As most of my readers know, I lost my dad three years ago today. I was quite pregnant and even though he had struggled with health issues most of my life, his death still came as a shock. I had just spoken with him and everyone was geared up for the arrival of baby boy Sartain. Five weeks from my due date, I received the most shrilling, shocking, gut wrenching phone call of my life. The hours following the phone call are still somewhat a blur to this day. I vaguely remember slamming my fists into the dash as my husband drove us home from our relaxing afternoon of fishing. I remember screaming and feeling a pain in my chest I have never felt as my brother tried to express the loss of our father to me, through his own shock.
The next two years following his death were some of my most difficult years. With a screaming colic newborn in the first year, I had little time to process the loss. Everything in my life had changed so drastically, including my own family dynamic. The second year came with quite a different story. I felt deep sorrow, grief, anger, and so much more. I remember being angry with others about their small issues in life and how they handled them poorly in my book. Judgemental much? It was my grief and how much it was swallowing me.
This year has been totally different. I can honestly say most of those emotions have passed and I can smile more than I cry. When I first started feeling better and not being so sunk in grief, I felt guilty. WAs I forgetting him? Then I realized, no way. I could not forget him. He was such a grand part of my life and helped me through so much, he would be proud to know I am laughing and smiling rather than crying and hurting. Occasionally something still catches me off guard and causes some pain, but mostly I have one recurring thought. To say I miss you is an understatement.
To me, to say I miss you is I just might see you soon. To say I miss you doesn’t cover the depth of desire I have to speak with him. Missing is not the word to cover the emotions behind needing my first love, my dad.
The death of loved ones is an odd thing. The emotions and chapters to follow really bring quite a sea of emotion. Sometimes the waves pore over your feet and bring memories to your mind. Other times the waves washed you out to sea and overwhelm you entirely. Time does not heal wounds. Time helps you to better handle the scars you are left with.
I am so thankful for the time I had with my dad. I wanted to write him a letter and I hope you do the same for your missing loved one.
I love you. I could stand to listen to your rock and hunting stories for a few more hours. I would love to see a missed call and voicemail. I would like to hear you tell the same story at least ten more times.
I am doing better. I long to hear you and see you. I wish you could tell my son stories and tell me I am going to be a good mother of two boys. I thank you for the irises you gave us, which bloom every year on your death anniversary. Your grandson loves them and believes all flowers come from grandpa. I know this would make your heart happy and the two of you would have your own special bond.
Hugging you, kissing you, and holding your hand one more time would make my heart sing. But instead I will rejoice in the many years I had with you despite your poor health. You are amazing. And I am sure you have made quite the place in your new home. Walking and talking with no strangers to be found.
I will carry you always with me. Thank you for making me the wife, the mom, the friend, the worker I am today. Thank you for always listening. Thank you for always being there. Thank you for being the dad most do not ever get the blessing of experiencing. Thank you for being MY dad.
I yearn to hear from you again one day,