im starting to forget things.
like the way he smelled and the sound of his laugh and what it felt like to hug him and how it felt when he would lecture me about my future and the jokes he always made that i rolled my eyes at and that i thought were stupid.
i miss the way he hugged me and butterfly kisses even though it’s been years and the way he could explain things to me and how he always surprised us with gifts that we didn’t really need just because he wanted us to have the best and be happy.
and he just gave so much all the time. he literally worked himself to death so he could support us and he wanted so badly for us to have a good life. literally two days before it happened he was telling me his business plans and how he was gonna make it so when he was gone we would have something to get us by.
this wasn’t supposed to happen.
he wasn’t ready.
i wasn’t ready.
and what haunts me the most is that he was scared. he was all alone. and he knew what was happening to him and there was nothing he could do even though he tried and he couldn’t tell us he loved us and we couldn’t tell him and he didn’t want it to happen but it did. i can’t get the picture out of my head. literally every night i think about it. most days the it’s there too—the image of him cold and blue and choking on the floor, arms tangled, glasses knocked off when he slid off the couch. i can still feel his cold wrist in my hand and i can’t make it go away.
and his things are packed up. his hats aren’t on the lamp anymore. his shoes aren’t next to the couch. his cokes aren’t sitting on the side table. his remotes we always joked about are gone since we can’t afford the cable anymore. he’s fading away and i can’t stand it. im not ready for him to be gone.
and what hurts the most is what he’s missing. what he won’t be there for. he couldn’t come to my recital. my final concert. my graduation. he wasn’t there on my first night as a manager. when i found out i got a full tuition scholarship. and now he can’t see me go to college. or in the operas. or walk me down the isle when i get married. or dance to butterfly kisses as a daddy daughter dance at the reception.
he wanted so badly to be there the last two years of his life but he had to work to keep us supported. he loved us so much that he tortured himself to help us. he was so kind and brave and smart and funny and i can’t even hope to be as good of a person as him. he had everything planned out all the time and he always knew what to tell me and how to explain things to me and what would happen if i made which choices.
people say that pain feels numb after a while but they’re wrong. it feels like a giant weight in the middle of my chest that i can’t escape from no matter how hard i try. no matter how strong i try to be. sometimes it gets lighter but then in the middle of the night it comes crashing down on top of me and i can’t take it. i can’t deal with the fact that i’ll never hear him laugh again or watch a kentucky basketball game and have the volume set at 59 as part of the winning ritual. he’ll never make omlettes on christmas or eat a leftover brisket sandwich with me and mark. he’ll never mow the lawn with perfect lines or grill hotdogs and make them look like they do on the package. he’ll never get the blue mustang with the white leather seats he always wanted.
i miss him.
i need him.
it’s not fair that he didn’t get to do everything that he wanted to. it’s not fair that he didn’t get to travel out of the country. it’s not fair that ellie has to grow up without a father now.
becky said that she felt he was the sibling that died because he had learned everything he needed to on earth but i haven’t. i need him to tell me how the stock market works and how to buy a car and how to fix things and how to make smart choices. i need him to help me with my taxes and show me how to swing a golf club. he knew everything and was so ready to teach me.
but i never took off work when he came home and i barely ever saw him. whenever he called home i was out doing something and didn’t make time to talk to him. i didn’t make time when he came home for good because i thought he would always be there. i took him for granted and it kills me. i didn’t even say goodbye before i left for school that morning because i figured one morning wouldn’t matter. he was gonna be home forever.
i didn’t tell him i loved him enough. i always said it in passing but i never really looked him in the eyes and said it. i hope hope hope he knew and in those last moments felt it but im so afraid that he didn’t.
i miss my daddy.