It has been 18 years since I lost Dad. Which is just a stupid long time for it still to hurt and for me to need trigger warnings on multiple shows and online videos still. But long enough to forget stories and memories. His voice no longer just comes to me when I think of him. But will eventually when I think long enough. Too long to see his posts online somewhere, or pictures, or voice mails.
Being an adult is still difficult without that fatherly figure to help me with relationship issues, work issues, or to show me how to stop the fireplace from smoking up the whole house. Or why the lights over the dining table won’t stop burning out. Or how to build a vegetable garden that is too big to keep up with. I might have that under control. I’d love to be able to chat about his stay at home years and how he stayed sane.
But instead, for the last 18 years, I have been winging it. I have looked for other father figures, but none are the same. None will do when I was already “raised” when he suddenly passed.
I have made it another year though. I have figured out how to be a dad myself with a talking, complaining, questioning son. I have lost track of the times I have thought about how he would like to hear Junior is getting revenge on me by do what I probably did at his age or older.
It doesn’t make it easier to be constantly reminded of the loss in that, or the fact I have multiple friends in the midst of similar shocking losses right now and it brings up the “too soon”, “too young”, “too sudden” thoughts. But it is part of my story.
And with each passing year, I try to identify with it being part of the story, not the climax, or piviotal moment just a section of the story. But it is a large part, and I am trying to find something else to make the pivotal moment.
And this year, Junior is old enough to know who pictures are, so he is beginning to meet Grandpa Jim, if only in the couple pictures I have. And the couple stories that have stuck. And the silly things he said that are now coming out of my mouth. Which brings up a whole ‘nother bucket of turds in trying to teach a little boy without real Grandpops what they should be. And that is the hardest to stomach some days.
Miss you Dad. Every day.