June 10, 2014

Dear Dad,

Father's Day is coming up and I'm dreading this year even more than previous years. I guess I thought it might get a little easier as more time went by but it's actually the opposite. And it's not exactly that it's getting worse, it's just that it's getting more challenging, I suppose. But I'm not even sure that's the right word either. It's like there is this huge gap between us now and the more time that passes between now and the last time you were alive just widens the gulf. That gulf is what makes it harder as more time passes. It just makes it so much more real that you are really gone. More real that the longer I live, the more I have to experience without you. I really have to live the rest of my life without you and that just doesn't make any sense to me. Not when I still need you so much.

It's weird to me that you are missing out on so much in our lives. Weird that there is now this man in my life who you will never meet. I often say to the Cowboy just how much I wish you two could meet. I wonder what you would think about him, if you would get along with him. It messes with me that you only exist to him in my memories and in the pictures I show him. And I do talk about you often to him, everyone actually does. He often tells me what other people say to him about you. What cousins, uncles, aunts and my siblings say. The little funny stories they share about you help make you more alive to him. He tells me he wishes he had met you too because you sound like such an amazing guy and I just shake my head sadly and tell him he doesn't know the half of it yet.

As much as I try to not think about the future, my over-thinking mind sometimes just can't help it. I think about getting married again and how sad it'll make me to not have you walk me down the aisle or dance with me. I get even more sad when I think about not being able to see your expression when I announce a pregnancy because I know how excited you got every time you found out another grandchild was on the way. I hate that I'll never see you hold my baby. That my baby will grow up with only your memories. I had a dream recently that I had just given birth and when they placed the baby on me, I started crying and whispered to him, "Your Grandpa loves you so much and will always be watching over you." And I know that I'll probably say that exact thing whenever the time does come.

I know that I'll go out to see you on Sunday and we'll talk about you all day, probably shed a few tears. We're BBQing because that was your favorite thing. You will simultaneously feel both more alive and more gone to us. I hate it all because it's just the emptiest feeling to visit a cemetery and talk to a slab of stone. I'm glad you're no longer in pain and I know you are watching over us but I miss you so much that miss doesn't even scratch the surface, I need a stronger word for miss. I need you.

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