Dear Dad (or should I say Grandpa, Mom has now taken on the title Grannie from virtually all of us),
I miss you.
Just this week, Jack, my oldest, has been spouting out that phrase nonstop. Maybe he knows those words are swirling in mama's brain. I'm not a big anniversary person, but still, every year, when June 22nd rolls around, I remember what I wish were not true.
I wish June 22, 2004 never happened. I wish you were still here. I know you wish you were here too.
It's been 13 years.
You have five grandchildren you never met. You have a daughter-in-law. You have a son-in-law. You have people who love you even though they only know of you.
Listing all of them makes me a bit angry. I suppose the "it's not fair" feelings have not fully subsided more than a decade later.
I wish you could hear Maya sing, Clara laugh, Etta squeal.
I wish you could see Jack give his cynical stare he gets from me which means he gets from you. Emme's smile. I wish you could see that.
I can't tell where my selfishness ends and empathy begins. I think they've become one. I grieve for my loss, but more than that, I grieve for you, and what you're missing. You would love being a grandpa.
Last Christmas, Maya (she's 10) wrote about what she wanted. She said she wanted her daddy to be able to spend time with his daddy again. I say that not to make you sad, but to show you how much you're still a part of us.
My kids will grow up knowing that a good book should be read outside when the weather is nice. That a strong work ethic will get you far, but make the most of your family time. Summer is meant for baseball and grilling out. Never skimp on a good trip. Expand your mind at museums and concerts. And shower children with love. They should never question the love.
Yep. You're here.
If the sign of a life well lived is the mark you make on others, then you succeeded.
It's just...I miss you.
It's a phrase a two-year-old can say clearly. At 36, though, I can't fully explain to him the depth of those words. And as a mom, I hope he doesn't have to really feel their meaning for a very long time.
I love you, Daddy,