Sixteen years. It has been 16 years since dad died. Which is a long time…yet it feels like yesterday my world was flipped over. This year has been most reflective for me. Having Junior and the stress of medical issues around his birth and post-partum caused me to think of him a lot and wonder how he did it. How he supported my mom, how he dealt with infant rejection, how he lived without sleep. It made me wish I could just ask and be comforted. Struggling to balance work, church, home life, husbanding, fathering, house maintenance and relaxing (in no particular order) made me wonder his secret.
I don’t suspect he would have told me one thing or made it sound simple or even directly answered my questions, but he would have encouraged me. Which I think sometimes would be better than most other options have I tried lately for coping.
Never has the loss of my father felt more awkward.
I have spent many sleepless nights—some caused by junior, others by my sicknesses…which were caused by junior’s daycare—pondering Dad’s loss. How any age is bad to lose a father, but 19 is really bad. Too late to have another father figure in the home. Too early to have become a father figure myself. Or something like that.
I thought about how Georgia was never home again…even though I attempted 3 times to make it such. How it will never be complete again…and I don’t think it should be. How sometimes the best end to a story is a tragic one. And how an ending needs to be allowed to close a story.
So as I reflect on another year, I try not to wonder how it could have been different. Because if one action is changed in the past it could impact every action in the present. So if he didn’t die, I could be an alcoholic still living in Fairbanks, Alaska who never left but struggled to keep hold to one dream. If he didn’t die, I could still be single and lonely. If those cars hadn’t collided, my life could have still been on the same course I planned when I was 15.
A life without Portland, office work, the beautiful Hannah and our firstborn son and a house and asian travel and a strong, realistic faith, and friends that impact life when they move away, and all of the good things I have.
But even that doesn’t make the tears burn less, or time fly faster.
I miss you Dad. A lot. A lot.