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If heaven had visiting hours

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If heaven had visiting hours, I would tell you that life is going well overall.

That your grandchildren are blossoming into the same loud, vocal, opinionated, emotional and dramatic, hard-working, fun-loving, thoughtful, innovative, and kind kids you once raised.

That your oldest grandchild started middle school and that she's sweet as pie but drives me and her daddy crazy and the boys at school wild because she's a wicked bright and a beauty, both inside and out.

I'd tell you that your only grandson is your spitting image. That he loves all things sports and that his love for the Tampa Bay Buccanneers rivals your passion for the NY Yankees. And speaking of baseball, this skilled boy is quite the ball player. And he's handsome and intelligent and hella' funny, and he'd no doubt have you punching your thigh in laughter like you always did when someone busted your chops.

Then there's the baby of the bunch. And I love/hate to tell you, but she's just like your baby of the bunch - me. She's sassy and she's quirky, and she DGAF in the most adorable way possible. She also never stops talking. And, Dad, I haven't stopped either. I just spare people's ears now and put my words on paper instead.

If heaven had visiting hours, I'd tell you that your son-in-law is thriving at work, supporting and caring for his family, and loving his bride well.

And I'd tell you that the girl he married has written some books. And, Dad, though they don't make me the kinda money we thought sending me to law school would allow me to make, writing and sharing them with others makes me happy.

And if there's one thing I've learned from losing you, it's that our time here on Earth is short and that being happy is a must.

Now don't get me wrong, if you were here, you'd play devil's advocate and remind me that a broke person, with no job and no way to pay their bills, surely can't be happy. And I get that and semi-agree that every human must simultaneously tend to our financial and familial responsibilities AND do the things that make us happy.

We're trying to do both here with our little family, Dad...that's what I'm saying...and it's going about as well as can be expected.

If heaven had visiting hours, Dad, I'd tell you not to worry.

I'd tell you to look down and be proud.

I'd tell you that I look around, AND I AM PROUD.

Of what I've done with my life,

of who I've become,

of how I'm working incessantly to improve upon who that is,

and of the loving souls I share mine with.

If heaven had visiting hours

...oh wait...

it does.

Thanks for listening, Dad.

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