It is three years tomorrow since my Dad died. THREE YEARS. That’s such a lot of time; and yet it often still feels like just yesterday. Donnie was gone to the same conference he’s at right now when Dad told me he didn’t want to even fight the cancer ravaging his body, he just wanted to die. I remember wishing Donnie had been there to talk to about it, and hating dealing with it in his absence. I remember the following weeks while Dad sat in hospice; when we asked if he needed anything and he’d joke, “To speed this up already. I hate just waiting to die.”
It often feels like yesterday.
But on the other hand, it seems like So. Long. Ago.
So much has happened since he died. E started high school and became active in the theatre program which has transformed our lives. Donnie and I both entered into huge athletic/fitness arenas. Donnie went from training for his first Spring Triathlon to now training for his first Half Ironman. I went from starting boot camp and doing 5Ks to committing to both a marathon and a 50K trail run this year. We bought a new house. My brother got married. So much has happened that he’s missed out on that it seems he died decades ago.
But then someone will mention a spot in the Smokies that brings up memories of a trip we took with Dad as teens. Or someone will make a stupid math joke that I know would make him laugh. And it feels like he should still be here – just a phone call away.
So long ago…but only just yesterday.
Grief really screws with your perception of time. Sometimes the memories are so distant, because the you in those memories is so different from the one today. But sometimes they’re clear as the memory of this morning’s breakfast; because deep down inside you’re still Daddy’s Girl. And no matter how much you’ve changed, the hole he left when he died is still so very much just there. Ready to throb in the pain of his absence without even a moment’s notice. You may go weeks or months or eventually years without shedding a tear. But then your youngest child – the one who doesn’t even remember your Dad – brings you your Ewok that your Dad gave you for your 10th birthday. And the tears…they just flow because no matter how much time passes…you’ll always be a Daddy’s Girl.