A Celebration of Life
September 25, 2010 --Keegan Cline
"I've always thought of you as my brother and I consider myself a better man for knowing you."
You have been one of my best friends since middle school and I cherish all the memories we have made growing up together. Looking back I can’t help but smile at some of the things we used to do. Much of which we got away with; but some we didn’t. I will never forget the month long silent lunch punishment we received for ‘oversleeping’ on our middle school trip to New York or the scoldings we used to get for yelling back and forth to each other from different classrooms in high school.
You’ve grown up so much since those days, Todd. You grew from not only being a great person and friend; but into a great soldier, husband and father. Growing up you were always athletic, smart, and a natural leader; so when you chose the military for your profession, I wasn’t surprised. You gave your life protecting the country and the people you loved. In my eyes and so many others you are a hero. And no one can ever take that away from you.
We’ve shared so many of life’s milestones with each other; from high school graduation to 21st birthdays, college graduations, and marriages; to the birth of your daughter, Kiley, who I’ve appropriately nicknamed squirms. I remember when you first told me you were getting married to Emma. You were so excited. At least, I assumed you were excited; it was difficult to tell through the e-mail you sent. Really, Todd, I couldn’t get a phone call. But, the next time I saw you I could definitely tell. You were smiling from ear to ear. And when you asked me to be your best man, I was so honored. Having the opportunity to be in your wedding; I got a chance to see first hand just how happy you both made each other. That day was the happiest I’ve ever seen you; at least, until the birth of your baby girl, Kiley. You were such a proud daddy. I remember when you first called after Kiley was born. I asked you what it felt like being a new daddy and you replied with such excitement and pride, “It’s awesome; you should hurry up and get on that”. You always told me that having a baby was so much fun and was so easy. Why do I feel it was only easy because Emma was doing most of the work? I could always tell from the way you talked and how you wrote about them in e-mails that you loved Emma and Kiley more than anything in the world. I know you will be watching over them from above; but know that they will forever be surrounded by encouragement, love and support. We, your friends and family, are always going to be there for them when and if they need anything.
Todd, I’ve always thought of you as my brother and I consider myself a better man for knowing you. Thank you for being such a big part of my life. I will keep you in my heart and in my prayers forever.
I love you,
I miss you,
And God bless.
Lastly I wanted to end with a short poem by an unknown author:
Look to the night sky and
The brightest star you see is him,
Shining down on you,
Letting you know he is happy;
He is thinking of you.
He is keeping watch, and he is sending love.
Perhaps, they are not stars;
But openings in Heaven,
Where his love pours through,
And shines down upon you always.
Rest in peace Todd. We love you.