Sunday, August 19, 2012

I Still Miss Him

It's officially been two years since my dad suddenly left. The pain I feel is the price I have to pay for having the best dad ever and for loving him as much as I do. It is worth the price. When he died I never thought life would get better. I never thought it could really be fun again, but I was wrong. Even in death he has made it fun again. I still take the time to stop and watch thunderstorms. I still turn the volume up way too loud when the Stones come on and sometimes, just sometimes I make it through an entire song without crying. Okay, rarely. I still make a big deal out of the smallest things. I pull off the the road to enjoy good sunsets. I dance for no reason. I have fun, but I still miss him.

The sign of a good parent is that, once they're gone, you can go on without them - even though you would rather not. You go on not only because they've taught you independence, but because they've let you know that you should go on. They would want you to go on. Not to just exist, but to thrive and make a difference. Only after his death did I realize that aside from providing us an amazing family life, his main goal was to make sure we would be fine without him. He truly lived to make sure our life was amazing - with or without him. He prepared me for that moment when he wouldn't be available. But I still wish he was here.

So this past year I've been moving on, but with him. He's still a part of my life. With his prior help I've created a new relationship with him. I can honestly say there hasn't been one day in the past two years that I haven't thought about him. There hasn't been one full week where he hasn't been in my dreams. And while there hasn't been one week that I haven't cried because I miss him, there also hasn't been one day that I didn't smile thinking about him. But oh my God I still miss him.

My dreams sustain me. Last Thursday I dreamt that he called my mom and I via a three way phone call from heaven (he was obsessed with three-way calling people) using a payphone at a very busy train station. He didn't know how long the call would last or when he would be able to call next because he was still figuring out the phone allowances/policies in heaven, like he was just arriving. The purpose of his call was to tell us we were being ridiculous and needed to stop worrying about him. He could see and hear everything, but knew that we could not. That's why he would try and call as often as possible, but he was fine and our family was still intact. He was just the invisible family member. I don't know what I would do without these frequent "meetings" with him. But even with them I still miss him.

My main goal for today is to remind everyone how brief and unguaranteed life really is. That next phone call could be the one that ruins your life. So take a few moments right now to tell your family how much you love them AND how much you would miss them if they were gone. As sappy and uncomfortable as you may feel doing so, it is the one thing you would regret not doing if they were gone tomorrow. That is the best way you can help me make today meaningful, because otherwise its just the anniversary of the worst day of my life.