Another year, another Father’s Day.
TV commercials, e-mails at work, and Facebook posts are littered with Dads and Grads presents and messages from people to their Fathers and Grandfathers and all I can do is sit here and think “Damn, it’s been four years already.”
Work was giving away tickets to the MIS for a NASCAR race the year you died. I had high hopes that you’d be home in time so maybe I could surprise you and go to a live race since you loved NASCAR so much. Granted at that point if you HAD gotten out of the hospital in time you wouldn’t have been strong enough to go sit in the blazing hot sun for hours on end but the hope, the dream, was there. I hated and still do hate NASCAR but I would have gone just to see the gleam in your eyes.
It blows my mind that you’ve already been gone for four years. A few more days and it will be the anniversary of your passing and I am insanely glad I won’t be at work that day. It’s still too hard to adult on that day. It’s still too painful.
I wrote you a letter on the one year anniversary updating you on things that had happened since you died. I suppose I could do that again even though I am fully aware that you know exactly what’s going on. We talked about a LOT of things during that dream visit the other day didn’t we? Coffee and a lit oil lamp at a kitchen table just catching up. Thank you for that.
So, Mom graduated college last year with honors and then flew – YES, FLEW! – out to Seattle with Sara and I. We took her to see the ocean. She has a really killer job now, too. I have never been more proud of her in my entire life. She’s so strong and is always there when we need her. I’m clingy with her these days. Then again I guess I kind of always was.
You know all of the bad stuff that’s happened. You’ve shown up multiple times in dreams, visions, and other random avenues when I was going through testing and diagnosis and treatment, when Sara lost Alex, when Gabe was in the ER and you scared the nurse by showing up..etc. I don’t need to give you a run down of all the crazy horrible shit that has happened. You’ve been there. All I have to do is scream for you in my head and you’re there instantly.
I have the worst survivors guilt. I got thyroid cancer, I went through treatment, and I’m – overall – okay. My body is still pretty messed up from treatment and constant hormonal imbalances and fluctuations but generally speaking I’m okay and most days I feel horrifically guilty that I made it and you didn’t. It isn’t fucking fair. I also know, intellectually, that you’d find that ridiculous.
I’m alive now because of what happened to you. We knew what to look for, what questions to ask, what steps to take and it was all because of what you went through when you were sick. If any good came out of your cancer battle, it is that we knew what to do to save my life. I couldn’t possibly be more grateful for that if I tried but at the same time it is the worst feeling on Earth. I’d trade you in a heart beat. I didn’t and still don’t really have a purpose to being alive. You did. You had so much more left to do and that horrible bitch of a disease sucked the life and light out of you right in front of us. You deserve to still be here. I don’t. End of story. And yet, there you are and here I am.
I miss you. More than I can put into words. I miss being able to just call and talk to you. When the treatment was kicking my ass all I wanted to do was call and ask you “Was it like this for you?” “Does this part stop?” I still catch myself wanting to call and ask you questions when something odd happens. My calcium tanked out the other day. I knocked back a few calcium chews and thought “I wonder if Dad was ever on calcium supplements and how much he was on. I should call and ask….” and then I remembered. I can’t just call and ask you, can I? I cried for the rest of the hour and a half long drive to Sara and Mom’s house.
Bottom line is this, Dad. I love you. I miss you. I’ll never stop loving or missing you. I also want to thank you for everything. You weren’t always the greatest parent but I also wasn’t always the greatest kid. We all made mistakes, made decisions, that weren’t the best. But at the end of the day we all loved each other and would have died for each other and that’s all that matters.
I love you, I miss you, and happy Father’s Day. Go catch some fish in a lake there in Heaven. I’ll see you soon.