Sunday, June 21, 2015

Remembering My Father on the Fifth Anniversary of His Death

my dad and me, taken when I moved out into my own apartment (circa 2007 or so?)
Father's Day always brings with it a sense of pleasure mixed with pain; I'm happy for everyone celebrating their fathers on this day and also sad that I can't celebrate my own father. 

It's been five years since his death, and as every year passes, it becomes easier for me to think about him, but these thoughts are not without a few tears here and there. In fact, as I was reading my two-years-later post (written 3 years ago), I teared up, remembering how I felt when I wrote it and feeling thankful that the pain has somewhat diminished since then.

It's tough to lose a parent when you're still in your 20's. It's hard because more than anything, when I say something goofy or recite a line from a song that my dad loved, I'll look at D, expecting him to recognize the reference and laugh along with me. And that brings me to one major regret, and something I mourn nearly every single day: my dad never met D, the most important person in my life. I know they would have hit it off, and I know they would have really enjoyed each other's company. And I'm so sad that my father never got to see how happy I am with D.

I have other regrets as well regarding my father, some having to do with basically being a brat for the first year or so after his diagnosis (I was 17 years old and this news rocked my world, so obviously, I acted out). But for the most part, I've had time to forgive myself over those thoughts and now, whenever I think of my father, the regrets that come up most are these:
  • not knowing my father more as an adult
  • being more patient with him as his disease progressed
  • spending more time with him prior to him dying
  • telling him I loved him more
  • him not knowing that I'm finally in a really happy place
  • him not getting to see his grandchildren (my sister's children) grow up
  • him not being there for all the major milestones of my life that have occurred during the past few years: moving in with D, buying a house, getting a kitty, moving up to Seattle, and getting into Bastyr University
  • he won't get to walk me down the aisle when I eventually get married

And there are some things that I miss so much whenever I think about him. Those are...
  • his (silly) jokes and humor that I definitely inherited from him!
  • talking about Chicago (his hometown) with him
  • hearing how much the world has changed over the course of his life
  • not having him around

I miss him still, and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon. I'm so thankful D is willing to listen to my memories and soothe my tears, because I still have a lot of both for my father.

You can read my original post from the day he died here

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