My father died 9 years ago today. Sometimes that’s hard for me to believe. Part of me really thinks it should be something I’m ‘over’ but a good friend (or three) pointed out yesterday that it’s not something I’m ever going to truly be over. It’s just as much a part of who I am as every other struggle and success I’ve had in my life. He was an amazing and strong man who I know would be so proud of the woman I’ve become.
I’ll be honest. I miss my dad a lot. He was a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me he was just dad. Even though my parents got divorced when I was very young, he always made the effort to let me know just how much he loved me and just how amazing he thought I was. That’s what is the hardest about today. Most of the time I can think about my dad, which I do a lot, and remember all the funny stories, the sound advice, and the love. But today…today I think about seeing him on that hospital bed, I see the yellowish tint to his skin and can hear the steady beat of the machines. I heard the ventilator rising and falling and watch his chest do the same. I remember the silent look between the nurses and my stepmom. I remember the machines silently being turned off. I remember holding his hand, tears pouring down my face. I remember holding his hand and watching the three breaths he tried to take on his own. I remember the steady sound of a heart no longer beating. And then there was silence. And then there was death. And then I had to start saying goodbye.
There was a poem on the inside of his funeral program that says this:
“When I come to the end of the road
and the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little – but not too long
and not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared
Miss me – but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take
and each must go alone.
It’s all part of the master’s plan
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds