I told you over and over not to get on that plane. You assured me everything would be fine. "Heidi Ray! It's fine!!! See you next week, Sis!" I wish. I wish I could see you next week.
P. You are one of the greatest men I have ever known. You have integrity, honor, the most annoying jokes in the history of annoying jokes, the kindest heart, and the most love for your family of anyone I have ever known. You love your "Red." That's what you call Sarah. You love your kids. Every one of them. Oh, how you love them. You let me read the Father's Day letter that Kenzie sent you. It made me cry and I had to leave your office for a bit. You wrote letters to each of your kiddos a week and a half ago, just because you wanted them to know. Again. You spent five to six nights a week serving people, without anyone knowing. You built ramps, took care of household maintenance issues, fixed yards, just visited with widows, and took care of problems that you saw come up. You thought it was one of the greatest days ever when Caden was ordained an Elder and you were ordained a High Priest on the very same day. You are such a proud dad. You are so stinking proud of your kids.
You always, always took care of me and my boys. You moved us, with the help of Jaxson and Caden and their friends. Colton absolutely adored you. He is not sure what "Perry is dead" means right now and he tells me, "I don't know how I feel Mama." Me either, Colt. Me either. He wanted to know if you were wearing the bracelet he made you when you died. I told him it was safe in your truck. You were the one to give me Priesthood blessings when I needed them. Remember how you always think my name is actually Heidi RAY. It's not. You made that up. So, lots of times you would start the blessing with "Heidi Ray.... DAMNIT!!!!!" Then I would tell you to repent and start over. And you would. How blessed am I that my boss was always worthy to offer a blessing on my behalf.
You always told me that I had a lot of city miles. You're right! You would let me drive the big equipment here once a year. It made you crazy-nervous and you would have to walk away. But, I did it! You would buy me a Farr's ice cream once a year. We loved it! You would ask about my sweet boys every day. You always made sure they had school clothes and had a Christmas. You did that. When I would wear a skirt or dress, you would always say, "You look pretty enough to go to prom, Sis. Who's your date? The muffin man?" It made me smile.
If you liked someone, you never called them by their real name. Bill was Brother Bill. Ernie was Ernie T. Monte was El Monte. Xavier was X-man. Tracey was Governor. Ashley was Fetch Face. Brad was Bradley (which he hates!) Greg was Gregory. Daniel was Daniel-Son. Justin was Brother. Always Brother. I was Heidi Ray, Ray, or Sis. You were always my P.
Gosh, I loved you. We are all broken. You would tell me today to put on my big girl panties and be brave and be strong and drink a Diet Coke. That's what we are all going to do. We are going to be strong. But when we cry, please come do something funny for us. We will pray for your sweet kiddos. We will pray that they will always know that their mom and dad loved them more than anything on this planet. We will pray that they know they have a big City family here as well.
I miss you, P.