It's been three years since I last spoke with my dad. So much has happened. So much that he missed out on, but yet was somehow such a part of.
Today was the easiest of the past three anniversaries. Partly because I've proven to myself that I still think about him every day, so I feel less pressure to make one day so sentimental. But mainly because I have this new baby that reminds me so much of him. He is this new blank canvas and I can't wait to fill in a few corners with the details, traditions and values I learned from my parents. There's no doubt that having a baby has shifted my focus from sadness to purpose-driven.
Losing my dad hasn't made me love my baby any more than I would have. I would have been this in love regardless. What it has done is make me appreciate every second with him because you just never know. It has also made me appreciate having my mom here. I love sharing this experience with her and reminiscing about her first years of parenthood. I wish I could record her as she recounts those memories and then play those back when my babies have babies. I'm so lucky to have her.
I wish I could know all this and still have him here, but today I recognize that I'm successfully taking my dad along with us as we enjoy this new little life...and I'm doing better.