Another Christmas has come and gone, dear husband, and here I remain. Due to your absence, I am now the matriarch of the lovely children the Lord gave us; the one left to brace our family from the brutal hits life can throw at you. We were supposed to do this together, remember? What wonderful and responsible adults they have become. I'm sure you're pleased and enormously proud. Did you know that our daughter lost her job last year due to the horrendous economy America is experiencing? Through her tears, and some of mine, we discussed her options for many hours on the phone. She didn't want to tell me at first because I was retiring; she didn't want to spoil the celebratory mood. Oh, C...., how very much she is like you, always thinking of others first. She was so concerned about providing for her family since she is now the sole provider. Well, I bet you already knew before it happened, but she was offered another job within two weeks of her company shutdown. What a blessing, and what a very important lesson in faith to her dear children as they watched her process the circumstances. Your namesake and first grandson signed up for the Army two weeks ago. I'm praying for protection for our cherished grandson as he serves his country. If you're able, will you watch over him? He will come out of this experience a new person, seeing life through a man's eyes rather than the eyes of a boy. Life is whirling around me and I continually find myself asking for wisdom while in this unlikely position. I always sought your counsel and listened carefully to your words, both the spoken and unspoken. You had such good insight, and I miss that terribly. How did you always step up to the plate and let all of us rest in your shadow? Thank you, C...., for that. You never demanded anything from us, but we looked to you as our sensible and ideal leader. It never dawned on me that your strong shoulders would not be there to lean on when my world got the least bit shaky. This entry is just to say that I'm doing well, but sure do miss you. The character and integrity with which you lived your life has served your family well. Thank you for that my beloved. Save a seat at the table for me. Love to you, my friend and husband.