Jennifer Funk Fine Art


It was your birthday on Saturday. It is always bittersweet, But we had a good day. We celebrated and tried to make it about you. The girls loved it.  They scribbled on balloons and blew out candles.  We watched home movies and Ty even loved that part.
 Your last birthday that we spent together was packed with some of my favorite memories.  It was so fun. We celebrated all week. I surprised you with an F-15 cake and you were so cute about it. You went on and on about how cool you thought it was. One of my favorite pictures is of you holding Sophie up to it; pointing out all the different parts – and you have this GIANT grin on your face. That moment, by its self,  made the 8 hours spent making it so worth it. (and the fact that you didn’t notice, or just didn’t complain – that we were all still in pajama’s when you got home from work; with nothing ready to eat except a birthday cake that we were saving for your party the next day.)   We invited people over that weekend and ate fondue, played games, hung out and laughed really hard.
One thing I’ve missed so often and so much since losing Brad is simply making him happy.  The privilege of making someone you love happy is a gift in its self. I did not realize how much of a privilege it was, until I didn’t have it any longer.  Making Brad happy was one of my favorite things. – Probably because it was so easy to do.  It was so fun to think of little things to do for him. He was so easily impressed by my smallest effort to bring him joy. And he was so grateful for everything. (and he shared that gratitude with me everyday) Every meal, every household job, or thoughtful gesture – he went on and on about it and was so grateful.  There were many days when I’m sure he had to look around pretty hard to come up with something to say thank you for – but he always did. He made it so fun to want to please him. I miss doing things for him. I miss making him happy. ( I can feel him whisper that I still make him happy. That is just like him.)
Because of Brad, I have so many gifts in my life. The greatest gifts; that don’t come from a store. He gave me the greatest blessings I have in my life.  He gave me beautiful daughters, who make me happy just about every minute; who, through them, I still get to see their daddy.
When were were married he gave me the gift of being the most amazing father to Tyler. He loved her like she was his own. He spent time with her and made her a priority. He taught her and played with her and talked to her about life and what kind of person she wanted to become. He told her to go for it – and that she could do anything.  He helped her see that you can be “good” and fun and happy and really, really cool all at the same time. I love that she saw the way he treated me everyday; because she needs to find someone who will treat her the same.
He gave me the gift of himself.  Sharing life with someone who loved and adored me was so wonderful I have a hard time putting it into words. He made me feel safe and beautiful and cherished. He made me laugh and made me happier than I even dared to dream I could be. His love was very empowering. I felt like I could do anything with him by my side. I had his love and that was all I needed.  All.

And amazingly, that gift is still giving. Even though he is not physically here. He is so close. His love has not changed at all. It is still lifting, empowering and carrying all those it touches.  He is my inspiration everyday. To keep going, and to believe that I can do this; when so many times I feel like I can not.  He whispers that he loves me and that I CAN do this, and that it will be worth it.  And he reminds me to find JOY on the way. I know he is happy when we are. So it’s just like when he was here on earth – if I’m attempting to make him happy – I’m really making myself happy as well.

I would like this day to be a day where we, as a family, think about gifts we can still give to him. I know that what we are doing here on Earth can still make Brad very happy.   This is what I would like to give my sweet husband:

I will  teach our children about their daddy everyday.  I will help them, the best I can, to KNOW him and to know how much he LOVES them. I will try to teach them what things were important to him, what kind of man he was and how happy he made their mama.  I will try to find joy everyday and try to help each of us focus, not on what we have lost ; but on what we will always have.  This amazing man; Father and Husband;  whose love is still with us and carrying us.
He is also giving gifts that, while I may not be able to see them. I feel them, and so do our children.
Sophie made him a birthday card. She is five.  She wrote “To Daddy” on her own, and told me that she couldn’t write the rest by herself. This is what she asked me to write for her:  ” You are really here. Thank you for being with me when I am lonely and sad and miss you. I love you Daddy. Happy Birthday.”
That is a powerful gift.