As the winter wears on and time passes without my two oldest boys around, I think about them, and I miss them. I think back to times we have spent together. I also think back and re-visit some of the times we had the chance to say good-bye.
This is a little note I wrote in September 2011. This was my second moving day and it was completely different from the first one. Steve and I drove across the United States to bring Ryan a car to use for school, and to get him moved into his apartment. Different, yes. Easier to say good-bye? No.
Yesterday I left Ryan at school in California. Ryan is going to Ohlone College in Fremont, CA. He is pursuing his education while following his dream of playing baseball. This moving day was much different from last year with Steve and not any easier to walk away from. Steve came with me to help his brother get set up for his first semester of college. I was fine with all this until I hugged Ryan and said good-bye yesterday morning. I am pretty sure it went something like this.In Ryan’s car; Steve and I pulled out of the driveway at about 6:45, this ride was different, a true cross-country drive. We shared the driving and stopped in Ohio on day one, we drove through a tornado warning but we still had fun. Day two we headed to Route 50, destination Missouri, we didn’t stop for much more than Tim Horton’s as we were in a hurry. We left Missouri’s State Capital headed through Kansas and the plains, we enjoyed the slow climb, lots of prairie dogs, and coal loaded trains. Day four, we left Lamar, Colorado to climb the Rockies and Continental Divide, we went through Big Horn Canyon and over Monarch Mountain at 11,000 feet along the ride. We continued through the mountains and valleys of Colorado and onto Utah’s Wasatch Plateau, the views were breathtaking and we saw a dozen eagles or so. We left through a gorgeous valley in Utah for the high desert of Nevada on day five, Route 50 in Nevada, known as “The Loneliest Road in America” was that day’s drive. We had been on the Santa Fe and Lewis & Clark Trails, even the trail used by the Pony Express, we pulled into Carson City anxious for a good night’s rest. In the meantime, Ryan had flown to California with my brother and some family friends, Steve and I barely fit in the loaded car on the drive that soon ends. We left Carson City, around Lake Tahoe and into California’s Great Valley; we met for lunch in Union City, we drove more than 3500 miles, our final tally. Once we arrived it was time to get Ryan and make sure he was ready for term one, we went to the campus for books, moved all his stuff in, while managing some fun. With no dorms on campus his apartment down the road will have to do, Steve set up his printer, we got him unpacked, and we were quite the efficient crew. We spent time together with a morning trip into San Francisco and Pier 39, we could see Alcatraz, the amazing bridges, and dozens of attractions in the warm sunshine. It all started to hit me as we took in the sites and I watched my boys together, knowing full well that once this trip ended things would be different forever. Then yesterday on his way to school I walked Ryan to the car to say good-bye, I hugged him and stumbled over some words as I tried not to cry. Ryan I know you will be awesome and will truly have the time of your life. I am proud of you and love you very much. Don’t change. You are wonderful young man. Love, Dad