Today my Dad would have been 82. I find it hard to believe. Sometimes it feels as though he's been gone a long time and others where it seems like it was only yesterday I was packing for my flight to CA only to get a phone call from my Mom that he passed a few minutes ago. I'm at peace with it now, I wasn't for a long time. I was in a huge depression for at least 2 years and I still feel the final step is spreading his ashes in Hawaii, perhaps in Pearl Harbor if we can somehow figure out how to do it without getting fined. Yes, my Mom still has his ashes at home, she is having a hard time letting him go too and its now been over 5 years. I can't say that I blame her either, but I believe I need to "bury" him for that final closure.
I think the hardest thing has been that knowing he never got to hold his granddaughter. I found out my ex was pregnant in June 2006, roughly 6 months after he passed. I really felt that he somehow pulled some strings in Heaven and helped with the process. Why? Because I was kicked down there as a kid and we had been trying to have a baby for about 3 years with no success. While I was overjoyed at the fact that I would have my own biological child, it was very disappointing that I knew he would never get to hold her, see her, or get to play with her. I did however take solace in the fact that a number of times as my little one was growing up, she seemed to be looking at him or listening to him talk. I recall a number of incidents where she'd be staring at a spot behind me as I was rocking her as if someone was there. They say that children have the ability to see things that we, as adults, have closed our minds to. I would like to believe that is true. She has also said a few Hawaiian words that I did not teach her nor would she have heard on TV. She's 4 now and speaks of him less and less. I also don't feel his presence as much as I used to. I guess he figures that I am finally doing better and he can let me live my life.
I still miss him even though he and I did not have the most loving relationship. I can only look back now at the fond memories of I have of fishing every weekend with him, working on my Mustang, and doing other odd things outside with him while he was still able to. I hope to pass some of these things along to my daughter when she is old enough for them.
Happy Birthday Dad, you're love and missed!