When I was twenty, my father passed away. My dad was fifty-four when I was born, so he was older than most of my friend’s fathers and I accepted at about the age of fourteen that my dad was not going to be in my life forever, but I guess I always thought I had more than twenty years with him.
The last ten years have been hard on me without him around. My children will never know their grandfather, they will only know the memories I have of him; and even some of those are diluted with the years that have passed. I wish my daddy was here to hold my little girl. I wish he could tell his stories of being in the Navy and World War II to my middle son. I wish that my teenager could have him to talk to like I did.
Things always remind me of him, and I think about him and miss him every day. I wonder every day if he is proud of me. Would he be happy with the path I have taken? I often think sometimes when a problem comes along; what would my dad do or what would he tell me to do? He is the one who encouraged me to move to Houston, even when I was having doubts. He always told me to take chances. One of his favorite sayings was: “Never be afraid to ask, because if they tell you no; what have you lost? Absolutely nothing, because you didn’t have it in the first place. But if they tell you yes, you have gained everything.”
Lately however a lot of little things have really reminded me of my dad, and I wonder if it is his way of letting me know he is there, that he cares, that he is watching over me; over us.
- Like watching a favorite TV show of ours and one of the main characters’ fathers dying.
- Like being out and about, and hearing someone say, “BILL” and wanting to turn around and see my dad standing there.
- Like flipping through the channels of TV while in a hotel room and running across Saving Private Ryan which was the last movie we saw together in a movie theater. In fact, he liked it so much we went to see it three times in the movie theater.
- Like my husband picking randomly Who Framed Roger Rabbit for us to watch as a family of all the movies we have. I haven’t seen that movie since my dad took me to see it when I was the age of my middle child.
- Like being at a friend’s wedding and losing it emotionally when she and her dad dance to the father/daughter dance. Knowing that I will never have that, nor would I have ever had it because of my age when he passed.
- Like wanting to punch someone square in the face when they complain about how much of a douche bag ass hat their dad can be when in all actuality of it, their dad is THERE for them…yet they don’t take advantage of the opportunity they have to spend time with him all because of a stupid disagreement.
- Like when my kids tell me that their friends were talking about their Christmas breaks and Christmas Days; and how they spent them with their families including their grandfathers.
- Like turning on my computer and signing into facebook, and having a message from a group I belong to (that happens to be our family name) when I haven’t visited that group page or had a message from that group in over a year.
- Like my brother calling me on Christmas day and seeing I had a missed call from Bill (our last name), which happens to be what my dad’s name was.
- Like having him be involved in some aspect of dreams I have had over the past month.
It’s hard when you are reminded of the person you love that you have lost daily. Especially when you have no real reminders of him. My sister got most of his stuff, and was supposed to equally share it with myself and my two brothers, but that never happened. She even has his ashes…which as morbid as it may sound; I wish I had. I have no place to go for him….I have nothing but the memories that we shared and built together…And even they are starting to fade and become diluted with time.
I miss you, daddy.