It’s hard to believe he’s not here with us — but even so, it’s still very much his day.
Since 2015, June trips to the grocery store have become adventures in dodging the card aisle. TV viewing stings a little whenever a Father’s Day commercial makes an appearance. Meals out mean the possibility of spottting a prix fixe promotion for dad. And social media? Posts send me on a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Sentimental writing and sepia-toned photos fill my newsfeeds while tears fill my eyes. I want to tell people to hold on to the memories they’ve made and to make as many more as their days permit. The days stop so suddenly sometimes.
The other day I was remembering times when I’d call home with some big news; my mom would put me on speakerphone so my dad could also hear. Little known fact: I hate being on speakerphone. It’s bothersome to me. It hurts my ears, and boy, can my ears’ unhappiness make me cranky. Inevitably I’d ask her to take me off it, as my preference was to just speak with them both individually. But now, I’d give anything to be on speakerphone with them again and to complain about how hard it is to hear them, or how someone needs to get closer to the phone. Because it would mean that he’s still here.
I miss my dad’s patient, wise advice, and yet I still hear it whenever I’m in a tough or trying situation. I miss his kind smile, and yet I see it whenever I look at photos of him through the years. I miss giving him hugs, and yet I still feel them when I dream. I have a recurring one where I see him walking towards me and each time I think, “See? I knew you weren’t really gone. People think you’re gone but I knew you weren’t. I knew you were here the whole time.” And then I give him giant hug. It’s a hug I can always feel even after waking. It’s a hug that sees me through the next few days where the hurt of his passing is fresh all over again. Dreams are funny like that.
But the thing about my thoughts in that dream is that they’re true. He isn’t really gone. He is here. He’s with me in ways that are more apparent to me now since his passing than they were before. It’s strange how loss can bring someone that much closer to you.
Today I am grateful for my dad whose presence I miss each day, but whose impact on my life I feel each hour. My Father’s Day is every day because glimmers of him appear almost on an hourly basis. I couldn’t have had a more wonderful role model who still lives on in my life.
Happy Father’s Day, dad. I miss you.