A lot has happened in three years since his passing, and yet it doesn't at all feel like three years. It still feels like I could just pick up the phone and hear his voice. I wish I could. I wish he was here to meet Finley and Mary. The only child of ours that Daren has gotten to know is the one we never got to know. I firmly believe, and am comforted at the thought, that Daren is with Cale and has been looking out for him. It makes me ache for them both all the more, but I'm thankful they have one another now.
The other day Finn pointed to a picture of Daren and said, "dats Daren Hidalgo" and then spelled Daren (he is enjoying spelling 'Finley Daren' lately). I'm excited that Finn is nearing an age where he can learn more about Daren and eventually grasp the importance of his middle name. I was five months pregnant with him when Daren was killed. After Daren's possessions were sent home, his mom found, and sent us, a card that he had purchased while in Afghanistan and never mailed. It was a congratulations card for a baby boy. He may have been a clown a lot of the time, but Daren was one hell of a thoughtful guy.
I haven't broadcasted this information, but Miles is deployed again. I'm sure it's especially somber for him today, to be back where he was when Daren was killed. I wish we could be with him today as we remember his brother, but I will spend part of the day with his other brother Jared and his family, as well as Daren's best friend Phil who lives near us and has become a good friend over the last couple years. We'll probably exchange stories and laughter, a few tears, and hugs and forever miss our beloved and wonderful Daren.
Here is the tribute and remembrance video for Daren. If you haven't seen it before, please take a few minutes to watch and help us remember him.