Six years ago was the final time I felt one of your glasses-crunching-hugs. I ran up to your bedroom after school to tell you how proud I was of my grade for my math final.
As always, you were so proud of me. I could have told you I chugged a carton of milk faster than my friends and you would have acted as though I had won the Superbowl.
It's been six years since I have "laughed" at one of your jokes. That's a lie... I laugh at them all the time still. It is much different however with you not being here to laugh at your own jokes first.
I sit here six years later with a heavy heart. It feels like a bowling ball has been dropped on my chest. All of the things you've missed in the last six years are overwhelming to think about.
You missed my High School and College graduations. You missed my wedding day. You missed seeing me preach at Crossbridge for the first time and eventually join staff at Crossbridge full-time. You missed seeing Taylor graduate and get married. You missed Danni going to Africa and graduate beauty school. You missed Payton getting engaged and climb Mount Kilimanjaro! And Mama is now pursuing her calling at Crossbridge. You'd be so proud of her.
There have been so many times I have wanted to call you and talk to you this past year. I wish you could read my first book. Knowing you, you would have already read it three times by now and would be my biggest supporter. I wouldn't even need a marketing team because of you. I wish I could have called you when two of my cars transmissions blew. You would have helped me figure it out. I wish I could of called you when my dog tore a hole in the carpet last week. You would have came over and helped me fix it.
I miss watching Michigan football games with you, daddy. Cheering for the Wolverines is not the same without you.
You'd be so proud of the staff at Crossbridge and how they've responded the past six years. Bruce did a great job filling in for you as lead pastor. And guess what? Now Bradley is the lead pastor at Crossbridge. You'd be so proud of him. He is leading just like you did.
It's been a tough six years, dad. It's still difficult to function knowing you are gone. However, I would not change anything that has happened. Losing you has taught me more about loving God than anything ever could have. So much good has come from this that I am not willing to give up. God has shown me time after time after time how He will respond to my suffering.
I miss you daddy, but I am glad you are there and I am here. There is still work for the Chitwood's to do on this earth. Every single one of us is looking at the enemy and screaming, "Game On."
I love you daddy. Enjoy eating caramel-corn and Red Vines.