What is there to say about today? Where do I even begin? How on Earth do I even find the words? Eleven years. I can no longer say that you died less than 10 years ago; we’ve crossed that point where you’ve now been gone for more than a decade. What? That fact alone just boggles my mind. Honestly, it might as well just be a lifetime ago because that’s what it feels like, anyway.
As I was falling asleep a few nights ago, I was trying to think of something different to write this year — some sort of sentiment that would mean more than the words I wrote in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Some sort of “magic words” that would bring a new sense of peace and answers. You’d think that after 11 years, I’d just stop questioning, stop searching, stop trying to make everything OK and just accept that my life will forever be different. But for some reason, I resist this mindset at every single turn. And by resist, I’m talking stoically and stubbornly here. It’s almost as if I’m firmly planting my feet on the ground, refusing to move even an inch.
Why? Is it that I’m worried about forgetting you? Because if I’m being honest, I worry about that more than I’d ever admit out loud. I afraid I’m forgetting you, especially those little things I loved so much. Your annoying little laugh. The meticulous way you’d put your shoes on in the morning. How animated you’d get when you’d tell a story, which was…all…the…time. I loved those moments. I wish I could somehow keep those moments playing like movies in my head. As the years go on, I feel like you’re farther and farther away. I’m scared that someday, it will be like you were never even here. A life has to mean something, doesn’t it? And yours meant the world to so many people.
And then last week, I was listening to Say Something, and this lyric pierced my heart like a knife: “I’m sorry I couldn’t get to you.” I suppose when I really think about it, Father, I’m so sorry I couldn’t get to you. I’m sorry I couldn’t do more. I’m sorry I didn’t know just how much you were hurting. I’m sorry I couldn’t save you. I’m sorry I didn’t get up earlier that morning. You know I would have moved mountains if only I had known. I hope you know, wherever you are, just how much I love you, Father. The first two decades of my life were magical because of you. Thank you for that. I’ll carry those memories with me as I make my way on life’s journey. Something tells me that’s what you would have wanted… xoxo