February 20, 2008

Missin' my dad

A lot has transpired in my life over the last 11+ years. I went to two proms. I graduated high school and college. I met a terrific man and married him. We moved to California and had two kids. My mom's had two open-heart surgeries, one of which was a transplant.

And my dad missed it all.

For readers who aren't aware, I lost my dad to leukemia in August 1996; I was 16. He died far too young and had much left in his life to do. I watched him pass away - no child should ever have to shoulder that burden. I never really dealt with his passing. I put on a stoic front and was strong for the sake of being strong. I kept myself busy and I think it helped my mom carry on. She got involved with everything I was involved in. For the first year or so after his passing, I could retreat into a frame of thought that made his death unreal - I could really convince myself for five to ten minutes at a time, that he wasn't gone, he was just in the hospital for chemo. Looking back on it, I should really have attempted to deal with everything.

At any rate, I miss him. I don't think the pain of losing a loved one, especially a parent, ever goes away. It just becomes easier to deal with your memories of them. I wish he could have seen all that's happened in my life, that he could meet his grandchildren. He loved children, he'd be thrilled with Thing 1 and Thing 2! Especially Thing 1 - she looks just like me.

As a believer in ghosts and the supernatural, I believe his spirit comes to visit from time to time, just to make sure I'm okay. So in a way, I think he's "met" our kids. I guess it's one of those things where you want just one more day with them, to tell them everything you didn't get a chance to tell them when they were alive. In my case, I never told my dad I loved him enough, or thanked him for being such a good dad to me. I was a teenager and in all honesty, kind of a brat. I take solace in thinking that he knew I was a teenager and that my attitude was just part in parcel, but I still want some of that time back to make things right.

Anyway, I miss him. That's all.


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