We still miss you
I knew today was coming. I think the date is etched permanently in my mind. Yet somehow it snuck up on me, hit me unexpectedly and left me in a daze.
Exactly one year ago, the world lost a good man – one of the best, in my admittedly biased opinion.
I wrote this last April:
I’ll never forget your hands – rough from years of hard work, stained with grease from working on cars. The smell of Lava soap. Hands that provided for your family. Hands that nurtured, loved and occasionally disciplined. Hands that once held me upside down by the ankles and shook me when you thought I was choking on a peppermint. Hands that I held this weekend as I watched you sleep in your hospital bed.
I’ll never forget your voice – loud and authoritative, yet somehow comforting. A voice that takes me back to childhood. A voice that told some of the best stories I’ve ever heard.
I’ll never forget your bookshelves – lined with classic westerns. Tales of cowboys and Indians, great loves and bar fights. I can see you sitting in your chair, absorbed in a story. Always reading.
I’ll never forget your smell – a mixture of aftershave and peppermint. Warm, inviting, familiar.
I’ll never forget your smile – though often absent in pictures, always present when watching your grandchildren. A smile of true joy, delighting in moments with family.
I’ll never forget you – the strongest man I’ve ever known. A man who would go to the ends of the earth for the people he loves. A man who taught me that families stick together, provide for each other and never give up. A generous, selfless, goodhearted man who will forever hold a very special place in my heart.
As I read back over those words today, I felt a strange mixture of emotions. A happy nostalgia, followed closely by the acute sadness of knowing he’s gone. A bittersweet reminder of how fortunate we were to have him, but also of how much it hurt to watch him go.