I don't know how to put into words the true emotions that are running through me. You were an amazing open, honest and accepting person. I look back over the years I have known you and other than dreading spending the night because of the chores you would run us through I cannot think of anything I didn't like.
From the first moment I met you when I was young and in my screw what others think phase, you accepted me.
I still remember our first meeting. Eric brought me over to the house and their was a party going on with all kinds of family kicking back, having some brews and just having a great, loud (like you can only do it when you live out in the country and your neighbors are far enough away) time. Then I get introduced.
There I stand, idiot high-school kid wearing Combat boots with a skirt and fishnets. My hair looking a mess and a nose ring. You did a double take a made a joke about dragging me around like you drag a bull around, through the nose ring.
There was no typical speech, no condensation, no "Eric, what the fuck is wrong with your friend?"
No, you accepted me from the first moment as did everyone else at the party.
Over the years you all became a second family to me and I spent enough time at your house that I probably could have paid rent or at least pony'd up some money for food.
The years went on and I moved to Vegas.
Every time you vacationed out here and I had time in my schedule to see you guys you made sure to make time for me.
When I brought my future wife along you made her feel welcome and accepted as only you can - through jokes and making fun of her husband.
There are very few people outside of my own family who have affected me over the years but you and your family are first on that list.
I will always regret not finding a way to make the time to see you during your last two visits and missing you when I was last in PA and drove up to your empty house as you and Betty were out at an appointment.
Thank you for allowing me into your family.
Thank you for allowing my family into your heart.
Thank you for coming to my wedding.
For all the good times.
For all the laughs.
For all the times you and the other drunk old people whooped our asses at volleyball.
You were such a fun loving soul and you will sorely be missed.