My dear brother, HAPPY, HAPPY 65TH BIRTHDAY!! Oh, Larry, how I wish I could get that phone call from you telling me to "put on a pot of coffee..we need to talk." Yes, we do need to talk, but I know that you already know everything that has happened since your death. I know too that you are very proud of how your family has conducted themselves. God is good and His grace and strength are sufficient. Your "blood" family misses you very much and a day doesn't go by that we aren't thinking about you and reminiscing about all of the good times we shared together - the 50's growing up in Iowa (you locking me in a chicken coupe) and Southern California (your first car, working at Stater Bros, the cleaners, to earn $$ for gas); the 60's when we moved to Citrus Heights, cruising K St., Mel's Drive In, Sam's Hof Brau; the 70's when you passed the State Bar, when you decided to go into practice by yourself - I was so happy that I could loan you the money to help make your dream come true - you were a little scared, but you knew you could do it and, yes, you did it and you did it well! A thriving law practice for 36 years!! You worked hard, gave your clients the best $$$ could buy and you loved what you did up until the very last day. YOU DID IT - NO ONE ELSE!! Everyone who knows you knows that.
As I think back over the years, I have such wonderful memories of being your sister. We had such great times and laughed so hard at times that tears ran down our cheeks, but there were also sad times. We can't forget your "marriages" - unfortunately, none of your marriages lasted as long as your law practice, but at the time of each of those marriages, you loved each wife very much and you were blessed with three adorable children. You and Linda had Kim, your oldest daughter. How excited we all were the morning she was born. I was so thrilled to be an "aunt". A few years later - 10 to be exact - you and Pat had Bryan. We were so excited to have a little boy in the family so that my son, Mark, would have a "boy" cousin to play with..and then "10" years later, you and Caren had Jennifer, or as you would call her, "Jenners" and she would come running to you and jump into your arms. We were all so excited to have a little baby in the family. By this time, Kim was almost 20, Bryan was 10 and (my sons), Mark 12 and Michael 9. Boy! Jenni was definitely the little princess! Your next wife was Phyllis, and with Phyllis came two darling children, Brandon and Ashley. Brandon was two years older than Jenni and Ashley a year older, and you fell in love with them immediately. Like I said unfortunately you didn't have a great track record when it came to marriages, but when you died I heard that each of your wives still had a special love in their heart for you. That says alot!
You were a wonderful brother and a great uncle/friend/surrogate dad to Mark and Michael. I never really knew what you were going to teach them or where you were going to take them - ie. taking Mark for a ride in your orange corvette and explaining the facts of life to him, or having Mark and Michael cut school so you could take them skiing with you - oh, did you forget that you were on the Ski Patrol not them when you took them up Preacher's Passion the double Black Diamond and told them to ski down (??!!) How they loved to climb into "Big Green" and go truckin with you - whether it was hunting, to the mountains, or just to run up and rent a movie. They just loved cruising around town in "Big Green." Thank God you thought ahead and put Michael's name on "Big Green" or that would have never happened. God knew that "Big Green" belonged in this family!
I'll never forget the day that I went to the travel agent's office to pay for the "dream" vacation that I was going to take Mark and Micheal on -- a week at Disneyland, San Diego Zoo, Sea World and their first airplane ride....imagine my surprise when the travel agent told me that the trip had been paid in full by my brother!! Just the thought still brings tears to my eyes. Let's not forget the time that mom and dad and Mark and Michael and I were headed to Iowa for our family reunion and my red Rabbitt VW died in Lovelock, Nevada. You and Caren came to our rescue - driving all night to bring us your car so that we could still continue on with our vacation.
What great memories! Remember the time that I went with you and Linda to the Horse's Rear in Folsom? What a night. I was only 17 and you didn't get me home until 5 a.m. - I knew I was going to be grounded for life and you just kept telling me "Don't worry, mom and dad know you're with me so it's O.K.!" Yeah, right! We'll never forget the night that you drove the get-away car as Kim, my friend Linda and I hung Kim's boyfriend's laundry in the trees after he stood her up on her 21st birthday; the fun times we had hanging out with you and Caren - the softball tournament in Southern California - Disneyland! all the cousins (Little Paul,Crista,Bryan, Mark, Michael, Jennifer)loved hanging out together. The Father's Day when Phyllis and all your children kidnapped you and took you to Great America, our family reunion in Iowa, family vacations at Feather River Resort, Hawaii, South Carolina, the New Years Eve hotel packages with you and Phyllis and Charley and I. And speaking of Charley, when we married, you finally got a "brother". How you loved Charley and had such a great time getting together with him and hanging out. You two were so funny! Let's not forget the last 30 years of going to Beckwourth - Hollywood Palace, Air Force Camp and Big Camp. The fun you and Dad had flying your own airplane back to Oshkosh every summer, while mom prayed the rosary the whole time for a safe trip. Then at the young age of 45 you found out that Kim was having a baby and you were going to be "grandpa" - we all went to the hospital to welcome Mandolin. How you loved her and of course loved to tease her.
You and I always knew how lucky we were to be blessed with such wonderful parents. We always said that God handpicked the best parents in the world for us. We so appreciated all that they did for us, always making sacrifices so that they could give us the best. We promised each other that we would always take care of our parents. You're back home with mom now, but you know that I will always take care of dad until he is with you again.
We, your family, will be together today celebrating your birthday and Kim's birthday. Yes, you will be with us, too. Each one of us feel your presence and know that you are watching over us everyday. We are also comforted by the fact that God is the great vindicator and good always wins over evil!
We love you and miss you very much! (especially you're whacky sense of humor and your laughter along with that roll of your eyes).
Have a blessed birthday up in heaven and we will be together as a family again.
I love you. Your little sis,