Today was one of those days that kept making me think "My Marky would have loved today." First of all, we are on vacation, which means you wouldn't have had to paint today. As excited as you were about starting 614 Painting, I know that there were days you were just so glad that your hand didn't have to hold a brush, that your shoulders didn't have to lift the roller, or that you didn't have to strain your neck to complete a ceiling repair. We had been saying for the last 4 years, that we need a vacation. You and I had started putting money aside specifically for this vacation in June of 2020. We had planned this time, we had looked forward to having kids independent enough to give us some free time, and old enough to remember the memories we would make.
We woke up this morning, a little later than the last few days, which means you would have had your moments in the morning to yourself. You would have made yourself a cup of coffee, or maybe a few, and sat on the couch alone waiting for the day to really begin. The weather in Florida so far this week has been a little strange, a little rain, but still a lot of sun. Today it was cool, and drizzling, not quite raining. It stayed cloudy most of the day, but the wind was not too strong. This was a day, you would have loved, your perfect weather day. Those days don't come around often, because you were always specific. A day where it isn't cold, but its not too hot, the sun shouldn't beat down on you, but pouring rain is no good either. If there isn't a lot of sun and its too windy you would be cold. But today was just right, and you would have loved it.
We went to the Ringling Circus museum today, and I thought "Mark liked museums on vacation." I know that when Hezekiah took a dive from one wooden bench to the other and landed on his ribcage you would have turned to him and said "Come here son." You would have checked him out and asked him if he was ok, and then held his hand as we walked through the display of the circus. You would have pointed out all of your favorite animals and told him what your favorite circus acts were. You would have been happy to see how much Amaya and Aaliyah loved the miniature models. You liked museums on vacation.
We went out onto the beach when we made it back and Hezekiah squealed with joy as he played right on the water of the Gulf. Amaya and Aaliyah were thrilled to see that dolphins were swimming nearby, and then scared when we thought we might have seen a shark. You would have been worried at that point because the kids were near the water, but I know you would have cherished the uniqueness of the experience. You would have stood next to me and watched our beautiful children playing on the beach, on a day of perfect weather. I know you would have loved today.
Some of the family went out fishing today, and they brought back what they caught. Adam fried it up, if you were here I can only imagine you would have joined him, or at least observed (to make sure he was doing it right..). He cooked the fresh catch with a Cajun batter and even made sweet potato fries to go with it. You would have loved to load up your plate, add the hot sauce you bought at St. Armand's Circle and dig in. All of the kids tried the fish, and even though they thought it was spicy, they actually ate it. Aaliyah now wants to try all sorts of seafood, and I know you would have loved that, it would be something you would look forward to doing with her. Hezekiah would have wanted to join, because he scarfed down quite a few pieces. Eating fried fish with your children is something I know you would have loved. For dessert I made Dutch Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice cream, which is easily one of your favorite desserts. I ate my pie and thought "Mark would have loved this day."
The kids asked if they could do a movie night, and even wanted to watch the younger siblings, which would have allowed you and I to go and do whatever we wanted, play cards, go for a walk, whatever. You would have loved today. I don't know how much you can see, or how much you can hear, maybe you did love today. Perhaps you were near in all of the moments, maybe you asked God to provide us with a perfect weather day. I can never know for sure what role you are able to play in our lives now, but I hope there is one, because I wish you were here.
I wish you were here for all of the selfish reasons, and all of the things that our kids need you for. I miss watching you interact with your children, I miss sneaking in moments that are just you and me. I miss planning and growing with you, I miss waking up to you and going to sleep to you. I still pray that Jesus will return to take us all to heaven with Him, but for now I will wait and just be happy to have days that I know you would have loved. I love you now, and I will love you forever.
Love, your wife.