Man, you would’ve loved the Super Bowl this year. It was the craziest football game I have ever seen. So much drama! So much nail-biting! (Yeah, yeah…I don’t have nails to bite off to begin with anyways, thanks, Dad, I know…) Mum came over to watch, there was some hesitation on both our parts. Your love of football, the Patriots, Super Bowl parties and those buy-a-square betting boards you’d always spend countless hours making so perfectly. Cutting out the helmets of each team from the paper. (Mum told me that during the game, how cute are you??) I think both of us knew it would be somewhat hard to watch without you there. Mum and I both recently started Weight Watchers, so I tried to have some healthy snacks, which can I just say, endive and salsa just aren’t the same as chips and salsa. Anyways, when the score was 28-3 mid-way through the 3rd, Mum decided she could safely go home…almost relieved they weren’t going to win, she told me, because she’d have been sad for them to win and you to miss it. As hard as it was to see them losing so bad, I was going to watch till the end…and then they started making an incredible comeback and ended up winning that Championship trophy once more. You would’ve loved it. Mum said she felt guilty losing hope because she said you never lost hope when it came to your sports teams…always the every-kind-of-weather fan. But, I told her, no one would’ve ever guessed that they’d make such a historic comeback as they did and maybe it was meant to be that she went home when she did, because when they won, after my last hour of pacing and screaming, I lost it. Just the excitement from their win, the sadness that you weren’t there to see it and for me to celebrate with you, the realization that you never would be again, it was a bit much. I cried so hard…and maybe that would’ve been best not having Mum see that.
It’s been 48 days since I last saw you. We’ve gone longer than that before, when I lived in Florida…but of course, it’s different now. I can’t call you and ask you some question I have about my car or something stupid about fixing something in my house or to remind me of who made up the 1989 Celtics line-up that we loved so much. They say I can talk to you whenever I want. I can just talk into the air and you’ll hear me. Well, I’m not at that stage yet…because the two times I’ve tried, I can’t speak because I just get so upset. Maybe down the road.
Sometimes I Google things like, “How to cope when your Dad passes away” or “The Process of Grief“, just to read something inspiring that will tell me that I am going to get through this and that I am not actually, crazy. Writing this now is so hard. Makes it more real. But, I had an old friend of mine tell me recently to “write it out”. She said this was my talent and my passion and should be the tool I use to process this difficult time in my life. (I think she forgot I had a blog, I think she was thinking more about me just journaling…)
Here’s the thing…I just miss you so much…knowing you were right around the corner, always there for me, made me feel safe, you loved me unconditionally and were a large piece of my life, my heart…and now you’re not there. It just…sucks.
I think about what you’d be saying to me if you were here and I was going through a traumatic experience. You’d say things like, “These challenges show you how strong you really are” and “Don’t dwell on things you cannot change” and “Stop driving so fast in the snow!!” Your voice is still in there. Something I’ve heard can go away…and I fear that, but think I will be able to hear you always. The way you’d laugh so hard when I’d call you a “dirty skank” when you’d talk about some inappropriate thing about Mary Hart or something…you thought it was so funny. The way you’d go, “Ughhhh..” whenever I’d say a “That’s what she said”…and of course, your infamous, “Nevermind”. (There will be a very small group of people who will read that the way he said it. I know you did it too, you know who you are.)
Every day I start with hope and love. Hope that today will be a day where I am feeling strong. Love for my life, for you and Mum and my sisters, for my family and my friends and for the life I was given and all that I learned from you. I’m so proud that you were my Dad. Not because we had a perfect relationship. I know you know I’m sorry about all those cars I banged up in my youth and I know that you’re sorry for screaming at me for not emptying the dishwasher. But, this is what I’m most proud of…and it’s especially been made evident to me through this hard time our country is facing in so many ways. You were SO incredibly compassionate. You loved everyone. You didn’t care if they were black, white, Asian, gay, straight, trans, fat, Republican, Democrat, mentally disabled, physically disabled, loved you or hated you. (I don’t know, that didn’t need to be said, who in the world ever hated you?? No one. And if they did, it was 100% their issue…most likely jealousy…) I look around and it makes me so sad and disheartened to see so many people lacking so heavily in empathy, compassion and just love for their fellow human. And sadly, they’re passing that down to their children…and to me, and my sisters, you passed down the exact opposite. Extraordinary kindness, forgiveness, compassion and love for all people and for that, I am overwhelmingly proud to call you my Dad. I just really wanted to make sure you knew that.
I hope things are going great in Heaven. I hope you’re fishing, listening to some Jimmy Buffett, drinking a Bacardi & Coke and telling all your friends some outrageously inappropriate jokes.
I also hope that you, basking in the beautiful lightness of your new home, will see that we are struggling here without you, learning to move forward in our new normal. But, don’t be mad at us. It’s totally normal. I’ve read many articles online about it. It’s only been 48 days and you were like, the best ever. So, if you can, between your rides on your Harley and you catching up with Papa, Gram, Paul, the Captain and all the other people I’ve been told that you’re having drinks with (don’t binge drink, you were never good at drinking responsibly…thanks for passing that down to me as well, by the way…) but could you please, put your hands of healing on us all who miss you so desperately? Could you send us more hawks or cardinals or pennies or whatever your symbol is on this earth? We’d really appreciate it.
Although I am unable to talk to you, like out loud yet, because I’m just not ready, I am, obviously, ready to talk to you, in my writing…and will continue to do so…I hope your email is working up there so you’ll get the notifications when I write a new blog, because you’re the #1 person I want to read them.
I love you, Daddy. I miss you.