open letter

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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