On August 8th, it will be one year. One year since my life changed in multiple ways. One year since my Dad left this earth. One year since I laid my head on his chest and hugged him for the last time. One year since I held my hand in his. I can still feel it. I just can't believe it's been a year.
I miss him for a myriad of reasons.
I miss him for my kids, who still talk about him all the time, ending each statement with, "But he's in Heaven now".
I miss him for Solon, who's Friday nights get a little lonely, longing for the impromptu get-togethers. He usually calls my mom to check in when he's missing Dad.
I miss him for my nephews, who are so freaking cool right now. They just get funnier and smarter every day.
I miss him for my brother - my dad would have loved to watch him help coach Kellan's little league team, as well as the Camelback HS baseball team.
I miss him for my aunt, my uncle, and my little cousins who would have loved to have him there as his niece said, "I do."
I miss him for me, because we would be talking EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. about the election right now. He would have understood my deep respect and admiration for Bernie Sanders; he would've been "Feeling the Bern". And while I channel my political passions through Facebook most of the time, educate my children about it a little, and talk Solon's ear off the second he gets home, it's not the same as talking politics with Dad. (Solon is pretty apolitical and most of the women in my family have a deep love for Hillary Clinton, and have been waiting for me to feel the same.)
I miss him for my grandma, who has lost her son, her brother-in-law, and her sister all within the same year.
I miss him for my mom - all she ever wanted was to grow old with him.
There's a verse from a song that says,
"Sometimes those memories
Can be hard to take
We all remember the times
Before you ever felt your heart break
You never were the same"
This is true for all of us who loved my dad. It's hard to remember what it felt like before my heart was broken like this. My dear friend Aaron says it doesn't get easier, and I think when you lose a parent who still deserves so many more years to live - to see their children age a little, to watch their grandkids grow up - it's terribly hard, and certainly doesn't feel fair.
This year has been filled with highs and lows, for my family (nuclear and extended), and for some of my very best friends. And it's in those moments that you receive clarity, and very quickly, the "who" and "what" that is most important in your life shines through, being revealed, fighting with you to help you move through the hard moments, and into your new space in life. I am grateful for all those bright lights in my life that fought for me, and with me, because one year later I am still standing. And for my friends who are also experiencing the hardest year of their life up to this point, for whatever the reason, know that when you hurt, I hurt, and I will fight for you when you feel like you can no longer stand.
*** *** *** *** ***
Since my last post, our summer has been filled with activities (basketball camp, KinderCamp, swim lessons), reading, music, dancing, teaching the kids new responsibilities (how to do chores, etc), a little bit of travel, and visits from friends and family.
After a wonderful day in Wine Country on Memorial Day Weekend, Lucy and Bob took us to visit Uncle Ralph's space at the Veteran's Memorial Garden in Sonoma.
Paloma completed preschool
Quincy completed 1st grade and filled my heart with a year's worth of beautiful artwork
These were my favorites...
We were able to see my little cousin Kerry get married to her James in Pittsburgh, PA. Delicious meals were consumed, wonderful memories were made.
My mom visited for Independence Day Weekend
We finally tried Tommy's in honor of my dad
We had an unforgettable 48 hours with the Reese family!
The Phillips family included us on their visit from London - and I'm grateful the distance of the Atlantic Ocean has only made our friendship stronger!
A LONG-OVERDUE trip to Seattle to see Grandma Sasa, Alynsia, and Tony!
Took in a Mariners game at beautiful Safeco Field
Solon returned to Iowa for his 20-year High School Reunion
I can't believe we are just weeks away from the beginning of the new school year. It seems like I was just wondering to myself how I was going to keep these kids of ours occupied for the entire summer... and somehow, we managed to make it happen, learning new things, seeing familiar faces, and finding the magic and JOY along the way.
This week we will be celebrating my Daddy, and toasting his memory. One year down... my lifetime to go...