My dad died my freshman year of high school.
It was not necessarily a surprise, he had cancer after all, but it was. He went in for a surgery that would extend his life but he never woke up.
It was hard, at first, to remember my dad and not the man who was sick with cancer sleeping in our living room. My dad was so strong, invincible but we watched his body give up, failing him. Cancer did not make him wistful and full of peace, it made him angry and mean.
I was barely a teenager facing adult situations and I was just so angry. My belly burned with resentment and my shoulders slumped under the responsibility. I also don’t remember a lot of that time. It feels like someone took an eraser and left faded marks. I am thankful for that.
I catch glimpses of the man who was my dad now that I have kids. I spent my twenties struggling to hold on to the fading memories so it takes my breath away to see him in my son’s scowl and my baby girl’s temper. She certainly has his temper.
But. I can also see my dad in their laughter.
I like to think that my husband and my father would have gotten along, playing golf and sharing a beer. And, I hope that he would have loved my kids as much as he loved us.
I miss you daddy.