Today was a great day. I purposely eliminated everything from my schedule. I needed a day open. A day free of obligations. No social events, no phone calls or emails, no tasks that required doing – just me, myself, and I. Only, I haven’t been alone.
A few minutes ago, I watched Vince Gill and Patty Loveless sing, “Go Rest High on That Mountain,” at George Jones’ funeral. I do this every so often – when I need to feel a little more…and to cry. Sometimes we need to cry, don’t we? But I’ll warn you. If you haven’t seen that tribute and you’re curious, make sure you’re ready for what’s coming because it will break you if you’re not careful. It’s beautiful but achingly sad.
These days, when I watch that video, all I can think about is dad. To be honest, I always thought of dad when that song came on. I don’t know why. Or maybe I do. But that’s between me and dad.
And today, I realized, it’s been a year and some change.
It’s been a year and just over six months to be exact, since he left us. A year and six months of holidays, birthdays, job changes, moves, divorces, and…of course…weddings.
A year and some change.
On it’s face, it means what it says. It’s been a year and a little time since he’s been gone. But I thought about it some more. It’s been a year and…dramatic change. Change that I wish I could share with him. Change that I know he can see but still wish he could experience. I have moved back to Texas and I’m patiently waiting for hubby to get here with me but what wouldn’t I give to fill some of my time here back in Texas with dad. I want to meet up with him for lunch, call him on a random Tuesday night, get the wiener dogs together for a play date. I want to but I can’t because it’s been…
…a year and some change.
I want him to know that I’m at peace. That I’m happy and loved and fulfilled. That there have been stressful times but that those times led to opportunity I didn’t know still existed. I want him to get to know my husband and what a wonderful choice I made and what a fabulous life we have in store for us.
People say, “He’s still with you,” and “He’s watching over you.” I believe that. I do. But it doesn’t always help. I can’t dial his number anymore because I’m afraid someone will answer that’s not him but I’ll never forget those 10 digits. There’s only one other number that I’ve know by heart for about 20 years and the owner of that number knows who she is. I can still call her, thank God.
But I miss my dad and Father’s Day is hard. January 6th will forever be hard as well. As will a particular day in October. And all the random times in between when I just wish I had more time with him. I am not bitter when I see the aisle full of father’s day cards at Target and I don’t begrudge ANYONE who will get to spend tomorrow with their dad. I just happen to want to spend tomorrow with mine too and I can’t because it’s been…
…a year and some change.
Time passes though, doesn’t it? We get wrinkles and saggy skin where we didn’t even know we had enough skin to sag. Hearing or eyesight fails. Memory fades. But we are lucky to be here. I feel lucky. Every day. So, if your dad is still with you, hug him tight. And if he’s not, know you’re not alone. Not just because he’s watching over you but because there’s a whole world of people who feel the way you feel. And I’m sure you would tell me, if it’s been a while since you lost your dad, that it doesn’t get much easier. That the hurt and the missing stay. Eighteen months is a long time in some ways but it’s also a blink of an eye. I suppose that’s true of all the days that pass. Before we know it, it’s been 10 years and then 20.
Be mindful of that time, friends. Don’t wait. I am not going to expand on that. But, trust me. Don’t wait. The time to live and love with your whole soul is now. There isn’t a better time. There will never be a better time. Hug hard. Love deeply. Laugh until it hurts. And for goodness sake, take your dad out to lunch tomorrow. Sit down with him and ask him about his life.
Because you never know. In eighteen months you could sit down and start writing the title, “A Year and Some Change.”
Hugs, love and Happy Father’s Day!