It is almost impossible for me to wrap my mind (forget my heart) around the fact that Dad has been gone for 6 months today. I can convince myself for a while that he’s gone away on a trip or something, because usually over the last 10 years at least 6 months would go by without us seeing him. But, it’s harder to keep deluding myself now that we are home and he’s not here. His absence is felt so deeply I can feel it deep in my soul, as can the rest of the family.
Little things come up… like I was thinking about the fact that when we go get our Christmas tree (a big production here), that I will be the adult who has to do stuff now. Dad would normally do most of the gross hard work of getting up the tree and we would help and decorate. There were thousands of little things that he did for us, quietly and without fuss, that we are just now realizing weren’t done by magic.
But, we keep moving ahead. That’s all we can do. Dad was so full of life and loved doing jumping into activities, so the best way to honour him is to keep on swimming – Just like Dori.
My sister and her kids are down this weekend and we’ve had some Christmas cheer injected into our lives with songs and gingerbread houses. I know it makes Dad happy to see us all gathering together and having fun.
One of the gifts Dad gave me in the last months before he died was the desire to dig deeper into finding and following my spiritual path. He used to talk to me a lot about how important it was for him to work on his spirituality and to connect with God in the most intimate way possible. He may not have been ready to leave us all here, but I think as the time got closer he was ready to move on and be with his Maker. He taught me a lot about giving love and having faith. At the end of the day those are the things that matter, not the superficial stuff that is so easy to focus on.
Here’s a couple of photos of my Dad from a few years ago doing what he did best – playing and laughing with his grandkids. I have a childhood full of memories of him taking us out riding, skating, cross country skiing, hiking, and flower walking. To be able to engage fully in an activity that brings joy to everyone involved is a real gift.
I love you always Dad, thank you for everything.
My happiness moment was sitting at the table in my mom’s kitchen with her, my kids, my sister, and her kids; while we decorated gingerbread houses. We need each other, for good times and sad times. It’s just better to be part of a tribe.