It’s hard to believe it has been twelve years. Twelve years since everything I thought I knew about life was altered with one phone call. Twelve years since my world was flipped upside down. Twelve years since I had to break the heart of the woman I admire most.
Every year, this is the day I feel your absence most strongly. The day I sit back and I reflect.
Some years I have been completely numb. Devoid of feeling, or even the will to exist for the day. Of course, staying in bed was the only logical option on those days. Other years, I have been filled with confusion and anxiety about facing the day. With that came for not feeling as sad as it seemed I should. There were even a couple years I was very, very pissed off with you for leaving us and missing out on our lives.
This year though, I am just sad.
It occurred to me recently you should be turning sixty-five in March. You should be planning your retirement right now. Figuring out how to get the most out of life, and not have to worry about working anymore. It is unfair that you never got the chance to retire.
You should be watching your grandchildren grow up – all seven of them. You should be infusing them with wisdom, and knowledge. You should be sharing stories with them about how life was when you were a kid. You should be cheering them on and supporting them.
You should be here for us, too . Kari, Christopher and myself. You should be offering guidance, support, advice and love. You should be the Dad you never got to be.
When you left us, I barely knew you. I was trying so hard to get to know you, after so many years of very little contact. It wasn’t easy, because there was a lot of history in the way. I was trying to put it behind me though and move forward on a fresh new note. It saddens me that our time was cut short.
Today, I plan to explore with your AE-1 and some expired film. I’ve only ever had it out once – seven years ago – and it was an emotional rollercoaster. The nostalgia of it is hard to grasp at times. I will be taking pictures with the same camera you used to take pictures of us when we were kids. Its both beautiful and heartbreaking.
These pictures are the ones I took in 2010. It was the 5th anniversary of you leaving us. Let’s hope today I capture some equally beautiful images.