I noticed it while looking for a sweatshirt yesterday. It was on the bottom of the stack, folded neatly. Subconsciously, I knew it was there. I’ve kept it, but not worn it, for years.
Seven years to be exact.
The sweatshirt I wore as I raced down I-77 and ran to ICU, wanting to see my dad alive one last time, knowing he had few minutes left on this earth.
It was the sweatshirt I had on when I leaned over him, telling it was ok to go on home. We’d be there soon enough.
It was the sweatshirt I had on when he took his last breath – a small sigh as he left his earthly body.
It was the sweatshirt I had on when my good friend, Chad, came to get him – and the one I had on as I rode silently to my mom’s house – minus my dad.
This sweatshirt…serving as a memory. And even when the past is wrought with hard and heartache, memories are good. I’ve come to learn that.
I have other memories of him in my house. A peaceful picture of him – hands folded, eyes closed – taken the last time he camped, which he LOVED. It hangs with our family pictures.
The picture and poem I purchased from the funeral home sits framed in my hallway.
I look at these three things and smile. Dad’s been gone for seven years today– seems like seven minutes most days. (And if you’ve lost someone, I bet you can relate.)
I love telling stories of him and how he tried his darndest to parent me – a strong-willed, bossy, independent, know-it-all child who challenged him and my momma at every turn.
I love hearing stories of him – the way he took in relatives, treated the kids on his bus (just one of his jobs), and loved others – in such a simple, unsuspecting way.
I’d love for him to meet his new granddaughter, Chloe. He’d love her and her unique personality. Her giggles and smiles.
I’ve written about my dad on his birthday and this, his death day, for years. And today I don’t have much to add. I remember the story the same way; I remember my dad the same way. A good dad who loved and cared for us well. (I am still a Daddy’s girl!)
So I will keep it simple.
We love and miss you, Dad (and Poppy). Every single day.
We remember you everyday, but especially today. This will always be your day in our hearts.