The above date wasn't important in history, nothing of great note seems to have happened. Well, the 17th amendment to the US Constitution was made law. And if you know what that one was, good for you. But this date means a great deal in my personal history. This is my father's birth date. If you are calculating, then you would realize that means he would be 95 today if he were still alive. That would be a pretty amazing thing even in this day and age of longer life expectancy. But when you know that my father died 27 years ago, even you would have to say...he died too young...a mere 2 weeks short of his 68th birthday.
I was only 21 when he died. I didn't know then what an impact that would have on me. In some ways, I still am not aware of how deeply it effects me.
So far, this year has been one of loss. Dear friends have lost parents, which makes me aware of what I missed by not having my father all these years. My niece, who was only a year older than my own daughter, died last month, very suddenly and unexpectedly. Last time I saw her, she was a very alive and vital young woman with her entire life ahead of her. My guilt over not seeing her enough and sharing in her life more has been something to work through. A man I was once very much in love with and hoped to someday see again has died. And finally, last week, our family cat was put to sleep.
Yet somehow, life goes on. I sleep and I wake up and start another day. The sun comes out, or it doesn't, but day goes into night and into day again. Better men than I have written profound words on death, loss, pain, grief. I try to remember that the loss means I have room in my life for new. I try to shed my sadness and look for the new joy that can be in my life. Most of all, I try to cherish what I do have today. I remember that I have wonderful friends, a fabulous daughter, a terrific extended family and that as much I love them, I also have their love with me.
I haven't lost my father's love. I feel it every time I hear his laughter inside my head as I listen to "Car Talk". Someone nearby jingles the change in his pocket and he's here. And I look into the eyes of my own child and know that the love I have showered on her is with her even when I am thousands of miles away. But I have lost his voice, his hand holding mine, his arms when I cry, his eyes full of pride, his being.
I miss you daddy. Every single day, I miss you. Thank you for being my daddy.