that’s the number of years it’s been since I lost my father to pancreatic and liver cancer.
that’s the day I lost him. since then, this day always feels like an end. it feels like the last time I heard his saxophone emit a note, like the last time I heard his laugh, and like the last time I saw his face…I feel all of those “lasts” on this day every year.
i’ve grown a lot and accomplished some great, mind-blowing things in these nine years. there are just times where I wish I could pick the phone up and call him and ask for his opinion. I can’t. that’s what hurts the most.
i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s been keeping his eye on me. i know he’s damn proud of me being this close to finishing my masters degree, i know he’s seen my photographs from his seat in heaven and is amazed by them, and i know he’s saying “about damn time!” that I’m learning how to play the piano. i just wish we could sit and talk about it.
this doesn’t get easier as the years go by. i am a daddy’s girl, so the physical void left by his death is noticeable at best and palpable at worst. i long for a hug, a reassuring set of words that only he knew how to speak, and a swift kick in the fact whenever i try and doubt myself or my skills.
i miss my father. i see him in the structure of my face, feel him in the depths of my personality, and recognize him when my creative energy starts to flow. it’s been nine years, but it feels like an eternity. my heart is heavy today, and i know i will shed some tears, but i have to remember that this was all a part of the bigger plan of my life.
this year’s anniversary is harder than its been in awhile. the growing pains i am feeling now have me in an awkward, emotionally vulnerable place, and it shows, no matter how hard i work to hide it.
i wish i could spend the day today listening to his favorite music, honing my craft to honor him, and reflecting on his life and the undeniable impact he had on my life. instead, i will be waking up at my usual time, heading into work with a forced smile, and getting my way through the day the best way i know how: praying and friends.
dad, i love you. i miss you, and everything in me wishes you were still here with me. i hope beyond all hope that i am making you proud of me as your daughter…