*This is a piece I wrote originally published on The Mighty.com. I will be reposting some of my pieces that are on The Mighty here.
When I was 15, I watched my dad die and held his hand as his breath became shallower and shallower. He was unconscious and could not utter a word. Sitting beside his bed, I told him I loved him and it was OK to go. I told him I loved him and that I’d see him again one day soon. I told him all the things I could possibly think of at the time and tried to not let anything be unsaid.
Fast forward to today, and I’m slowly beginning to realize how his loss seemingly effects everything I do in my life. I go to the park, where I see kids and their dads walking, and I think of him. I drive by one of his favorite places to eat, and I think of him. I watch the Super Bowl and wish he was there to watch it with me, and that we could play football together. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think of my dad, where I don’t find myself wishing he was still around. This was a man I barely knew, yet he left such a gaping hole in my life, it feels as if I might as well have known him for an eternity. My dad was a flawed human being, just like everyone else, but he always knew how to brighten my day and make me feel better. I find myself wishing now that I could call him to talk about girls and school. I wish he were here this past election season, as politics was one of the passions we both shared intensely.
Most of all, though? I wish he’d be here when I walk down the aisle to marry the one I love. I wish he’d be here to welcome his grandkids into the world and be a part of their lives.
Life without my dad will never be the same, but it must go on. I look forward to the day my dad and I are finally reunited.
Until then, the quest continues of living a life my dad would be proud of.