August 5, 2022
Good Morning Babe,
I love you so much!!!! I got your letter yesterday and I nearly started crying when J text me and told me that it was there. I wanted so badly to have her open it for me and scan it. But I didn’t so don’t worry about that in the future. I will always open it in private and then share if it is something I can share. We had a video visit with JR last night, so I was able to read the letter to him as well. He told me to tell you that he loved you.
I was also able to show him all of your drawings and he loved them as well. He was not as shocked as the rest of us. He said, “I have always known that Dad was a good artist.” Of course he did. He loves you so much and he is such a wonderful man. A wanted to constantly be brought up to the TV so she could wave at him. She says “Hi” all of the time but we could not get her to say it. D was showing JR how she knows how to High Five so JR put his hand up to the screen and told her “High Five” and she almost did it but I laughed as his hand came up in the video because the big screen made him look like a giant and she quickly retreated her hand and we all laughed.
D, J, A and I have another in person visit next Saturday and it is going to be interesting now that she literally runs everywhere to see how she does in their designated square. Houtzdale has a “kid” visitation room that is just off to the side of the large group room. It resembles a McDonald’s play place so I think we’ll be able to keep her distracted in there.
I am so sorry that you have Covid. I sincerely hope you have no symptoms. I can’t stress enough how difficult is has been not being able to have you call. I miss your voice and I am having trouble getting to sleep at night. You’d think it would be getting easier but it isn’t, it seems to be getting more and more challenging.
Thank you for getting me approved on your visitation list. I tried to schedule an in person visit but even though I clicked on every single day through September, there were never any times available. I’m hoping that is just because of where they are holding you since you are on strict quarantine. I’ll keep checking. I scheduled video visits through the whole month of August starting with the earliest schedule of next Tuesday, 8/9. No-one else has been approved yet so I scheduled this first visit for 10:15 in the morning. I did the same schedule for Thursday the 11th. I scheduled the 2nd week for later in the evening just in case you have had the opportunity to get everyone in the house approved. It is very easy to add attendees once the visit is scheduled. I can’t believe this is going to be our life for so long. But like I have told you so many times before, I will do it with a smile on my face for as long as I have to. You are worth it!!!
I miss your smile. I miss your laugh. I would even miss your ornery ass if you had an ornery bone in your body! Hahaha. You have to promise me that you will never forget how much you are loved. The man you are, have always been and who always will be is why you are so loved. Every little thing you did every single day without even knowing you were doing it has created a bond that is unbreakable and unstoppable. I see my boys strive for the integrity that you instilled in them, and I become so honored when they make comments like, “I’m going to make my Dad proud!” Little do they know that they already have. But you wouldn’t believe how much they have stepped up their game! I think like me, they are powering through overdrive just to keep themselves sane. I guess it’s who we all are so I’m not surprised. I honestly believe that each and every one of us – and I am talking about all 8 of us – have perfected the “get knocked down, stand up stronger” routine.
B text me yesterday. “Hey Nicole, It’s B. I’m thinking about you guys a lot and I hope you are hanging in there. Tell Mark I said hi please.” I have learned to never underestimate the power of the “Brotherhood” that you have always spoke of. You need to know that the relationships you have made with the people who constantly check in make it so much easier to not have to think about the “what if’s”. Because of you, I have an army of people that I can call at the drop of a hat and that honestly keeps me from worrying.
This lesson popped up in my email yesterday and I though it was more than just coincidence. I though I would copy it for you to read. Let me know what you thought?