A letter to you.

It’s been awhile.

8 years to be exact.

It never gets easier.

We just get stronger.

I could say that we miss you, but that would be an understatement.

It’s not the same without you.

I know everyone says that, but it’s true.

Our huge family gatherings on holidays, don’t exist anymore.

Maybe that would have been the case if you were still here.

Maybe with age, they would have just faded.

But I believe you were the glue that held everyone together.

You spent the later half of the evenings asleep in your chair, but you were still the rock for our family.

You always made sure I ate all of the food on my plate.

Always made sure I gave you a hug when I got to your house, and when I left.

And never put up with anyone’s crap.

You always told it like it was.

But were so sweet and kind.

Everyone who met you loved you.

You were “pops” and everyone knew it.

Constantly making people laugh.

You were such a presence.

I see so much of you in my dad.

And of my dad in me.

Thank you for that.

I wish I was able to know you longer.

I’m still so thankful for those 20 years, but it should have been more.

I would have asked you questions.

I would have asked to hear stories.

I would have asked for advice.

So much I wish I could have done.

It makes me thankful that I had those years.

That I have the memories of your suspenders and flannel shirts.

Of you in a Santa hat handing out presents to all of your grandchildren on Christmas.

The smell of burnt coffee and the image of you at the kitchen table.

I’ll always cherish those.

I just wish you were still here.

And I know that in a sense, you are.

I know that no matter what I go through in life, you’re right there.

So many things have happened.

I know you’d be so proud.

I graduated college, I know you would have just loved that.

I got married.

God I wish you could have met Jason.

Everyone loves him.

You’d probably think that no one was good enough for me.

Because you were protective like that.

I just know you two would have gotten along so well.

And I have a son.

He has your name in his.

Ian Kenneth.

And every time he’s trying to jump off of a couch or push my limits and I call him by his full name, I think of you.

You would have gotten a kick out of him.

He’s the most stubborn, loving, and free spirited kid you’ll ever meet.

Just like you.

Dad’s the head coach at McKay now too. We all coach with him.

Me, Janelle, and my husband Jason.

We’ve created such a family and such a great program.

I know you’d love that.

You were always so impressed with our running.

Telling us we got it from you.

That you held records back in Ohio, that you ran on a dirt track.

Thank you for that.

Thank you for telling us to “run like the wind.”

I got a tattoo of that, right on my foot.

Every time I laced up my shoes for a race I would see it and smile.

I know you’d absolutely disapprove of the tattoo and probably threaten to scrub it off.

But in the end you wouldn’t, because you usually let me get away with stuff.

I don’t really know why I’m writing this.

It’s not like I can share it with you, or show you.

But I like to think you’re watching.

Losing you definitely made me question some things.

Like why the good ones have to go.

It still doesn’t make sense.

But if I believe that you’re up there watching over us all.

It makes it a little easier.

I hope I’m making you proud.

I know you’re checking in on us.

After drinking a few cups of coffee and reading the newspaper.

You’re here.

I know you wouldn’t miss a thing.

Especially with your family.

You loved us all so much.

And we loved you.

After eight years it definitely doesn’t get easier.

I just look at your picture and know you’re still watching.

Smiling and looking over us all.

I hope you remember we never stop thinking about you.

And I hope you never stop thinking about us.

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Dear 17 year old me.

Megan,

BREAK UP WITH HIM.

Sorry I had to make sure you got that.

Can you believe you’re about to be a senior in High School?! Your last season of Cross Country is about to happen and after that Track.

This time next year you’ll be going to college.

It’s getting real.

I’m here, your twentyseven year old self, to tell you that you turn out just fine.

There will be some tough times this year, but you make it through.

Try your hardest not to worry what everyone thinks ok? You think you’re awesome and that’s enough. I know you’ve spent the last few months with someone that treats you like crap, but I’m here to tell you that if you dump him you’ll be much better off.

Think before you sign to a college. Look at your options and don’t just think you know everything. The one you end up choosing is fine while it lasts though. You’ll have a fantastic cross country season and meet some memorable people, but you end up attending the number two school after all. and you love it.

I also want to tell you to not do anything different when it comes to running, I don’t want anything to change the outcome of your final year of running for McKay.

Oh and you end up coaching there, and it’s one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

Don’t skip class, except to go get Dutch Brothers with Janelle, those will be some of your favorite memories.

Speaking of Janelle, be nice to her. She’s way cooler than you think. Treat her like she’s your best friend because she is, and when she tells you that someones bad for you, listen. If you’re by Janelle tell her the same thing, as many times as you can.

Oh and Curtis. I know he’s going to be an obnoxious sophomore but he turns out to be one of your favorite people. Know that when he makes fun of you or gives you a hard time, it’s because he likes you…at least I’m pretty sure….that’s what I tell myself.

Give mom and dad a break, they really do want what’s best for you and are right most of the time. And stop bugging them about getting a dog, you’ll get one soon.

When you’re leaving work the day of the Chris Daughtry concert this summer, turn right on sunnyview not left.

When it comes to boys, just don’t date any of them. They’re so stupid in high school,  I know I sound like mom and dad but I’m being serious. You literally see none of them after high school anyways. One of them in particular gets you in a lot of trouble and adds so much unwanted stress in your life. Oh and all of them are stupid in College too.

Start watching Grey’s Anatomy, they’re only on season four. You’ll thank me later.

Do whatever it is you want to do. Don’t worry what’s cool or not, you end up wasting so much time doing that. Listen to your rap music, roll the windows down, and sing at the top of your lungs.

Oh that also reminds me, don’t be afraid to drive. Just suck it up and get over that fear.

Start reading the Harry Potter books and watch the movies as they come.

Spend as much time as you can with Grandpa.

Love yourself first.

I want to tell you that’s it all works itself out. Things fall apart and even better things fall into place. People will walk out of your life and it won’t matter in ten years, you’ll meet better ones. You’re going to make mistakes and wonderful decisions. Take as many pictures as you possibly can and remember the time you spend with friends.

If I could I would give you a huge hug right now, I know this summer is a big one. Just know to not second guess your gut. You have all of the answers, just do what you believe is right. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, I promise it all works itself out.

I’m proud of you Megan. Seriously.

You might not realize it at this very moment but you’re pretty awesome the way you are.

You are the only one that can limit your greatness, remember you are enough.

Oh, don’t worry about getting a locker in senior hall. I know how big of a deal it is but you get one I promise.

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