And Then There Were Two

It was November 17, 1997 and we had been married over five years when we moved to Santa Barbara, to start a new life and a family.
By the end of December, Karen became pregnant with Dawson.
In February, we adopted two incredibly adorable 6 week old twin girls.
We named them Tobi and Lindsey.

Karen ALWAYS referred to them as “My two Girls”.
When she called them, she would even say; “Come on Girlys!”
In Mid September, Dawson Owen was brought home from the hospital.
At first, Tobi and Lindsey didn’t know what to make of this little crying human that had come into their house.
But, in no time at all, he was using them as a pillow to rest his head and they didn’t mind at all.
Two and a half years later, on March 27, 2001, another boy came into the family, Ian Sterling.
We were so complete and so happy two girls and two boys, everyone was happy and healthy.

All six of us.

Everywhere we went, people would say it, all the time; “What sweet dogs!” And, “You have a beautiful family” We knew what we had and the four of them made Karen and me smile and laugh so often. I’ll never forget what had to be the most poignant moments of my life with those two girls. I was stooped down, working in the garden when all of a sudden those two sweethearts came up from behind me and each one laid their heads on each one of my shoulders from behind. It made my heart melt, I will never forget that moment.
On Sunday, May 28, 2006, at the age of just nine years old, Tobi Girl surcame to a month long battle with Cancer. It was no easier than losing your first born child.

And then there were five.

On Saturday, July 1, just over a month later, Karen and Ian were gone too.
It was the day, that changed my life forever, because then there were three. All five of us were aboard that plane.
Lindsey jumped out just as soon as the plane stopped sliding across the ground, twisted and the rear doors popped open. She was gone for a week. When the good people of Santa Barbara got the call from the orchard that day, that Lindsey was fond, they rushed down, over a half an hour drive south of Santa Barbara to pick her up. Where was I? Barely conscious in the hospital still and would remain there for over two months.
They told me she was laying under a citrus tree, barely alive. They picked her up and put her in the car, and back home she was headed. It turned out that she had a shattered wrist and a broken spleen. The local animal hospital put her back together again and, at no charge for the wonderful nine year old girl that an entire city was waiting for a week to come home.

And then there were three.

The three of us were together for almost six years and we kept each other comforted the best we could.  We were just half of a   family now, three remaining of six in 14 years.  But, on Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 10:56 in the morning, Lindsey too lost a month long battle with Cancer. And then there were two. Dawson and I cried our eyes out. Hours later, still in disbelief and shock that our girl was gone now too.

Then there were two.

The small family that shrunk from six to just two in less than six years must find a way to keep going.

At Home in New Hampshire, The Summer of 2011

Dearest Lindsey Girl,

Thank You for 14 wonderful years of happiness and joy. Through the best of times and the worst of times, you were there always, by our side. First you lost your sister, then your mommy who you followed everywhere she went. And you lost your “brother” Ian too.

Dawson and I can only know that you are rejoined with them now, running in green fields again with Tobi, and loved by Mommy and Ian. Don’t forget to clean Tobi’s ears like you always did.
By now, I’m sure they really need it, and when she runs for the ball, don’t run after her biting her tail please.  She never liked that and you know it.

Oh, and please, be sure to tell everyone we love and miss them more than anything in the world.

We Love and miss you so Lindsey,
Love, Daddy and Dawson


She let you do anything to her, that girl, even make her wear “Bubba Teeth”.