Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Five Years Without You

I've been sitting here for a while now, staring at this blank screen. That blinking cursor is taunting me. Write something, it screams.

I'm doing what I do when I start to miss you...anything I can to distract myself. Right now, that looks like 73 tabs open at once, juggling teaching the kids and telling the dog to lay down, making a list. All at the same time, still in my pajamas of course.

You'd tell me to scrap the post and go read the handbook for my new job that I'm expected to have memorized in a couple of days. You'd tell me not to worry about writing this because you already know everything I'm going to say. You would. Then you'd tell me take a shower and go do all the other stuff I need to do.

But you're not here to say any of those things.

And it's been a long time.

A really long time.

Five years ago, right about now, you were restless. Agitated. You had wanted to go into work that morning, and I had told you that it probably wasn't the best idea. You were exhausted. You wrestled with your own thoughts for a while, saying after a while that it was fine because you'd gotten everything done the day before anyway, so it was probably okay to take one day off.

One day off.

Still busting your ass until the end, you were.

If only we'd known how little time was left. You'd be gone the next morning.

The weird thing is that you really had taken care of everything the day before, even leaving notes for everyone about what to do with the things in the office, which bills needed to be paid when. Hell, you even cleaned out your car.

Said you didn't want to leave a mess.

Dammit, Dad.

Hang on. I'm crying....



I'm back.

I was going through the posts I've written about you, noticing that over the years, I write about you less and less often. It's not because I think about you less and less. Not at all.

I still think about you all the time, like yesterday when a teenager driving an old Firebird tried to spin his tires pulling away from an intersection here in town. You'd have laughed.

The real reason I don't write about you as much these days is a stupid one, and it has a lot less to do with me (or you for that matter) than it has to do with people. The ones out there reading these words. Most of the time, they get it...well, at least the ones who've lost a parent get it. Sometimes they don't, though. Sometimes people attack me for what I write about you. Sometimes whatever I say doesn't jive with their experiences and they question me. Every once in a while, I'll get someone who tells me I'm doing this grief thing wrong. A little while back, I even had someone tell me they envied me. You should have seen my face when I read that comment. I'm sure it was terribly unattractive.

Most of the last five years have been so awful I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy, let alone ever think for one second that someone should be envious of me. That's just ridiculous.

I mean, I get it. Sort of. I have never written about most of the things that happened after you died, so I can't expect people to understand, and I don't. I just wonder why people always feel so compelled to make comparisons.

That was one of your pet peeves. Comparisons. You always told me not to make them.

"Life's not fair, and then you die." 

Or something like that.

And...you were right.

You usually were.

So, I don't write about you that often anymore. You hated it when I wrote about you anyway.

It's okay though.

I still hear your voice sometimes when I talk to your son.

I still hear your words when my husband mutters under his breath because someone left the lights on.

I still see your writing sometimes when that left handed son of mine writes just like you did.

I still see the sparkle in your eye when my daughter is mischievously messing with her siblings.

I still see your smile on the face of the grandson you never met.

You're still here.

You're here every day.

I don't need to write about it.

I miss you, Dad.

Love you more.


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