A daughter without a father. That’s who I am. I lost my dad to cancer almost three years ago. Wow. When I say that, I cannot believe it hasn’t even been three years. It feels like an eternity since I have been in his presence. I miss him everyday. I try to find comfort knowing that he has made it to heaven, a place most of us long to reach after our final breaths on earth. A good reminder is that everything truly does happen for a reason. God has different plans for all of us.
Some days I am happy and carrying on through my blessed life as if nothing was missing from it. Other days, I feel like grief hits me in waves and I remember that my father is truly gone. Oh, how I long to see his face or hear his voice again. It’s hard when someone is gone, not to wish that things were different than they were. I wish that I would have told him how much I loved him. I wish that I would have hugged him more. I wish that I would have spent more time with him and truly treasured every moment in his presence. It’s hard not to take life for granted. I certainly never imagined that I would lose a father at such a young age. When you hear of people losing parents, siblings, or children, you never think it will happen to you, until it does. When that day came, my life came crashing down. Not just my heart but my soul shattered. It was like I couldn’t breathe. If I did, all I wanted to do was cry. I wanted to scream, scream at the heavens for taking him away from us. It all seemed unfair. Why my dad? Why did his cancer not heal? Why did it come back after his first remission? He was only 60. All my questions unanswered and left in God’s hands. I was numb inside. Some days, I still feel numb. His death changed me. I think it changed all of us.
November 13th 2014, a parent lost their child, a sibling lost their brother, a spouse lost her husband of 40 years, a child lost their father, and a grandchild lost their grandfather. Nine children my father left behind, not to mention the many grandchildren, all still so young. My heart aches for him and for the milestones I have and will reach without him.
My father was not there for my husband to ask for his blessing in marrying his youngest daughter. My father was not there to walk me down the aisle. My father will not be there to meet by first borne child. My children will never know their grandfather. My father will not be at any more birthdays, holidays, or get-togethers. Life is hard without him. Moments pass in life where I long for his advice on something, or wish to share a story with him because I think he’d find it amusing, or wish to show him a picture of some place I saw that I think he would enjoy. I cannot drive past a Cabela’s or sportsman’s shop or the Mississippi river without thinking of him. Driving, I often get lost in thought thinking about him and how he’d pay more attention to his surroundings then the road when he drove. My father did love good scenery, always sight seeing, wherever he was. There will always be moments like these where I miss him a little more.
I don’t think one ever gets over the loss. Once your heart breaks the way it does over the death of a loved one, you are never really the same. Yes, life does go on and you can and will be happy again, but missing them will never go away. Your heart never fully repairs itself. A small piece is forever missing.
This is just my journey without him. Each and every one of my siblings journeys without him are different but just as tough, if not more. Some may have been closer than others, but each and every one of us loved him just the same. I cannot even bear to imagine my mother’s journey. My mother birthed nine children and spent forty years of marriage with one man. To have someone you spent more than half your lifetime with be ripped away from you would be unbearable. Sometimes I forget that it has ONLY been two and half years, that I need to let my mother continue grieving as she is. Grieving comes and goes in waves, it brings you up and crashes you down. My heart hurts for the waves my mother rides. I pray that she will soon find peace and find her place in life as a single woman. I can see that she is still searching to find who she is now, unsure and uncomfortable of her new position in this life. My mother is the strongest and most independent woman that I know. If anyone can get through this, it’s her.
If you are going through something similar or have gone through something similar, I sympathize with you. I know your pain. I know the heavy weight on your shoulders. Hang on to their memories and find comfort knowing that they have reached their eternal home. Imagine that one day, we will meet them again, when we too, take our last breaths.
Please, please, treasure every single moment you have with those closest to you. Life is truly a blessing and we should all remind ourselves not to take it for granted. Any moment spent could be our last.