In a few hours after posting this, it will have officially been a year since my family lost Dad. It still feels like it can’t be. I miss him so much every day. As I told him on one the last days he was conscious, he was my compass. He consistently pointed me to what was important and good and right in life. He never wavered in his message and advice. It was as consistent as he was over the years.
He overcame so much pain and trauma in his own youth to amazingly be a dad whose presence I knew I was always safe in, regardless of any disagreement we were in. He taught me how to be a gentleman and a gentle man. He was my Dad. One of two great parental cornerstones given to me by God. He was my example. He was my friend.
The year that has followed his loss has been a hellish experience that I never would have imagined, incurring more trauma that hasn’t even allowed for the time and space to process the impact of his absence.
I’ve said a lot on this subject the last few months. But, today, as I navigate this unwanted anniversary, I will just close with this story.
31 years ago, when we were living in England during Dad’s time studying at Cambridge, our family was out on a shopping trip on a typical rainy day. As we walked out of a store, I stayed with my mom and sisters while Dad was a few paces back. Being only 9, I wasn’t paying any attention to my surroundings and as I went to open my umbrella, I unknowingly hit someone behind me and kept walking.
The person behind me was not amused, and started to approach me in such a way that indicated he was going to shove me or kick me. What he didn’t know was that Dad was behind him. Dad saw what he was about to do, rushed up behind him and knocked the guy off stride so he couldn’t hit me. The guy backed off and left me alone. I was oblivious to all of it at the time.
My Dad loved his family. He always fought for us. He fought for us even when we were oblivious to it.
I don’t know if Dad is aware of what is happening down here. I actually hope he isn’t. But now I will fight for him, even if he’s as unaware as I was during his battles on my behalf.
One year ago, surrounded by his family, he drifted from our arms info the arms of his Savior.
One year ago, I was by his side. And I’m proudly still by his side today.
I love you Dad. I miss you. I can’t wait to see you again one day.