3 Years Later

Well, Mom – it’s been three years and we still miss you. For some reason, Lucy decided to pull out the book with your recorded voice reading “Twinkle Twinkle”, and well, shit — it was tough, but nice to hear your voice. I recently called the home number where your voice still graces the voice mail informing people that no one from the Fox family is available to take their call. Unfortunately, dad hasn’t figured out how to delete messages, and so your words have been replaced with an automated message stating “The voice mail box number you have tried to reach is full.” Bummer. I think you still exist in the technological ether, but due to our general incompetence, and a lack of interest in receiving messages, we might not reclaim your regrets in missing a call anytime soon.

At any rate, it was nice to hear you again. Kaya doesn’t quite get the cemetery yet. She knows it’s where we take dead people, but due to some inclement weather, and a mild case of windburn, she might not be too inclined to visit in the winter months moving forward. All this is to say, enjoy the flowers, and we’ll bring champagne in June.

The girls are all incredible reminders of your legacy. I recently took them to see a movie about the Day of the Dead. In this movie, every lost soul parties in the afterlife. In this film, all of the deceased remain in this world so long as there is someone on Earth who still remembers and honors their soul. In the unlikely scenario that this is actually the case, I’d like you to know, that your extended stay in this world is in no jeopardy – so live it up (pun intended.)

Lucy was born a few months before we you received your diagnosis, and while you were alive, I was able to measure exactly how long you’d been involved in this cancer brouhaha. You’d been given an 18 month expiration date, and I thought it was totally kick ass how you exceeded those expectations. Then Kaya was born, and you died. Now I am able to measure exactly how long you’ve been gone by Kaya’s age. There’s something poetic about that – not sure what – I guess, because I’m not a poet – but the phrase felt right, so I’ll let it stand.

In your absence, Lucy has become a full fledged big girl. She cares for her sisters (yes, plural, I’ll get to that), she has a keen fashion sense -she’s in to long dresses and Amish-like bonnets – daddy’s little mennonite- and posses a steel trap of a memory — she hasn’t forgotten you, nor a single promise I have ever made in utter desperation for peace and tranquility.

Kaya talks, and cries and picks her nose, and does lots of big kid stuff too. Her language skills are, well, developing. She can’t say the sounds of “K” or “C” – and replaces them with “T’s”. For instance, “School” is “Stool” as in – I like stool. And “Kitty Cat” is “Titty Tat.” She also likes titties. We laugh at her a lot. I’m haven’t matured much.

And on to some more big news – we have another baby – Grace Percy Fox. She’s worth looking at. Full head of hair, big smiles, quite flirty and real cute. She doesn’t sleep anymore. She did at first – which I really appreciated, but now… let’s just say I may or may not know where the local fire department, and “safe drop zone” are located. You’d have liked her. Other people do – including dad, and he has good taste.

Speaking of dad – he misses you a lot. We all do. I remember when you got sick, Vegas posted some bets about who would live longer – you, dad or the dog. Dad was the initial under-dog. Not sure if you are aware of this – but you lost, and dad is in a tight battle with the dog. Just kidding – they both seem pretty good. Just got back from Christmas in Milwaukee, and they are both alive. The dog is a little fat. Dad, not so much, but somehow he finds a viable amount of sustenance in coffee and raisin bread. He’s been a great parent and taken on the responsibility of filling the love quota previously demanded of two parents. You groomed him well, and should be commended.

Your other son, now known as Doctor Fox is a good guy. Happy, healthy, a best friend, husband and father. His kid Chappie is so flippin’ cute. He’s taken to mobility much like his old man, and from what I gather, likes to smash things and ooze adorability. Good genes in that one, and yes, you get a lot of that credit as well.

Now on to more important things, me. I’m pretty good too. Life is busy, sometimes I get caught up in the rigors of fatherhood, and forget to sit back and fully appreciate everything you gave me, my good looks, sense of humor and so on. Every now and then a memory or our time together crops up and brings me closer to you. Remember the time we went to Florida to pick up that old Cadillac. Man, I’m not sure who was cooler, me for wanting an 88 Caddy, or you for agreeing to get it with me. I remember driving home listening to a book on tape. I didn’t even really like the story, some slow developing southern murder mystery – but I loved just being with you; just the two of us. As we pulled into the motel parking lot, we reached a critical moment in the story, and you sat there in the parking lot with me, just listening for probably 30 minutes. You fell asleep, started snoring even, and I distinctly remember thinking – man, my mom is the best.

I was watching ESPN tonight. One of their anchors, Stewart Scott died today – cancer. They played a speech of his, from just 10 days ago, and I was sitting there fighting back tears. I got a sore throat just trying to keep it contained. He talked about how dying from cancer doesn’t mean you lost. You beat cancer by how you lived. And I just wanted to congratulate you on beating cancer, 3 years and running. You are my hero, and I will always love you.

And for everyone reading this – enjoy your day, your life, and everyone who fills it with happiness. In the immortal words of my great uncle Chappie Fox – “You Can’t Beat Fun” So go out and have some.


The Big Avocado

PS – The Packers have a big game next Sunday. Put in a good word with the Big Man if you have a sec. Thanks.

PPS – A couple pictures of your loved ones:

That one time she slept... briefly

That one time she slept… briefly

Kaya - has her granny's happiness

Kaya – has her granny’s happiness

They love him a ton

They love him a ton

Lucy- growing up fast

Lucy- growing up fast

At your new digs

At your new digs

Christmas 14

Christmas 14

About The Big Avocado

A bag of chips and then some.
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8 Responses to 3 Years Later

  1. Kate Hoerster says:

    beautiful and funny as always, steve. thank you for sharing.

  2. Lovely. Just lovely. The last book I read from beginning to end was The Catcher in the Rye, but I’m pretty sure if you wrote a book The Catcher in the Rye would have to give up its title.

  3. Dana Erickson says:

    Bringing on the tears, Steve. Thanks for the wonderful post!

  4. Brea says:

    Steve, beautifully written and a heartfelt hug to you (as I sit in the hospital with my mom…)

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