we'll do better this time around.  I sure wanted to be able to put some bunny-balls on the table when you come home in May.

I got chosen for the AOL Guest Editor this week.  Cool huh?  Its just an honorary thing, it wasn't a contest or anything.  I put my name in and it was just my turn.  Its fun though, I got my mugshot on the welcome screen, so now more people know who to avoid if they see me walking down the street!

Dad's birthday is tomorrow.  I have to work, so I'm not sure what we're going to do for him.  We'll probably just take him to breakfast, and then the kids will do a nice supper later on.  We'll see.

Well, the truck is waiting, time to go rabbit hunting!  Wish us luck.

Miss you, Love you!


Tuesday, February 14, 2006



I know there's hardly an opportunity or a reason to celebrate out there, but I wanted you to know that we all LOVE you back home and are thinking of you each and every day.

Be safe.  Miss you, Love you always,


Monday, February 13, 2006


Dear Gabe,

It has been a bad night for me, and I don't know why.  Its after 1am, I should be in bed, and yet I'm just sitting here in front of this computer crying.  I hate when I do this.  I feel like I'm weak when I should be strong.  I feel like I would be letting everyone down if they ever saw me like this, so I save it for the nights when they are all fast asleep. I don't like not being able to control my life and what happens to those who matter so much to me.  I hate this helplessness that I feel when all of your life I have strived to protect you and now when you need protecting most, I can do nothing to help you.

Except to pray.  

Your cousin Steven is on his way to Kuwait right now.  He was supposed to have a few months in Texas for training before deploying, but I guess the training was postponed.  I'll let you know where he is when I find out.  Maybe you'll be close enough to keep an eye on him.  He's just fresh out of basic, and you know Auntie Val is worried sick.  She doesn't know yet if and when Uncle Ken will be going back.  I hope he doesn't, but I'm sure they both hope he does, if for nothing else, to watch over their son.

Your buddie Evan will be moving as soon as his parents can find a good rehab center for him.  I guess he's still trying to sleep it off.  I read his parents journal and sometimes I wish I could just drive out there and shake him awake because they miss him so much even as they sit next to him by the bed.

Grandma and Grandpa send their love.  They won't be able to make it out here this summer as hoped, my mom has had some health issues that she needs to take care of before she can travel again, so maybe next year when you're back home.  They send their love and said to tell you to stay safe.

Well, I suppose I should try to get some sleep.  6am rolls around quickly on this side of the clock, but then I'm sure I don't need to tell you that.  Heck, thats probably sleeping in to you.  Take care son, I miss you so much.  Love you always,


Monday, February 6, 2006

SUPER BOWL PARTY (better late than never)


Dear Gabe, what can I say, you missed a great party, but the game sucked!  Not really, it was actually a pretty good game, even though the stinkin' steelers won!  The group picture was taken during half time.  We squeezed as many people in as we could, but it was hard because all I had was a zoom lens and there just wasn't enough room.  I gave your dad a 'terrible towel' to swing around, but not before I blew my nose and wiped my butt with it!


These are the weiners ... oops, I mean the winners at the end of the game.  It was pretty much the guys against the gals.  Unfortunately my cheerleaders were all upstairs playing the PS2 and the other two ladies weren't really committing to either team so I was pretty much on my own.

Oh well, maybe next year the Broncos will go all the way!


Dear Gabe,

I had every intention of updating here through out the game, but the internet went down on us again and didn't come back up until sometime this morning.  I did get some pictures and will post them later today when dad brings back my camera cable.  You didn't miss anything, just the Stinkin' Steelers stomping all over the poor Seahawks!

I read another sad story this morning.  When I read that another soldier has been lost I go through a series of thoughts.  My first is always: Thank God its not Gabe.  That is immediately followed by:  How terribly sad, and God Bless his family.  Then for some reason I find myself wishing that you didn't know the soldier, because I know how hard it must be to lose a friend... And then I always correct myself and hope that you did know him so that you two might have made a difference in each other's lives for that short period, and so that you may honor his memory now that he is gone.  I hope you never forget those who have gone on before you.  I hope you keep them forever in your heart.

Our 22nd Anniversary was quiet.  We had so many other things going on that we ended up postponing our dinner plans and just going to the buffet instead.  All you can eat crablegs.... mmmmmm!  Dad spoiled me.  He gave me two shirts and two of those Bearfoot bears that I collect.  I didn't buy him anything this year but instead gave him the gift of memories.  I put together this slide show. YOU'RE STILL THE ONE! I hope you have chance to take a peek at it. 

Miss you so much, looking forward to May.  Love you always,


Friday, February 3, 2006


Dear Gabe,

You are cordially invited to our Super Bowl party this weekend.  Yeah, I know... transportation might be a problem, but thats okay, we'll bring the party to you... right HERE!  I'll give you quarterly reports, we'll maybe even do a little half-time show.  And I'll post a picture of your dad's disappointed face as he accepts defeat when the Seahawks stomp all over the Steelers!  Yeah, I know you're a Steeler fan too, but hey, they beat the Broncos so they're going down!

Miss you, love you!


ps: Evan is becoming more responsive, I guess he's getting bored of lying around all day because he gave a big yawn. Justin was able to stand for almost a minute the other day, woo hoo!  Your guys at the scene did great!

Wednesday, February 1, 2006


Dear Gabe,

As I sit here in front of my computer, a cup of hot, sweet coffee always within reach, I wonder what you are doing.  I go through my days without much thought of where I am or what I have.  I just live the way I always have in the relative security of my country.

Yesterday I was exposed to others who also share this country with me, and speak of a God, but who's interpretation of right and wrong, good and evil, patriotism and delusion are drastically different from mine.  While they have just as much right to their opinion and freedom of speech and they are protected by their religious affiliation, I wonder if they realize that their rights are protected by the very people they speak against.

We wake up in our cosy homes and are not afraid to step outside.  We drive to and from our houses on streets and fuss about weather worn potholes.  We don't have to dodge artillery craters or worry about IED's.  We have a set sleep pattern, we have days off and weekends.  We can go to the refrigerator and grab a snack at 2am.  We can call in sick and spend the day watching reruns on TV.  We can pick up the phone any time we want, and we don't have to stand in a line for a shower.  We can do our laundry every day if we want, and we can return to our cosy little homes at the end of each day.

We can do all of this because you and your fellow soldiers are keeping the war and terrorism at bay. You, and your fellow soldiers cannot, because you are keeping the war and terrorism at bay.  I believe those people are entitled to their opinions, but I do not believe they have the right to disrespect a fallen soldier and his or her family during a funeral procession. I don't know what God they worship, but I know my God does not love IEDs or hate soldiers.

So anyhow, thank you for making it possible for all of us Americans, even those wackos (just me exercising my freedom of speech) to take our lives for granted.

Miss you, love you, so darn proud of you!


p.s.: My God would probably disapprove, but I can think of a couple of places those wackos can stick those IED's that they love so much!