I miss him so much, and I've been watching a lot of home movies lately. When I saw him, and I heard his voice again, of course the tears started coming. But it also made me happy and smile. And that's what I want this post to be about. It's about celebrating someone's life. I've already mourned, and it's okay to miss him and feel sad a lot...but at the same time, I like to look at the impact this man had on my life.
I bet him when I was only three years old, and how he was to me, was nothing less than a father. I have, well had, two wonderful father's each shaped the life I live now. Greg was a strong man, willful, he knew what he wanted and went after it, and 99% of the time, he achieved it. I admire him so much it's ridiculous. I just hope I can take his strategies and work ethic with me throughout my life.
And when I mentioned before that he was a "strong man," really though, you have no idea how strong. If you have ever known anyone who has been diagnosed with the horrific disease ALS, you'd know that it takes you apart..piece by piece. Greg was strong till the end. And in the end he could no longer move at all, barely breathe, and couldn't speak. I knew he was ready to go, not because he gave up, he never did that, but because he didn't want to put me and my mom through that life anymore. At the time I was tired and didn't have much more to give, but now I'd give anything to see his face again, and to hear his laugh and his voice.
It hurts to think he won't be at my wedding, or watch my children grow, but I know he will always be with me. Just like he wanted to be with me at my graduation. He died a few weeks before, and that was his last dying wish was to see it. My family tried to figure out a way to bring his wheel-chair in there through the long ceremony, but then he passed away. I was angry, but as I sat there at my graduation, it hadn't even occurred to me that Mitch Albom was speaking at my graduation. What did he talk about? Morrie of course. If you know the author Mitch Albom, then you know all about Morrie (Tuesdays with Morrie). Here is the link to that incredible story: Mitch's Inspiration. Yes, I had read the book, but I wasn't aware for some reason, that Morrie had died from ALS. So when Mitch got up to the podium and started talking about ALS and Morrie and life, I burst out crying. My good friends all put a hand on my back. I knew, Greg was with me. He had made it to my graduation after all.
"Learn how to live, and you'll know how to die; learn how to die, and you'll know how to live." - Morrie Swartz
So now I want to celebrate who Gregory William Sprinkel was:
- An explorer
- Hardest worker I've ever known
- Put others before himself
- Full of life
- My hero
The Battle Against ALS and the Legacy he left behind
Greg I miss you so much, but I know you'll always be with us. Thinking of you today on your birthday. I hope you're still celebrating with the family the way we always did. Mom and I are going to go visit your grave, but we know you're not truly there. You're with all of us and we are celebrating your life. You are incredible and not a day will go by when I do think of you.
So today is dedicated to you.
Happy Birthday Dad.
I love you.
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln