Your Wings Were Ready But Our Hearts Were Not

Your Wings Were Ready But Our Hearts Were Not

In memory of Russell Bittle
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It's hard to imagine life now that you're gone. It's hard to accept the reality. I don't want to accept it. I refuse. It feels like you're still here. I feel like I'm going to wake up one morning and hear the caller ID on the phone say your name. I just can't believe it.

It all started a year ago. My uncle Russ was diagnosed with cancer. The news broke the hearts of the family, but we knew we had to be strong for him. It was hard to accept the reality. It still is.

Uncle Russ, we miss you. We miss you more than you would ever know. We love you.

You are not in pain anymore, and that gives me peace. I know when you got to heaven, you got to see our loved ones who've gone on before. I'm sure the first ones to greet you as soon as you entered heaven was Grandpa and Grammama Stephens, Grandpa and Grandma Bittle, and sweet Destinee.

We know that you will keep a watch over us and protect us.

It seems like yesterday the whole family was at granny and papa's celebrating our upcoming birthday after Thanksgiving dinner. Those memories will live on but the future will never be the same without you.

I'm not looking forward to our birthday anymore because I know I won't get to call you. If I had a way to call heaven, I would call every day just to hear your voice again.

This just doesn't seem real. It feels like an illusion. It feels like a nightmare you can't wake up from.

It's impossible to move on.

Your wings were ready but our hearts were not.

In loving memory of Russell Bittle.

November 29, 1959, to May 20, 2018

A loving husband, father, son, brother and uncle.

Fly high.

We will meet again one day.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Dear Dad, I Hope You Know

I hope you know that you are my best friend.
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views

Dear Dad,

I hope you know that I love your silly jokes, even when I say I don't.

Throughout my entire life, you have always managed to get on my last nerve with your countless jokes and teasing. However, now that I'm older, I realize you do it all out of love. So for that, I thank you. Thank you so much for always knowing how to make me smile or laugh, even on the worst of days, I know I can always count on you to have my back.

I hope you know that I'm so incredibly thankful for you and everything you do.

You always work your hardest to make sure you provide for our family and then, to top it all off, you're still there at the end of the day supporting us in all that we do. From sporting events to dance recitals and even to sorority banquets, you're always sitting in the front row cheering us on to reach our full potential.

I hope you know I'm so appreciative that you're the best mechanic around.

Because my car has been through the ringer too many times to count and you're always there to figure out what went wrong. Not only that, thank you so much for always changing my oil or replacing my brake light when it went out. I know I may not always act like it, but I'm so appreciative of all the little things you do for me.

I hope you know that I'm sorry.

When I was younger, I wasn't always the most pleasant daughter, and for that I'm sorry. I'm sorry for not listening to you when you told me to take out the trash or to clean the kitchen. I'm sorry for yelling at you, talking back to you, and being a big pain in the butt, but I'm so thankful that you still love me anyways regardless of how many times I screw up.

I hope you know that you inspire me.

Not only does your hard work and dedication to your work and your family inspire me, but your overwhelming sense of love and gratitude you have for everyone around you does as well. Even though you try and act tough, you're such a big teddy bear and all of your friends and family love you for that.

I hope you know that you are my best friend.

And for right now, the only man in my life that I need. I pray every single day that I can find half the man to marry that you are. Thank you for always being that example for my sisters and I to look up too.

I hope you know that I am here for you--until the very end.

So I know I stole this line from my article to Mom, but I want you to know that it still applies to you and I mean it wholeheartedly. I don't mean to make you cry or anything -- and I'll laugh at you if you are, but I want you to know that when the time comes, I'm going to be there for you just like all of these years you've been here for me. I will be there to support you, talk with you, laugh with you, cry with you, and love you for all of my life.

Dad, I can't imagine my life without you. Thank you for being YOU.

I love you,

Your daughter.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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14 Things You Relate To If You Grew Up WithOUT Any Cousins

*GASP* "What, you really don't have any cousins?"

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It always shocks every person who hears me state that I do not have any cousins. For some reason, this is just hard for people to really believe when it's actually not something impossible. I think we are all just so used to large families that it sounds weird when people say that they have no cousins. Yet, it is definitely a potential reality, and actually impossible if each of your parents is the only child to your grandparents.

Here are 14 things that you can relate to if you grew up without any cousins.

1. Nobody believes you when you say that you don't have any cousins

I'm serious, for the tenth time.

2. Your grandparents spoil you

With no other grandchildren to worry about, it's pretty easy to do.

3. You don't understand when people say that cousins are your first best friends

My best friend was my first best friend.

4. You and your siblings are always the youngest people at family events

This was simultaneosuly a good thing and a bad thing.

5. You get all of the attention at holidays

Since you're the youngest one around, then distant relatives are always doting over you.

6. Everything you do is deemed awesome by your extended family because there is nobody to compete with

It's much easier to be praised when you aren't being compared to someone similar to your age.

7. You don't know how to hold babies

You're never around them so why would you?

8. Family photos are pretty easy to coordinate

The less people, the easier.

9. Other family members spoil you just because 

Afterall, you are the only kid around...

10. The family will make comments regarding the potential for you to have a cousin as a justification for why they aren't doing something for you

When you hear, "I can't buy you too much because someday your aunt is going to have kids and I will have to do the same for them" you cringe and just had to know that all of the attention wouldn't last forever.

11. Birthdays are always a big deal

A perk of not having very many to remember.

12. If your parents' siblings own pets, then you refer to the animal as your cousin

Cat cousins, dog cousins, lizard cousins, and fish cousins can be pretty cool, actually.

13. Sometimes you dream of marrying into a big family

This is to ensure that your kids do grow up with cousins.

14. You appreciate the closeness of your tight-knit fam

Maybe the only thing you would miss if you had a big family is the opportunity to develop such close bonds with the few relatives that you do have.

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