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“You Should Be Here”

Happy Halloween! Make sure you watch out for all trick-or-treaters young and old. Parents, please check all the candy and goodies, besides that’s the best part of being a dad during Halloween. My kids wondered why I only checked the Kit Kats and Snickers.

This week is my favorite from publisher picture of the year. It makes me wonder what my Dad would think of my Spider-Man costume, although he did see me in one when I was only knee-high to a grasshopper.
I am sure he would just laugh in his unmistakable way, shake his head and then say, “You’re not really going to use that picture are you?”

It has been five years to our cover date that my Father passed. Many of you know the Cole Swindell song “You Should Be Here” if you don’t, give it a listen. Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday, others it feels like a long time ago. So much has happened since his passing that I wish he could have been here for. My family has experienced good times and yes some bad, but he would have made all of it a little more special or maybe a little easier with his presence.

My Father was always there for me; I am so glad we had reached a great place in our relationship several years before he became not himself caused by the effects of cancer. Anyone who has dealt with this side of cancer, as well as many other death sentence diseases, understands how that takes a person’s mind. My Dad left us awhile before he left us for a much better place.

I always think of him when my sons have a ballgame, birthday or any special moment in their lives like graduation or even just a good report card. He was proud of them, and would have enjoyed watching the last five years of Jimmy and Hunter’s lives. More importantly, when things are not so good for my sons, I miss his advice and love of his grandsons. He was great with Jimmy. He always had just the right words or answer for both him and me. It did not matter if it was a sports problem or life problem. Unfortunately for Hunter, he was only 12 when he was diagnosed.

My Dad was tough on me but he had such a special way with his grandsons. It was great to see them love each other and Pop Pop be such a special part of their lives. My Dad would be so proud if he were here today. My sister Morgan and brother-in-law Mike welcomed twin boys into the world just this past week. I can’t even imagine the grin he would have ear to ear. What a great moment for the Webb family. Congrats Morgan and Mike on your sons Sebastian Charles and Maximus James. They joined Carolyn — hard to believe little sis has three children! Carolyn came into the world after Dad left us also. And congrats, Carol, on two more grandkids.
My heart goes out to my Step-Mother Carol. Her approach to every day with and without my Father has been amazing. I thank her for being such a good wife for Dad, especially when he was ill. It was hard watching such a strong man go in the manner he did. She was always by his side during the good times and not so good, difficult days.

We were blessed to have my father for as many years as we did. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s the simplest things you miss. That early morning breakfast, or phone call, watching the ballgame, having someone you could ask a question about anything. You might not like his answer, but he always called it like he saw it.

As I navigate my way through life, I’ve learned there is no handbook; the closest thing is the Bible. You learn through experience how to deal with everything. A parent’s death is one of those things.
My Father will live on through all of us, his kids, grandkids and all who remember him. Thank you to everyone who still shares stories.

Take the time to reach out to your parents, grandparents and loved ones. Bottom line is, we are all day-to-day. Time stands still for no one, the day will come when we all learn these real-life experiences. The only things you can do is make the most of today and have the memories for tomorrow. Along with a strong faith, hopefully, this will provide peace. My thoughts and prayers to all whom have recently lost a loved one.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb

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