Through everything in life, and I mean everything, we celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, years at a job, you name it ... it's got a candle waiting to be blown out and an applause waiting to be heard. When we experience death, or a departure of any sort, it's tough to know just what to do. Today marks one year since my Pops passed away.
There are things about my dad's passing that I'll never forget:
- The call I received
- The flight home with more than enough thoughts racing through my mind
- The exhaustion of trying to plan his funeral
- The last time I got to see him
- The fear of what life would be like without him
- And lastly, the day we gave ourselves a chance to get away is the first day I knew he was still with me
During the week of planning his funeral, my mom encouraged us to take a day to focus on something different. Of course our minds were in a pure state of shock at this point, but an afternoon trip to Park City was just what we all needed. We needed the fresh air, a long drive, a chance to move our legs, and the biggest slice of pizza to comfort our bellies. While we sitting outside for lunch, I remember zoning off thinking about the fact that life isn't fair. I wanted to call my dad, I wanted to sit next to him at lunch, and I wanted to know that there would be many more trips ahead where we would be together. It wasn't but a minute later that an older guy came riding down Main Street on his crystal blue, electric glide (Harley Davidson terms we're talkin' here). My dad owned the same bike, probably loved it as much as this guy did, and would have done just what we did > take off for an afternoon to get away, cruise through the mountains, and pass by Main Street on his way home. It was at this moment I knew my dad was near by. I couldn't see him, talk to him or feel his hug, but I could sense that in this moment he was riding by to say "hi."
To sum up this last year is impossible. I've been told the first year is always the hardest. From the first week to now, I've grown a lot. Being able to sit here and write this recap, unlike the many posts from this last year, and not cry is not a sign that things are easier now or that I miss him less, it's just that I now know what it's like not having him.
I've found so much comfort in the fact that he is in a better place, that I will see him again, and that I know he's still with me. I'll never not have a day where I don't think about him, miss him, or wish life could have played out differently, but I count that as a blessing. I had the MOST amazing Pops out there. I had 26 years with a dad who taught me how to care for others, give back, brush away the stress in life, laugh uncontrollably, and know what it means to love. Year Two through however many more I'll have to go without him will always be tough. There will always be a void, a call I'll want to make, and a hug I'll want to feel, but I know he will show up in places or things when I least expect it, and until I see him again that will help make each day a little easier.