dad

Four Years Later.

The concept of time is so strange. I’m laying in bed and it feels like no time has passed while simultaneously feeling like a lifetime since I last heard your voice.

Grief has no timeline. There are the five stages, sure, but past that, there is no telling when one feels certain emotions and thinks about certain things. I haven’t stopped missing you. I could never stop missing you. You gave me life. You gave me two sisters who I am also so grateful to have in my life to check on me and be there for me as I continue to transition through new stages in my life.

I had a breakdown the other night. I sobbed and sobbed over the first major snowfall and having to drive without snow tires. It was a bad breakdown. One of my largest in a while. And it wasn’t just because it was dark out and I had to find my way home. It wasn’t just because it was my first time driving in the snow all season. It reminded me of that day. This day, just four years ago. Except I was getting my tires put on. And the garage was down the street from the hospital. And instead of going straight home, I stopped in to visit. And it was my last time holding your hand and saying goodbye. Then, it started to snow harder. Although you did not have the energy to tell me, I could hear your voice telling me to drive home before it got worse. And it did get worse. The snow diminished the visibility on the road. I drove slow. I made it home. And I got the call.

The reoccurrence of the heavy snow, the limited visibility, it all brought me back to that day. And it felt like I was re-living it all over again.

But then I sit here and think about how it has been four years. So much has happened in this time that I wish you were here for and I mean, physically here for.  I would love to hear your voice during the dark times. To get advice. To have you listen. To tell me when I’m overreacting. To tell me not to worry about things I can’t control, even though I do. I can’t help it. It’s a trait I got from you.

For the limited time I did get to spend with you, I am grateful. I am so grateful. It wasn’t all good. And that is something I have been coming to terms with a lot in the past year as I continue to grow and learn about who I am. But I did gain some valuable life lessons from you, many of which I am only coming to appreciate now, at this point in my life, and memories I will hold near and dear to my heart forever and for always.

Love forever, your little leftover.

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Three Years Later

Dearest daddio,

They say it gets better as time goes on. Well, here it is – three years later since I last held your hand and kissed you goodbye – and the pain feels fresh again like an open wound.

Each day this past week, it felt as if I was re-living everything all over again. There were grief triggers everywhere. And today, my drive home felt exactly like it did that very day three years ago. My snow tires were put on fresh, and the first heavy snowfall I have experienced this season hit hard and fast.

It’s hard to believe it has been three years. In many ways, it feels like barely any time has passed. In many more ways, I don’t even feel as though I am the same person I was when you left.

I graduated from my undergrad, I started my masters degree (and I am almost finished it!), I got a good job after graduation, I left that job for a job closer to home that I love, I got a new car, mom and I got a new place, I fell out of love, I dated, I found a boy who is everything you could ever hope for me and more (you would love him), and I have learned to love and appreciate the parts of myself that are more like you every day.

Mom is quick to tell me my road rage is similar to yours – but she doesn’t need to tell me that for me to know. Every time I scream in my car because a car is following too closely, I hear your voice. I’m more outspoken than I was – sometimes that is a good thing, and maybe other times, it isn’t. I’ve also started taking more time to do the things I love to do and taking time for myself. Whenever I feel as though I am piling too much on my plate, I hear your voice in the back of my mind.

You used to tell me all the time, you can’t worry about the things you can’t control – an ironic statement as anxiety flows through our family’s veins. While I could not control what happened to you, I try to take that statement with me and do my best not to sweat the small things or what the future may hold.

I could go on and on about all the life lessons you taught me but let me just say, I miss your voice and I miss your laugh more than anything in the world. I miss your terrible jokes that I have heard a million times but it would mean the world to me if I could hear the stupid “Little Johnny” joke with him and the bicycle.

I love you and I know you are with me every step of my journey – the signs are everywhere. I hope to continue to make you proud in everything I do and in everything that I am.

With love always,
your little leftover ❤

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