And just like that, a year has passed since I took this picture of you, smiling while the kids and I sang to you.
I had no idea that 48 would be your last birthday. I’d naively assumed that was somewhere in the middle of your life, not so very close to the end.
You’d finally gotten the job you’d wanted for so long. You were giving up Coke and slimming down and getting healthy. We were planning vacations and home improvements and to watch our kids become teens and our teenagers become adults. Who’d have thought to hold on to every second like it was the last?
I miss you today, like I always do. But also maybe a little bit more, because today I should be able to gross out the kiddos and give you a big wet birthday kiss. I miss that.
Tonight I’ll make Shake-n-Bake pork chops, mashed potatoes and corn and we’ll think of you while we do our best to eat your favorite foods and remember our favorite things about you.
I don’t know if I can handle cake. It might just be too much but we’ll see.
I don’t know what today will bring. Hopefully the tears will be happy ones and the memories will be, too.
I miss your face.
Happy birthday, Vance Crutchfield.
I love you.