And, suddenly, here it is.
My father died one year ago today, in a haze of morphine and Frank Sinatra music.
Does this passage of time, then, put the acceptance stamp on it? Does it make it more real, that my father is, truly, gone?
No. Because grief is not measured in an orderly number of days. There are times when it seems he's been away for a long, long time. Then there are those moments when the thought of not seeing him again is astonishingly shocking.
The sadness I feel is not just for me. It is for my mom, who will not grow older with the man she spent over 49 years. It is for my children, too. What joy he would've taken in watching a parents' sweetest revenge: my having to raise a child who is, in essence, a stubborn, opinionated mini-me.
And the anger. Yes, I am angry with him, for not taking care of himself so he could be around for my mother, for my brother, sister and me, and for his four grandchildren.
That has not dissipated. Don't know if it ever will.
But today, I just want to remember the larger-than-life red-head with the raucous laugh. The guy who would come home from work and throw sky-high pop-ups with a tennis ball for me to catch.
The one who smelled of Kent cigarettes and Old Spice.
That is our perogative, the ones left behind. We choose what we want to remember, how we want to remember.
Today, I just think of this tremendous loss.
Miss you, Dad.
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