One year ago today my dad died. I spent that afternoon with him in the hospital, but then that evening when we all left to go home, he decided it was time for him to go too.
We weren’t expecting him to go so soon. I was in shock for almost a week. Even still, a year later, it doesn’t seem real some days.
My sister and I couldn’t have asked for a better dad. He knew how to make us laugh, he knew how to push our buttons, and he knew how to teach us right from wrong.
On my sixteenth birthday, he surprised me by filling my bedroom with balloons. He had spent all afternoon at the party store blowing up the balloons and driving them back to the house trying to make it a special day for me. He was always willing to take time out of his schedule to make sure we knew he cared.
Whenever I was having arguments with my mom, C, or friends, I knew I could always talk to my dad. He was always there to listen to my problems and he supported me through all the difficult times. He taught me that my feelings are important and I shouldn’t let anyone tell me otherwise. He taught me to trust my heart and do what I feel is right. I learned to trust myself and to believe in myself because of him. He encouraged me to do what I love and always told me that I could do anything. I wouldn’t be where I am, or have what I have, if it weren’t for him.
This past year has been a journey. Some days have been the deepest, darkest valleys when I’ve cried myself to sleep countless nights. I’ve felt my heart ache until I thought it would crumble into a thousand pieces inside my chest. I’ve also smiled more and laughed harder. I’ve talked with friends and family and given more hugs than ever before. I’ve become stronger. I’ve learned that I can go on when I think I’ve given all I have.
I can’t believe that it has been a year since I saw my dad for the last time. I miss him more every day, but I know he is watching over me. I know he was at my graduation smiling and cheering for me. I know he is with me when I’m sad and feel like it’s not worth trying anymore. I know that even though he’s not physically here with me, he’ll always be here.
One year later.
I love you, Dad.