“Ernie, the moment I met you at work at the printer asking me if there were any quicker printers around, then proceeding to tell me (in great detail) the phenomenal presentation you were working on and how you were the best….I knew you were “the one”.
I fell instantly in love…your passion, zest, and excitement for life and your work were inspiring. Your twinkling, beautiful blue eyes (which our daughter has, too) captivated me, along with your optimism, humor, laugh, and smile…which was contagious. You were my protector, my security, my saviour, my best friend, my soul mate and my world. You never showed me a bad day and always made me feel better when I was overwhelmed. You always took care of Summer and I, while taking on way too much for yourself without one complaint. I’ve never seen anyone function so well and be so happy on such few hours of sleep. You were so dedicated, I was in awe of you and so very proud of you…you were the best in the business and in your class.
I waited so long for you to come into my life, we had it all, the whole fairytale. It’s not fair and I don’t understand why you were taken from us. We had so many plans, we were so excited to watch Summer grow and experience being a kid again (although we were already big kids ourselves). Who will I watch Jerry Springer with and go to our marathon movies with? Who will I dance all night at the disco with? Who will I watch Summer grow up and teach life to with? Who will I act silly with and try terribly to sing with? Who will I barbeque and swim under the stars with? Who will I carry on traditions with? Who will I cry to, talk to, laugh with, and cuddle with? The answer was you. But, my saving grace is the best gift you could ever give to me, our beautiful daughter, Summer. She is the everlasting reality of our love, I see so much of you in her. I promise I will never, ever let her forget you and let her know how she was the love of your life. I now know why I have so many photo albums and videos of you and her, and us. She will always know you were the best Daddy and the best husband in the world. She will also know how gentle, kind, patient, caring, intelligent, witty and funny you were. How many lives you touched. And how you saved her and I when she was born in the October storm. You were our hero and my rock.
Ernie, you are woven into every piece of our home and land. Every flower, bulb, tree, bush and garden you thoughtfully picked out and planted. The deck you built, the pool you designed, the provider you were. Summer will grow up in our home knowing you are here forever. I promise you that.
I love you and miss you so much, you took a piece of me with you. My heart breaks when I look at Summer, knowing she will never see you again. You would be so proud of our family and friends who have supported me so greatly, I am blessed to have them….I just pray you will send me some of your strength so I can be strong for Summer.
Although she’s only 2, I know she would say this to you:
Daddy, I loved going to Perkins with you every weekend, to the mall, shopping, even Home Depot was fun! I loved going to the garden nurseries with you, to the movies, to the amusement parks and you taking me for all my haircuts. I loved riding the John Deere with you, swimming with you, sharing ice cream, cereal and cookies with you. I loved riding real high on your shoulders while playing the tambourine, getting horsey rides and how you made me laugh all the time. I loved your kisses as you tucked me in bed and read me books. I loved your cooking (so did Mommy) and your taste in clothes, I love your bright colors. I love how proud of me you were, how much you loved me and how safe you made Mommy and I feel……but most of all, Daddy, I love you and you are the best Daddy in the world and Mommy will never let me forget. So, we aren’t going to say goodbye, because we know you will always be with us. Now you just have beautiful, safe wings to fly around with as all the best angels do.”
– Jennifer and Summer West, husband and daughter of Ernest West