Every year on December 23rd I write something in remembrance of my dad. Each time I come up with a new way to share my feelings on Facebook and/or Instagram. I usually share a photo of my stud of a dad and write a memory. But this year is different. I don’t have new emotions to describe my loss because I’ve already experienced them all. I don’t have a new memory to share because they continue to fade with each new day. And I don’t have a new photo to share because I’ve shared all of the best photos of my dad. So here is what I got.
Today marks five years since my dad passed away. I remember this day like a scene from a movie I’ve watched dozens of times. I so vividly recall the eerie feeling of that morning at my job when my coworker got a frantic call from a woman who couldn’t make out the right words to explain her dire need to talk to my manager, Katie. I remember my coworker and I at Hot Dog on A Stick on a busy Friday morning before Christmas wondering what the woman on the phone wanted, and then worrying when Katie was late and her cell was going straight to voicemail when we tried calling. I recollect when 3 coworkers from my other job at Tony Roma’s visited me during my shift at Hot Dog and acted strange around me. I wondered why they were being overly nice. (They had already heard the news from our manager who had been told so he could arrange a replacement for my shift that night.) I recall the ring of our store phone once our manager Katie finally got in, and I can picture the impatience I felt as she spoke to what we assumed was the frantic women once again on the other end of the phone. I remember my confusion when Katie came up and asked the other employee to take over my register, thinking how I had only been on it for twenty minutes. I can still envision the look on Katie’s face when she told me my mom, grandma, and aunts were coming up to get me. I can still feel the pain when I think about how I looked at my boss as tears filled my eyes, asking her if it was my dad. Something in me knew. I can still picture the shakiness that overcame my body as I hugged my mom. I remember everything that followed. And I especially remember when my sister’s joyful smile quickly changed as she saw us at the outside of her work when we came to pick her up to tell her what had happened. No one had to say anything, because our cried out eyes said it all. I can feel the pain inside me grow stronger when I picture how she dropped to the floor. I’ll never forget the cry she let out. That was one of the worst parts of it all. But most of all, I remember when I went numb to it all for a year, surrounding myself with friends over family, and partying rather than experiencing the grief.
I feel like I’ve come a long way in five years. I finally went through the stages of grief the second year. They say time heals everything, and that might be true. I don’t break down as much as I used to. But time also takes away memories. And that’s one of the scariest parts of losing someone.
I know there are more recent pictures somewhere, but here are the ones I have on my computer.
Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Psalm 27:4-5 “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.”
Until we meet again in Paradise. TLC- your initials say it all.