Visiting ChrisDear Chris,

I had a great weekend with Kelsey and her family celebrating the 4th of July.  I couldn’t be happier that I got a chance to be with her incredible family.  Kelsey was so supportive when I asked her to come with me to visit your mother and your grave.  I miss you like crazy buddy and so does your mother.  She is so proud of the man you became and I her and I could have sat at that table for days just talking about memories with you.  There isn’t enough time in the world to even begin to capture the impact you have made in this world but I can see it in your mothers eyes that you changed her life the same way you changed mine.  We sat there and just talked and laughed and had a blast.  You touched the souls of everyone you met, you made the world a better place, and you left some incredible shoes to fill…but I can assure you Chris that I will keep my promise to you.

It is still tough for me though.  As I stood there at your grave I felt weak.  I felt weak like that first day of basic.  As much as I truly believe that you have left an incredible legacy here on earth it pains me knowing your gone.  It kills me that Kelsey Rose never got the chance to meet you because I have you to thank for having her back in my life.  It eats at my soul knowing terrible things happen to the best of people.  As she stood there with me that day visiting you I cried just as hard as I did the first day God called you home.  She was right there the wipe the tears away just like she ways two years ago when I got that call.  As I sat there crying I remembered back to the days you and I used to stay up at night talking about Kelsey Rose in basic.

I remember how you and I used to talk about the mistakes both of us had made in our relationships and how if we could take them back we would.  I remembered how we laughed at the fact Drill Sergeant Brito made me do push ups when she wrote me letters in purple ink.  I remember how you did those push ups right by my side.  You told me that we all make mistakes but you and I would figure them out together.

As I sat there at your grave remembering these memories it couldn’t have come at a better time because Kelsey Rose and I had been arguing that morning about the dumbest things.  I just remembered back to basic where I promised you that if she ever gave me another chance I would pour my soul into making sure I never messed it up again.  Mornings like this I forgot that promise I made to you.  Mornings like this I became complacent and just assumed she would be there despite the tedious fighting.  On the 3rd of July 2017 I renewed my promise to you.  As Kelsey wiped away the tears I wept over your grave I promised her as well I would do everything I could to stop the fighting because life is to short to waste it arguing with those we love.  Tomorrow is not promised to us and we don’t have any guarantee that we have tomorrow to fix our mistakes from today.

You continue to make an impact on my life even after God has called you home.  I love Kelsey Rose more than I ever knew possible.  You of all people know how much I need her in my life.  You are such an incredible friend to me buddy and I promise I will continue to keep an eye out for your mom and family.  By the way buddy, the picture your mom picked for your headstone is perfect.  If that smile isn’t a perfect testament to who you are than I don’t know what is.

Love you buddy.  I’ll talk to you soon and see you next year.