Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A Letter

Dear Daddy,

I can’t believe that it has already been a year. I have been thinking about you a lot this past week – I think about you all the time, but I have a lot of memories of the last time I saw you. Remember how we were in Yakima and picking apples? It was such a fun, goofy, time. You showed us your slide show of Afghanistan that you were going to be presenting. Forrest still has all of the pictures on his laptop. Jerry and Forrest were fascinated, but Nate and Jimmy couldn’t really look at them. Forrest and I had brought our ultrasound pictures of Ephraim and you enjoyed looking at them. That Sunday we went to Vickie’s Café – I have so many memories of going there with you when I was little and ordering hot chocolate. Do you remember telling Nate and Ramie your story. I love the story about how you were the child of migrant farmers and went to college and med school. You lived the American Dream Daddy. You talked about how people from Cowiche didn’t think you could make it and wondered why you were even trying. You said you weren’t going to let others dictate what you wanted. I was/am SO proud of you. When we left that morning, Forrest and I stopped at the gas station in Naches and you and mom stopped too. You were so goofy and I was pregnant and hungry so you bought me white chedder popcorn. That was the last time I saw you. You and mom stopped at the hamburger joint to eat – Forrest and I didn’t know where you were going, but we would have stopped with you if we had known. It would have been another memory in my memory bank.

October 1st last year started off being so exciting. Remember how Forrest and I had an ultrasound that morning? I called you right after we were done and told you that the tech had to keep hitting my stomach with the wand to get the baby to move, and the baby would flail then go back into a little ball. You got such a kick out of that. I love that I can tell Ephraim that my last conversation with you was about him. It is so special to me. Then when I went to work I got three phone calls in a row from Ryan, Erik and then Colleen. I decided to answer Leener’s and my really exciting day turned into a nightmare. I couldn’t believe it and in so many ways I still can’t believe it.

We drove down to Oregon that night so we could fly out first thing in the morning. You would have gotten a kick out of Marisa and Hannah, Daddy. They were grieving with me and wanted to help – all I could think about was the bazillions of apples that needed to make it down to Salem the next weekend. They came to Frank and Lona’s at 10PM and we loaded Marisa’s car up with apples. I am sure that you were in heaven smiling at us as we did that.

Your service was amazing Daddy. You were so loved by so many people. I loved that your testament touched so many. The gym was full. Pastor Steeg preached the Gospel in such a good way – we wanted others to know how much you loved Jesus – and I think we pulled that off.

So many things have happened this past year Dad – and you have been a part of all of them, even though you aren’t here. My birthday – I sat in the airport crying as we were on the way to Hawaii. I am sure people didn’t understand. Why would you cry going to Hawaii? I understand crying when you leave, but not on the way there. ☺ Forrest was terrific though and SO supportive. You always knew he was a good egg. We were in Napili for a few days and I was nice to remember being there as a family.

Your service in Oregon was terrific too. Such a beautiful day and it was nice to have full military honors again. You deserved it. You can see three mountains from where you are buried – it is beautiful.

Little Sadie was born in November, the day before Thanksgiving. It was like God knew that holiday would be difficult so he gave us Sadie to be excited about. She is so beautiful Daddy, and has such a great smile. The day after your birthday Forrest and I found out we were having a little boy. We knew you would be so excited to have a grandson. Forrest and I spent the next 18 weeks figuring out what his first name would be – we already knew his middle name would be Alvis. It’s not as easy as you think to come up with a name that goes with Alvis. ☺

We were all together over Christmas and missed you terribly. We could see your smile as we tossed wrapping paper over the couch. Ryan did fantastic in track this year. You would have been so proud of him at Nationals – he handled himself with such class – just like you would have. Michelle went off to Europe and had quite the adventure – you should be so proud of Mommy, she didn’t worry at all.

Ephraim Alvis was born in April. He looks so much like me Daddy, which means he looks a lot like you. He is so sweet. He has big blue eyes and loves to take everything in. He is very content, just like his dad and Boppa. He is very much his Boppa’s and father’s child – he likes softball. I take him to Forrest’s games and he follows the game! He watches the batter and then follows them as they run to first base. I know you smile at him when he does that. I see baseball games in my future. Maybe he will be a pitcher like you and Forrest.

This year has gone so fast Daddy. I still feel like you should walk through the door holding your giant Baja Fresh cup and your big smile. We spent a lot of time on the River this summer and knew that you would have been having so much fun. You should see all of the work that Mom and Ryan have put in to the yard. It looks great. I hear your voice all of the time Dad, and it still doesn’t seem real that you are not here. I miss you tons. I know that you are enjoying yourself with Jesus and I feel a little selfish wanting you here, when God wants you there. Give Jesus a hug for me.

I love you,



annie said...

Amy, I check your blog from time to time and I'm so glad I came here today. Your dad sounds like an amazing man and what a legacy he's left. I've been sitting here bawling through your extremely well-written tribute, while feeling a little bit guilty that maybe I shouldn't be reading something so personal, but also not wanting to stop. My mom passed away when I was almost 17 but in many ways it seems impossible that so many years have passed. I still cry about it sometimes, even so many years later and my boys know all about her and how they will see her someday and that she talks with Jesus about them. Anyway, I know how hard each moment is especially in the first couple of years after losing a parent and I wanted you to know I'm thinking of you, crying with you, and praying for your heart today.

potterfamily said...


Thanks for sharing your heart and your Dad with the rest of us. My memories of Al are pretty much limited to when I was a kid, but I can still hear his voice in my head and remember what a fun guy he was to be around. I'll never forget the SkiBob! :)

I've been reading your blog over the past couple months and never took the time to pop in and say hello. So say hi to Forrest from me (even though we've never met) and please give your Mom and big hug from me.

Bless you guys,
Ben Potter

Living the Life.... said...

Amy, I am so glad you had such a fantastic father. I'm happy that you have so many amazing stories to remember and share. I read your sisters blog too, so I've been crying for the past 10 minutes!! I'm really sorry you lost your dad.