Wednesday, April 2, 2014

All The Days Before - Dear Dad

"Dear Dad"
  It's been a year since the whisper of your final breath slipped into stillness.
  While I miss you, but I have to admit, I didn't remember today was the day. 
  I knew you passed away in April of last year. It seems insane that it's been a year since that morning when my world stopped turning for a few moments.
  So much has happened in that year. None of it has included a cure for Pancreatic Cancer, but maybe someday, we'll get there.

  Your memorials have been errected. 
  Your family blunders on into the world, making a (hopefully) positive impact in those we know.
Me, Dad, and My Brother
  You made me a better person for being in my life.
  For that, no amount of gratitude will ever be enough.
  For marrying Mom....
  For being open to adopting...
  For adopting my brother...
  And for continuing on to open your heart to me too...
You and Mom made a family out of orphans.
That's no small feat.
 In the wake of your life and love, we are still family, without question.

You shaped me.
From the way you teased me about all the boyfriends that you didn't like,
to the way you instantly loved My Sailor,
to all the ways you were a complete mystery to me as well - it all helped shape me.

As much as I'm like Mom, I am a lot like you.
You already knew that.

Thank you for your failures - because I learned from them.
Every time you stumbled, you got back up.
Because of that I learned not to give up, and to dig deep - even when I think I've hit the bottom.

A few months after your passing, I competed in the Strongman Competition I was training for. When I'd found out I'd tied and we were doing a run off event, I was ill prepared. I was too nervous to keep much food down during the day. I wasn't sure I'd finish that tire flip. Those in my life knew what was happening those last few yards when I thought I had nothing left.
Others probably thought I was just making noise...
But they didn't get to know you - and certainly didn't know me.

Today, my tears are for the landscape of our family without you.
It's for the future you can only share with us at that precious distance allowed by death, a breath and a heart beat away.
But it's not for missing 'the day'.

While the day of your death is important to me -
What is more important
are all the days before.

 I count myself lucky for sharing most of those days with you.
May every daughter feel this way someday.

1 comment:

  1. Jay - this brought tears to my eyes. I miss my Dad too - it's been many more years for me. Your Dad lives on in you - always remember him!