One year ago today, while your pain was ending, ours was just beginning. The world we knew came crashing down and broke into a million pieces, and we have been trying to pick up those pieces ever since. You were everything to us and to me and since you have been gone, words cannot begin to describe my longing to see you again and talk to you again. I know that is impossible now, in this life, but I know it will be possible in the next life. The other day I had a dream about you, that you just walked in the door one day in Bowie, healthy as an ox, and it was like Jesus himself walked in. I fell to my knees and cried tears of joy to see you. Then morning came and I woke up and realized it was just a dream and the tears of joy turned into tears of sorrow. I know you said not be sad for you and to go on living our lives, but I cannot help thinking about you and wondering how you are and if you are proud of me and the life I have created. I hope you are proud and I hope you do watch over me, and Angela and Emily and Reese.
One year ago, I tried to get up in front of our family and friends and say what a great man and father you were to me and to our family, and I do not think I did a very good job. I guess the emotions of the moment got the better of me and I probably came off as more sad than appreciative. Now, that a year has passed and I have had some time to reflect and to heal, I would like to have another chance to do so.
You were the greatest man I have ever known and the most brilliant person I have ever met. I say that not just because you were my father, but also because of the love and respect I have for you and the life you created for yourself and lived every day of your 68 years. Sometimes I’ll catch myself doing nothing, just wasting another day away and I tell myself, “No, this is not what Dad would have wanted of me. This is not why he sacrificed and worked so hard for, to see me just wasting another moment away.” So, I get up and do something, anything, just like you always did. Your life inspired me while you were alive and continues to inspire me today, one year after your death. You are always, and I do mean always on my mind. I still ask myself, “what would Dad do?” I still have your picture hanging in my cubicle at work, always watching over me and pushing me in the right direction. I still read the blog messages and look at Andrew’s eulogy almost on a monthly basis and I remember you and your life and I think about my legacy and how I would want people to remember me by. I strive to come close to the life you lived and while I may be far off from it now, or may never reach it, I still go forward, learning every day what it means to be a better professional, a better father and husband, and a better friend.
I know you will never be back to see me, other than in my dreams, and my heart breaks because of it. I can’t hug you or talk to you or tell you about my day or what I learned or saw or felt. You can’t hold Reese and see how great she is and you can’t sit with Emily and tell her about the starts and the planets you studied for so long. She asks about you all the time and I truly believes wonders where you are and hopes that you are happy.
A year has passed. Holidays, Birthdays, births, Anniversaries, all have come and gone, and no matter how joyous they might be, there is always a part of me that is thinking of you and I become sad that you are not here to share it with us. At Christmas, you were not in the back room, on the computer, printing pictures or making last minutes Christmas cards for Mom and us. When Reese was born, you were not at the hospital to hold her for the first time and see how beatiful she is. You were the glue that held this family together and now that you are gone, and we are all on our own, so to speak, life just seems that much more hard now.
I miss you, Dad, very much. More than I have missed anyone in my entire life. I wasn’t ready to lose you at such a young age and I still have trouble believing that you are not just at work or at the house in Bowie. When I have a problem, I can’t call you to fix it or tell me how to fix it. When something is wrong with the car, I am at the mercy of a mechanic insetad of on the phone with you trying to figure out what is wrong with it.
I try to be strong, but have come to realize that my life will never be the same now that you are no longer in it. Part of me died right along with you on March 5, 2009, and nothing I do or say could ever revive it.
I miss you terribly, Dad. This year, next year, ten years from now, I will miss you like I do now.
Until we meet again…