First, to my boys for showing me you are men. Thanks for you for your honesty when I was making wrong decisions. For having the courage and love to come talk to me. I am so proud of you both. I hope I will be the father you need. You taught me a lot this past month. I guess you are not kids anymore. I pray for you both, for your strength and for your faith. Never forget the example Mom was to you. She will always be with you. She will always be a part of you. No matter where life leads me I want you to know I loved your mother with all my heart and all my soul and all my strength. She will always be a part of me and I will always love her. Don’t be scared, remember the example of faith you saw in your mom. God will direct your lives. I know he has great plans for Andrea’s sons. I could not be more proud to be your dad.
To Kate who stood by all of us and took up the role as woman of the house. Thank you for your mere presence in my home. Your grace and beauty blessed us. Your kindness on Christmas will never be forgotten. Thank you for your advice and for giving up time with your family to help three men who would have been otherwise lost without you. I hope Nic knows how blessed he is.
To Ruth and everyone at my office. Thank you for making us feel as if you had known Andrea and me for years. The love poured out by your offers and you actions humbled me. The food, the lights on the house, and the endless offers to help carried me through the last month. Thank you for all the help with my family, the rooms and the services. The memorial and the funeral were beautiful and flawless and I thank you. A special thanks for the digital picture frame. I will never forget laying my head on Andrea's shoulder and watching the pictures of our life together. Your gift gave us a special time together that can not be expressed in mere words. Thank you to everyone for answering my prayer I asked God when we left North Carolina and our support system and came to Randolph. I asked God to not let us be alone, and we surly were not. Thank you for visiting Andrea and I for taking the time to be in a difficult place. Thank you to my bosses, your understanding and kindness allowed me to be with my wife in her last weeks. I can never repay you for that gift. Thank you to Kathy, for your loving touch. Thank you to everyone in A5/8 I'm proud to know you all and call you family.
To the "chemo girls." What can I say to you? My love for you has no limits. Your love for Andrea was the same. I would not even try to capture all you meant to Andrea or I during this time. Thank you for the prayer vigil, thank you for listening to a scared husband and for your calming voice. I hope you know how special you all are in my life. Thank you for allowing me to sit in with you on chemo day and share in your lunches and your conversations. I loved your laughter and the smile you gave Andrea. Most of all thank you for coming so close to us when we needed you, and thank you for your faith. I see Andrea in each one of you. I can give you no greater compliment then that. I love you all.
To my family. Thank you for defining the word family in such a loving way. Thank you for your support during the most difficult eight weeks of my life. You have been with Andrea and me since this began. I could not ask for more from my brothers and sisters. To my sisters for your strength of character. I know Mom is proud of you. Thank you for loving Andrea. Maureen thank you for your love and faith, for the days you spent with me in the ICU. Thank you for helping me with everything. Eileen thank you for your advice in life’s difficult decision. Your words have a calming strength when I tried to understand this world of medicine. Thanks for being "On Call" for all of us. Mary thank you for making Andrea feel she was your sister. Thank you Mary and Eileen thanks for holding my arm on the River Walk, for sensing I did not want to be alone. I felt out of place until you put your hand in my arm. To all of you thank for sitting on the veranda and talking, thanks for the laughter. I always love sharing childhood memories with you. Thanks for the sacrifice I know you made to come to me when I needed you. It meant a lot being so soon after Mom's passing. Thanks you for reminding me how thankful I am to be #8 of 8, you all define the word family. Let’s take our next family photo in something other then black.
To Andrea's family. For the hours of driving to be with Andrea. Thanks for you understanding with my decisions. Thanks for making me feel a part of you. Thanks for allowing us to be with you for Christmas. I know this has been especially hard on you all. Thank you June for giving me Andrea. For the bags of food when I was too poor to take care of Andrea. Thanks for making me your son and not a son-in-law. I'm sorry I was never able to bring Andrea back home for an assignment. Thanks Doyle for the tape of Andrea singing, I love it. Thanks for your faith and prayers. Thank you both for raising a Godly daughter. I was the beneficiary of your work just as all who read this blog and knew Andrea are. I'm sorry you had to endure the pain of losing another daughter.
Thanks to everyone at SMOC. You know what you mean to me. I love you all. To Dr Atkins and Dr Osswald. You both loved Andrea and your personal touch as a doctor is rare. I won't forget your faith in Andrea and her hope. Thank you for never giving us a "date" or telling us the percentages. You allowed us to live each day, without the threat of death looming over us. Thanks for hoping with us. Thanks for never giving up on her, she never gave up on you. She loved you both and trusted with her life. She never doubted your decisions. Neither do I. I have no regrets in how you treated Andrea because I knew you treated her as if she was your own wife. I could not ask for more.
Thanks to all of you who have sent cards, flowers, food and gifts. I could not list you all but I want you to know that the outpouring of kindness was overwhelming. I could write a thousand thank you letters for all of you who helped us over the past four years. We could not have done it without you. I hope each of you know how much you mean to me and what you meant to Andrea. You have all made each day livable in some way. There has not been a single day that Andrea and I did not need some support and God always provided. And you were His hands and feet. No act was ever too small to make a difference. Thank you all. When my life moves on I hope you will all still allow me to call you friend.