Losing anyone you love and care about is never easy. But to me, losing a parent is the hardest hit my heart has ever had to take. Growing up, my father was everything to me. He took me everywhere, showed me so many things. We would ride around the city in his Cadillac and he’d take me to Eden Park where’d he play chess with his friends and after we left the park, we’d always go to get some Alabama’s.
I can frequently recall him telling my sisters and I that we were beautiful and were born beautiful. I loved that. He always bragged on my accomplishments, no matter how small and always told me how proud he was of me.
Whenever we left each other’s presence, he’d say “see you later, alligator” and I’d always reply “after while, crocodile”. After my parents divorced when I was 12, and he would come to visit, he’d have a special knock he would do so I would always know when he arrived.
I cherish the time we spent watching shows like Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune & wrestling. He’d be sitting in his favorite recliner and I’d climb into his lap and we watch tv until we fell asleep. He’d always have me make him peanut butter & jelly sandwiches even though I absolutely hate peanut butter. He was the best chef I knew and I loved watching him in the kitchen. My absolute favorite of his was his chess pie and I wish I could have gotten that recipe.
He shaped so much of my childhood, obviously. He gave me his version of “the birds and the bees talk” when I was 9. He always said what he was thinking and feeling and have no second thought about it. He was the smoothest dresser I knew. He always made me laugh and now that I’m a little older, I can see so many of his ways in me.
It’s been almost 10 months since my father passed and honestly, it hasn’t gotten any easier. Knowing that half of what helped to create me has only left me with this sense of emptiness. Someone I’ve literally known my entire life is no longer here. He was sick for a long time and it saddened me that he couldn’t get up and around like he used to. One thing about my father, he waited on no one to do anything, he was always on the go. Always driving somewhere and when he couldn’t drive, he was on the bus.
Part of me feels selfish for wishing I had more time with my father. I had 24 years but it doesn’t feel like enough. But who wouldn’t want more time with someone they’ve lost that they hold dear to their heart? When I see my friends with their fathers, I get a little sad. It also warms my heart, cause I have tons of memories of what that’s like. But I miss his laugh, his stories, his hugs & kisses, our conversations. He won’t be there to walk me down the aisle. He’ll never be able to meet any children I may have. All I have to hold onto is the love he gave me and the memories. That doesn’t always feel like enough though, only because I miss his physical presence so much.
I love you daddy and I miss you. Hope I continue to make you proud. 💙