Much like I wrote a letter on behalf of Lyss & I for Mother's Day, I'm writing you a letter now from us. Whenever Lyss and I would think about what we would get you for your birthdays and Father's days, it was usually assumed that she would come up with a gift idea and I would write you something to remind you how important you are in our lives, so it seems fitting to continue that tradition today.
I'm not sure where to start to say anything I haven't said over the years already, so I first want to thank you for your unending efforts to support our family and to make our lives better. You've told me many times that one of your biggest priorities as a father was to ensure the best quality of life for us. I can unequivocally say that our quality of life was as best as we could have ever hoped. So, thank you for that. That means the world.
When you're growing up, you think your parents are superheroes. As children, I think we forget that they have an internal ecosystem of thoughts, worries, passions, and everything else just like us. I've always thought you and mom had some genetic predisposition to being immovable and flawless. As a kid, I didn't have the ability to process how difficult it must've been to know your children had this incurable disease that would haunt them forever. Now, I put myself in your all's shoes. I wonder how I'd react if I had a child with this disease; to watch them struggle with treatments, to watch them go to appointments, to only have the control of how I treated them. My mind crumbles with fear and pain when I imagine how difficult that must have been for you both. I feel a bit of guilt knowing that there were times I probably made it more difficult for you guys by not understanding that (but hopefully, I made it easier in other ways by being so compliant).
In recent months, I've recognized what I believe is your greatest skill. While I have an issue with indecision by trying to making the best, most educated decision, you're known to be decisive. I think we balance each other out sometimes, but your decisiveness is impressive for another reason. You don't obsess wondering if the decision was the correct one; you take the initiative to move forward and ensure that the decision is the correct one by taking the appropriate steps. It's sort of hard to put it into words, but I genuinely believe that is why you've been successful in everything you've ever done.
Another characteristic I dearly admire about you: your humility. You are not cocky, you don't believe you are better than anybody else, and you treat everybody with respect. I believe that my deep love for others' comes from the humility you and mom embody so well. I'm so proud to introduce you guys to everybody because I love you both so much and you're both such great people.
We're so lucky to have you as a father. Lyss loved you so much. Her life was made better by your commitment to finding the best solution for her health. You were instrumental in every medical decision and getting her (and I) the care we need. I believe that because of your commitment to our health from day one extended both of lives considerably.
And to finish, one of my favorite last memories of Lyss. Right before we went to LA, you bought slip-on shoes that are (sorry) very ugly. Lyss and I were in tears laughing at them. One thing I miss so much about her is joking around and teasing you and mom.
As I wrote to mom, I'm not sure how we navigate life after Lyss. I don't know if we start new traditions or if we try not to acknowledge the hole in our lives. I'm so proud of how you've handled the last couple of months. I hope to always be as strong and hopeful as you are. I hope I make you proud in everything I do. I know how proud you are of Lyss. And we're both so proud of you.
Lyss & I