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Wednesday, November 23, 2005 10:33 PM CST

Okay, I was wrong. I am grateful. For all of you. You are such steadfast supporters, always there in deed, thought and prayer. I am thankful. I am thankful that I got to have Dave in my life at all, even though it was far too short. Many, many blessings have come our way, and I am indeed grateful.

And yet, still, there is this part of me that screams....TAKE IT ALL AND GIVE DAVE BACK! Talking to Claudia, she said something that resonates with me...for instance, yesterday, I wanted to get back in bed, pull the covers over my head and wait. Wait for him to come home. I wanted to say, "Okay, God, I'm done. I did well, I've been strong, I passed the test. Now give him back."

Three months. Three months. A quarter of a year.

That "quarter" does weird things to my mind. I keep thinking about when Doug (Dave's college best friend) brought me a cake with the word "HAPPY" and all these squiggles on it. He had made it himself. Two-layer, leaning, frosted in mounds of buttercream...with these little red marks on the top. Looked like chicken scratch. I puzzled and puzzled. Finally Doug said..."HAPPY quarter of a century!" The squiggles were the top 1/4 of the letters in the word CENTURY. Dave laughed until he had tears running down his face.

Now, a quarter of a year without Dave. It feels like a quarter of a century. No, it feels like a whole century. It's been forever without him.

We rode in the car today, on the way to Denise's house, and the version of "I'm Already There" by Lonestar with the wives and children of the soldiers talking on it came on. "Daddy, when are you coming home?" "Daddy, we miss you." "Daddy, be safe and come back to us."

Driving down the freeway, all four of us cried, tears streaming down our faces.

I'm already there
Don't make a sound
I'm the beat in your heart
I'm the moonlight shining down
I'm the whisper in the wind
And I'll be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share
Oh, I'm already there

He is. He isn't. How I wish he was.

Love, Shelley

PS. I'm also grateful for Blue Devil football and all the people that make it what it is. More about that tomorrow.


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