A letter to Jeff on his 39th Birthday

When I close my eyes I can see you smile. I can hear you laugh. We can play golf together.
It was seven years ago today that I arrived on Hilton Head to open Aqua.
You and Aaron had played golf at Belfair and were watching March Madness waiting for me to drive in from Adam’s sister’s house outside of D.C.
I remember showing up to your condo in Palmetto Dunes, hoisting a beer, then heading out the door for dinner at Red Fish and popping corks on a bottle of Cakebread at Santa Fe Cafe before watching a movie and crashing much too late.
Of course we had no way of knowing it then, but it would be your last birthday and to Mom, Dad, Missy, Mark & I you’ll always be 32.
After your car accident, Missy moved to Hilton Head to help me run the restaurant and I’m happy to say is still here. She and I went to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade together on Sunday and were thinking of you.
We had lunch at Mellow Mushroom in Park Plaza and watched Sarah, Amanda and Karla march with the Girl Scouts. Both of us were wishing Mark was here.
He and Miss are living outside of Vancouver now and would you believe have four incredible kids – Alexis, Hannah, Connor and Braden.
Twelve of us went to Disney World this past fall and had lots of laughs. I would pay good money for video of Mark, Missy and I on the Tea Cups or for the chance for you to have joined us on our tour of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.
As we’ve talked about before, Mom and Dad moved here in Spring 2009 and are living about 15 minutes away from me in Bluffton.
Sarah just turned 11. She rocked at basketball this winter and is ready for spring soccer to begin. Amanda is about to turn 10, still loves gymnastics and talks about you all the time.
Wish you were here to see how big they’ve gotten and to school me in golf. I still play from time to time, but it’s just not the same without your trash talking.
Please do me a favor and reach down and give Mark a hug for me today. I miss you always. 
Love, Chris
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