There are days when it seems like you were here just a little while ago, and there are days when it seems like it's been an eternity without you. It's hard to believe that it's been two years, but then I realize how much has happened since then and know it must be true.
I thought for sure that losing you would be one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through. I had no idea how wrong I was.
Losing you was hard, but you made it easier. You did it all on your own terms. You made your peace with it. You helped all the rest of us through the process. Often it wasn't us holding your hand, but the other way around. When you left, there was sadness, but it was a peaceful sadness. Acceptance.
It wasn't fair, but it was time.
Enough tragedy for a lifetime has filled the space between then and now.
Tragedy that I wish you had been here to help with, but that I am even more grateful you didn't have to endure. Unspeakable things that people have done to me, to others, to themselves. Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what the last two years would be like, but I am here. I am strong. I am a survivor.
You made me this way.
All these people say that time heals, but I'm not convinced they are right. Time puts more miles between then and now, for sure, but it doesn't make things easier. It doesn't stop me from tearing up when I hear songs that remind me of you. It doesn't make the times you should be here pass without reflection.
It doesn't fill the hole in my heart when I'm somewhere and I see a grandfather with his grand kids and I wish that you were still here. It doesn't make my heart hurt less to know my children will grow up without you. It doesn't give me a safe place to go when I struggle with the big questions in life. It doesn't pick up the phone on the other side of the line just so I can hear your voice.
I did that a lot, you know. I'm sure that you probably realized it when you were still here. I am sure there were times that you were busy or not feeling well, when you weren't in the mood to talk, but you picked up the phone anyway because you knew I needed to hear your voice.
I miss your voice.
I miss everything about you.
Time doesn't make many things better, but it teaches us, it teaches me, to go on. To pick myself up, dust myself off, and go on. To find my way through a life that hasn't turned out the way I thought it would. To do it with the tools you gave me, even if it means I have to do it without you.
I try my best every day to make you proud. To be an honorable person. To find the good in others. To forgive.
I miss you every day, Dad. I love you.
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