On December 15th this year, it will be 19 years since my Dad died. I don’t try to soften it by saying “passed away”. A nine-year-old kid doesn’t think that way. Birds die, bugs die, dads die. I don’t remember ever missing him as a person. But over the years, I’ve felt the hole he left.
In 1993, he wasn’t there to tell me I still looked beautiful when I got my first pair of glasses.
In 1994, he wasn’t there to comfort me when my friend deserted me.
In 1999, he wasn’t there to tease me for believing in Nostradamus’s prediction that the world was going to end.
In 2000, he wasn’t there to meet my first boyfriend.
In 2001, he wasn’t there to come forward in church with the rest of the parents to pray for the missions trip I was about to go on.
Also in 2001, he wasn’t there to teach me how to drive. My boyfriend did that.
In 2002, he wasn’t there to walk me down the aisle when I got married. That’s the one I felt the most.
And in 2007 and 2009, he wasn’t there to meet my children when they were born.
Yeah, Dad has missed out on a lot of great things. But I haven’t. Honestly, I don’t think about my dad often. There is no point in dwelling on the father I’ve lost. I’d rather be thankful for my mom, my grandparents, and my in-laws who have all filled his place.
When I do think of him, usually when my 4-year-old asks about “Grandpa Steve”, I choose to think about the times he was there. Like when he showed me how to find the constellation Orion, or gave me his own binoculars for my birthday. Or the time he was the parent at home when I was escorted home from the mall in the back of a police car for shoplifting (It was the first and last time, I swear). I was so glad my mom wasn’t home for that!