I started listening to the Les Misarables sound track when I was quite small...yes, it is a smite mature for little ears and what were my parents thinking?! Well, I didn't really understand what it was about, it was my step dad, Roger's, favorite musical, and I idolized him and everything he loved, so to me, it was just beautiful music. I had "Castle on a Cloud" and "Little People" memorized before I was 10. Then the rest of the songs as I grew up.
|Me and Roger...I had the chickenpox:)|
It will always hold a special place in my heart, not just because the story and music are so amazingly awesome, but because it makes me feel so much closer to Roger who passed away almost 15 years ago in a truck/train accident. Horrific. When it happened, I remember my mom trying to pick out music for the funeral, and then I thought of this song, "Bring Him Home." It was perfect.
It was December when I first saw the preview for the movie and started crying...I was so excited to see it, but knew it would be a tough one to sit through. So we finally went to see the movie yesterday, Roger's birthday, which I didn't plan, but just worked out that way, and fit perfectly. It took everything in me to not completely break down in that theater chair...but I did cry...almost the whole amazingly great movie. I won't even go into the new song called "Suddenly" where Jean Valjean is singing to his new daughter Cosette, so good.
When Roger died, I was in 8th grade, but my half sister, Sammy, who was his "real" daughter, was only 3, the same age as Hakan. My heart aches for her. Roger was the most amazing man and father. The night before he died, my mom, both sisters, my best friend and I were leaving to go out of town. Roger was going to meet us there the next day after he hauled some grain. As we were pulling out of the driveway, Sammy started saying she didn't get to give daddy a kiss, so we pulled back in and she got her last kiss and goodbye from her daddy. This is so hard to write, because reliving it is so heartbreaking. The next day was really foggy, and on the way to drop off the grain, he had to cross some train tracks that didn't have lights or arm rails. He didn't see the train. The day was so surreal.
|Roger holding Sammy as she was baptized. I'm standing in the background, and my cousin Megan and sister Alyssa on the side.|
|Sweetest picture ever of Roger and Sammy.|
The man who taught me how to ski, how to drive a combine, how to make a bird house, how to truly laugh, how to put together a dashboard in a Cobra replica car, to chew wheat until it turned into gum, how to truly be a dad to a little girl who's dad wasn't always around, how to spin cookies in the car...without seat belts is way more fun in the back seat, who stayed up late talking to me about my petty little girl problems, but listened to every single word, who took us to fly kites, who videotaped my silly friends and I as we were dressed up as the Spice Girls and reenacted "Wannabe," who signed my cast with, "2nd best dad," but we both knew he was the very best, who took me on adventures to Yellowstone, Wisconsin Dells, Big Sky, Duluth, Deadwood, who's laugh would keep me up at night because he loved to laugh, who took us to museums and inspired my love of history, who made up hilarious stories of how things were invented, who wanted to learn how to snow board with me, who taught be to be a farm girl AND a city girl, how you can pick your friend and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose (hilarious as a kid!), how to live everyday like it's your last.
Sometimes I feel like I'm forgetting him, that I just don't remember everything I should about how wonderful he was and the little moments we shared. And then I think of my little sister, who doesn't really have memories of him at all, and I feel so guilty that I got to spend more time with him, and got to know him. But I know more than anything, that he is looking down on us, probably smiling and laughing at us, at times, shaking his head at us, but always there. I think this might be one of those times where I will never really know why God took his life, or what His plan is. And why he had to leave his 3 year old daughter, or why he'll never meet my husband, whom he would have loved, or his grandbabies that would have brought him such joy. I do know that when we get to finally see each other again, it will be such a long awaited happy, sweet, joyful reunion. For now, I will try to hold on to the memories I have and watch over my baby sister and hopefully make you proud.
Love and miss you.