So many years have gone by since I last saw your face... or heard your deep voice. Or got one of those comforting, make the world melt away hugs that can only be shared between a father and a daughter...
I don't know why - but I tend to think of you more now, on this day, the day you died, than on your birthday in February.
I wish I had been older... sure - at 13 I felt old enough to know what was going on. I had been the one cleaning the house, cooking the meals, and baking everyone's birthday cakes for years... as you remember, my mother can be quite inept at those things... at least 80% of the time. So, I stepped up and did what I had to do. But that didn't make me old enough to know, that at that moment, that night, as you left for the hospital, I would never see you again. "Promise me..." I pleaded with my mother, "Promise me, if it gets bad, you will come and get me, so I can say goodbye...." - I held deep resentment against her for years for not keeping her promise. (Now, as I have grown, I know she couldn't possibly have come to get me.)
There were so many things I wanted to say to you... I wanted to run up and give you a hug, and tell you how much I loved you... and cry on your shoulder, and tell you to hurry home, and feel better. I did none of that. All for the protection of my all too fragile at that moment brother. Who DID run up and give you a hug... I can still hear him squeal "Daddy!" - and you... you tried so hard to sit up from the gurney, and you said his name... you still wanted to pretend like everything was okay. Like you were our strong, healthy father.
I knew differently. I had for a while. I also knew to never let you know, that I knew you were sick... because you could not handle that.
There are questions... so many questions I wish I could ask you. Of course, I can come up with the answers myself... but it isn't the same. Are you proud of me? What do you think of my adorable children? Do you "approve" of the husband?
It's been 14 years. And today, I cried. I have been thinking about what today is for a week now... I don't know for certain why it is weighing so heavily on my mind this year. But I just realized... you have officially been gone from my life, for one year longer than you were in it... and that just hit me rather hard. Really, quite hard.
We (my family) have lost family we were so close to over the past couple of years. It seems so much harder to go through it, as an adult. I remember on October 3rd, 1993, my older brother coming over to get my little brother and myself - and he took us to the zoo - to keep us busy while all the arrangements were made. He said "I just can't believe everyone is so calm..." - maybe it is because we knew it was coming. Maybe it was because we were so young, the finality of it all had not completely hit us yet.
There are just so many things I wish I had said. I wish I had even known to say. I have so few pictures of you... but I can still hear your voice.. I can close my eyes and see my grandmother's backyard, on a warm summer day... and hear you call me "Darlin" - just as if you were standing next to me.
I just wish things had been different for you. I wish you could see me now, with my family, in my home... call you and talk to you about the trip I took to Peru, or the boneheaded thing my mother did this week. I am so, very happy with my life. Sure, there have been bumps in the road... but, "that's life" - I just wish you were around, I wish I could see you as a Grandfather, and well... just share the person I have become with you.
I love you.
Posted Date: : Oct 2, 2007 11:30 PM