It’s been eight years. i can’t believe it’s been that long, but the truth of it seems very real today. Eight years ago today I was in Michigan holding my dad’s hand in his hospital room, the mechanical sound of the breathing machine haunting my mind. Eight years ago a nurse, with a silent nod of her head, turned off the machines. Eight years ago, my father took a few labored breaths…and then there was silence and stillness. Eight years ago, he died.
So much has happened in those last eight years. I graduated high school. I became a Christian. I graduated college. I got a ‘real’ job that I hated. I got a ‘real job’ that I love. I went to Honduras, Costa Rica, and Venezuela. I directed a play. I ‘starred’ in a play. I made the best friends I’ll ever have in my life. I laughed and cried about equally. Y2K didn’t really happen. I was in New York before the towers fell. I watched on TV as terrorism came to our soil. I bought my first car. I fell in love with a wonderful man. I’m still with him. My sister graduated high school. She bought a car, got a boyfriend and a tattoo. The little boys he left behind are all grown now. Joey will be a Senior this year. Zeke just got his driver’s license. He was 8 when my dad died.
I wonder what he would say if he could see our lives now. Would he be proud of the people we have become? What would he have said when Holly came home with that tattoo or the boys turned the chicken coop in the backyard to a bmx bike ramp? What would he have said to me when I graduated from college? What would he be saying to me now?
My father was a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me he was just dad. he was funny and smart and believed in standing up for what you hold dear. He cherished his family and loved his friends. He wasn’t a saint, but he was full of love. He had a heart as big as the world. He was so much to me and it hurts so much to think of the things he has missed-and the things he will never get to see or do. He’ll never see his kids get married. He’ll never walk his little girls down the aisle or hold grandchildren.
Dad, I love you and I miss you. I hope you’re proud of all of us, and I hope you’re proud of me. You are never far from my thoughts. I love you.