After reading a post from another blogger, Daddy has come to the conclusion that he has misused two words for quite a long time. These words are 'friend' and 'family'. It is not that Daddy does not know what the dictionary meaning of these words are, however, he seems to have put too much emphasis on what he believes are the extended or implied meanings of these words.
You see, friends and family are supposed to be those closest to you (either by choice or by blood relation), especially in times of need. Well, many of these so-called friends and family members were there for the obligatory 15 minutes of awkwardness at the funeral service. After that, they just faded away and have had nothing to do with my little family since. Daddy knows that he has been difficult and challenging (to say the least) on many levels since you died, but Daddy is offering no apologies for navigating such a difficult course essentially blindfolded, without a map, and an unknown destination...let any of them try this neat little trick. It is impossible, but has to be done daily since Mommy and Ava still depend on Daddy for a great many things, the least of which is the support they continue (and will continue) to need. These people know who they are, and if they do not by now, then they can just continue to live at a distance in their clueless state. Daddy has not had the energy in a long time to deal with trying to 'help' them understand any longer. These folks will just fall under the 'former acquaintance' label where they probably belonged in the first place.
On the flip side of the coin, the friends that have stepped up and the family that have checked in have definitely earned a far greater love and respect from your Dad. To put up with the mood swings, drinking, bitterness, and downright downtrodden and abysmal nature of Daddy's emotions earns all of these great people a medal of the highest honors. These people have gone from being strangers to friends and many friends are now people Daddy considers family in the truest sense of the word. Heck, some of the people Daddy has never even met in person (and probably never will) but if Daddy needed to talk at 3 a.m., he bets every last one of them would answer the phone and talk him down from one of those really bad moments. They are just the kind of people who understand that, even if they have not walked in our shoes, friends and family are always there, and let you know it in their own ways. These people are the people your Daddy has come to know and love and proudly call 'friends' and 'family'.
I love and miss you, son!