A letter to Jeff on his 5th Angelversary

Author: Rachael Hill

My Dearest Jeffrey,

 It has been five years since I wrote my last letter to you, and it was the one I read at your memorial service.  This fifth angelversary feels like a momentous milestone, although not in a fun way like our fifth wedding anniversary was.  As each year goes by, your anniversary just feels like a stinging reminder that we have gone through another year without you here.  It has now been five years since I watched you put on your boots, grab your coffee cup, and head off to work for the very last time.  I vividly remember wrapping my arms around you and holding that hug just a little bit longer than normal, then I kissed you good-bye, and watched you walk out the door.  Little did I know that would be the last time I would see your face.  These memories are another beautiful, yet stinging reminder of what we used to have.

Rachel and her boys

 In my last letter I made you a lot of promises, and I have done my best to follow through with as many as I could.  I promised you we would be okÔÇŽand we are.  We miss you all day, every day, but the boys and I have all made a choice to continue your legacy by living our lives to the fullest. Our family and friends have been an amazing support, and I know I couldn't have done any of this without them.  I promised you that I would continue to take the boys on any adventure we could find, and oh how we have.  We have done so many things and have made tons of memories along the way.  We've been 4-wheeling, snow-machining, drove across the country from Alaska to Minnesota, and so much more.  You would have loved all of these adventures. 

 You would be so proud of your two sons.  TJ is like you in so many ways, which is both beautiful and scary at the same time.  He is now 10 years old and starting to find his personality.  He has your quick wit, and he presents a loyalty to those he cares about just like you did.  Tyler just turned 8 and brings a sunshine to everyone around him.  He has your love for "toys" and most incredibly, your compassion for others.  It is amazing to watch these boys grow and see how your influence in them continues to develop.  It is a beautiful thing to see how your legacy truly lives on in them, and that you will always be a part of their lives.

As for me, I am finally starting to come into my own.  It has been a long journey and I have taken my time maneuvering through, but I am getting there.  The day you died, my life felt shattered.  I felt like everything I knew had disappeared, and I was so incredibly lost without you.  Somehow, I started to find my way and began putting the pieces back together again.  Some days have been easier than others, but no matter what the day holds, I always try to make the best out of what I am given.  It is not always easy, but I at least try.  More than anything, I just want to make you proud.

Well Jeff, this is the end of my letter and it is time for me to sign off.  Don't worry, we are doing alright.  We have an amazing family, amazing friends, and your love in our hearts.  I love you so much and I promise I will continue to share your stories and memories with the boys.  Here's to you.  Happy Angelversary, Handsome.

All my Love,

Rachael