Happy birthday Dad, I love you and miss you more than I could ever say. But you already know.
I love this picture of us and without any words I can see the love and bond we shared as father and daughter. A relationship that would have developed into a lifelong friendship and closeness. In a way it has, and although you are not here with me in the physical sense, there are times I feel your presence as if you stood next to me. I know your soul has never left us and you continue to watch over Mom and me. You are never too far away and you live on within our hearts, but it’s so hard not to hug you and laugh with you. You continue to do the best you can, feeling bad of having left us behind, and so many times I have wished we could join in a giant group hug and let everything be ok again. To be a family again, complete.
My life has never been the same, and 45 years after you’re gone, you are missed beyond words. You are unforgotten and your legacy lives on. Sometimes I don’t know how Mom managed to get passed you’re being gone and I look at her in disbelief of what she had to endure and conquer. She is one strong, tough lady, and you were the love of her life. The one that had to fight for her love with her playing hard to get, and the one that made her laugh and feel happiness to the core of her being. Sure other people have endured such pains before and made it past, but it becomes personal when it visits your own front door and makes you see things in an entirely different light. She loved you that much that she choose to be alone, although she had tried to fill her life again, twice, but she couldn’t get past the love she felt for you, and nobody could come close to you. Her decision is something understood by few, and most would see it as her downfall, as a result to her current situation. I can see way past that and I don’t know if I could be that strong. Perhaps I feel this way because I have been strong for too long and if I was in that situation, perhaps I too would have to find a way. I am just not sure if I would want to, and I am grateful that Mom had no other choice, she had me to take care of. I know it is here where her thinking comes in that it is my turn to take care of her, because she did for me. It is here that I wonder if she would even be here if I wasn’t in the picture so many years ago. She found her strengths because of me and because she had no other choice. I see myself in her and I know I have my warrior spirit from her. I know people would tell me that I have overcome incredible odds, that I have been strong in my own ways, that I had no shortage of battles myself. It’s true and it’s amazing how strong you can be, when being strong is all you have left. No doubt about it, but I don’t want to prove anymore that I can do it. I just want to be, understood or not, judged or loved, I am yearning for calmer sees.
Spending ten month with Mom, I feel she got a good glimpse of who I am. She saw, and met the person her daughter grew into, and it was an honor to hear her telling me how much I am like you. There are plenty of things I inherited from Mom, but most of me is a replica of you. The funny side, my way of being, the laughs and jokes, it’s all you and I think you worked your magic through me while I was there. For awhile life was getting as good as it could be for Mom. It was you she saw in me, and it helped her to get better when she was sick and near death. I can see the difference now that I am gone, and her face looks older, wrapped in worry and loneliness again. It is by far no comparison to how it was as I first got there, and I do my best to make her laugh when we FaceTime. Still it’s a drop in the bucket and not nearly enough.
Spending all that time with Mom brought us closer, and I loved her sharing a few stories about you. Stories I never knew and I think it was good for her to talk about it, and good for me to hear it. I have always had such a hunger to know every little detail about you and I hang on to every shred, every picture, every memory of you. Fact is you are missed and life has never been the same. Time doesn’t heal all, but it teaches us to go on, to live with the pain, and a heart that is left behind incomplete.
Happy birthday Dad….forever your girl.