i miss my dad.
though he's been gone for almost ten years, i still miss him.
though i haven't heard his voice in almost a decade, i still hear him. though i haven't seen him in forever, i still see him.
i see him in the older man shuffling up the aisle at church. bent over a bit, holding on to each pew for support. i see him, body sick with cancer, still going to church. still encouraging others. still holding on.
i hear him in my own voice, talking to my children. instilling his values and wisdom to the next generation. "don't forget your friends", i hear him saying, "don't forget your family". "tell the truth and the truth will set you free."
advice i heard a hundred times.
advice i still hear.
advice i still believe to this day.
i find him in the sunday paper. the one with the big crossword puzzle. the one with the hard words and the intimidating clues. i see him, cigar in the corner of his mouth, pen in hand, enjoying his simple pleasure in life.
i wonder if that's normal. that no matter the passing of time, we can still hear. still see. still honestly love someone who has left this world.
that something so simple can remind us. can catch us off guard. can take us back to a moment in time that makes us believe they are still here. still watching. still loving us through the absence.
i wonder if i'm the only person who can't let go. if i'm the only person who doesn't want to move on. if i'm the only person who wishes they could go back, just for one day, and do it all again.
i'm sure i'm not. i'm sure there are others who want a second chance. who still have things left to say. who still want a little more time.
regrets, wishes, should have dones...all lined up in a corner, wondering why i let the time pass. wondering how i so easily forgot that life is short and time is precious and people will die.
wondering how i let the last years, the last days, the last moments slip so easily between my fingers.
i thought i had more time. i thought i had more moments. i thought i had more memories.
but there were no more memories to be made. i'm left with only the ones i have. but even they fade with time. even they sometimes pause at the remembering.
and that scares me. that the memories will become so old, so fuzzy, that one day i won't even have those anymore. that the most important person in my life will be forgotten.
that i will have forgotten my dad.
and maybe that's why i look for him. maybe that's why i see him. maybe that's why i hear him.
because my mind still remembers.
and my heart refuses to forget.
the most important influence i had in life...the most important example i had for living...is gone.
and i still miss him.