It was a year ago this past Monday that I last saw him. That I last laid my head on his shoulder as he sat next to me in bed.
It was a year ago this past Monday that he held my hand and I heard his laugh and I felt the love that a dad gives his daughter just by giving her a look and a grin.
And a sweet pat on the cheek.
It was a year ago this past Monday that he proudly showed me pictures of his garden and told me the plans he had for the yard. He had things yet to do. It was a year ago that he talked of friends who had been close to death and were spared, and commented about how fleeting life can be.
Words that would ring in my ears mere days later.
It will be a year on Saturday since he sat on that boat on a gorgeous day and winked at his wife and laughed with his friends and lived fully until his very last moment.
A year. It feels like 20 years since I talked to him, and it seems like yesterday when I sat in the back room of this condo and got that phone call.
I am so homesick for my dad.
After a whole year, that hasn't changed. I miss him now like I missed him the day they dropped me off at my dorm room in college, when I thought about running down to the parking lot after them for one last hug.
Just one more.
I'd run after him again if I could. If I could escape these walls I would run to the church that held his casket and run to the grave where his marker now stands.
I long for those things now like I longed for them a year ago, but I know he wouldn't be any more there than he is here. No one place could contain the spirit of a man who was never contained even in his own self. He was dispersed into the hearts of every person he encountered. Every life he touched. Every smile he displayed. Every kindness he extended. He constantly gave himself away.
And that's how I find him now. In the eyes of my brother and the heart of my sister and the hands of my mom. I see him in the grandson who has his tender nature and the granddaughter who has his spunk. I look for him everywhere, see him everywhere and miss him every moment.
People have said to us that the second year is harder than the first. I don't know yet if that is true, but I do know this. Having been loved by him is worth every moment of missing him. I think I'll be homesick for him until we're back together, hand in hand, and all is put back right again. Until then, I will keep doing my best to live up to his example.
I have very big shoes to fill.