April 14, 2009

Two Years and Counting...

Dear Dad,

Two years ago on this day, I went to bed at 6:00 in the morning after we as a family let you go in the dark of the middle of the night, April 14th 2007. Driving home that early morning, the sun rose into a clear blue sky and the colours of dawn didn’t well reflect the sadness we all felt that day.

This morning, rather than going to bed at six, I got up.

I was awakened today by several things. For one, the sounds of your grandson, happily gurgling away as he lay between Kate and I. For another, Nellie, chomping at the bit to get outside for her morning walk. And last but not least, a dawn no less picturesque than the one 24 months ago, streaming its light through the blinds we forgot to close before bed.

The dog, the baby, and I all went outside together to greet the morning. Sacha in his stroller gurgling happily as we rumbled along, Nellie off her leash, nose hovering just over the grass in search of dew-covered treats as we made our way over to the park.

Sacha doesn’t normally rise in time to come on the morning walks, but I was glad for his presence today. Perhaps he knew I would be thinking of you as I walked today, and wanted to share in that communion?

We know you’re out there watching it all go on, dad, but I just have to say out loud how great it would be for you to see what your family has become since you left. Your first Granddaughter, Aria, was so little then when you were able to hold her. And now, she’s a bright, healthy bubbling two year old. Then came Sacha James last June, and soon after came little Gabby.

Life goes on without you, dad, and though we all suffer a bit at the memory of you, we’re happy, all of us. Jamie, Kari and I, and mum, and all the rest. As I threw balls for Nellie at the park today—another dog owner on the field with me, oblivious to the true nature of my thoughts as we chatted—and as the sun rose over my sweeping viewpoint, light reflecting off the glass towers of downtown Vancouver and the snow on the north shore mountains taking on a pink and crimson glow, and Sacha, my happy, healthy little son who giggled as he watched the dogs run around, the little boy who you’ll never get to hold… well… All of it in the same breath, it’s the joy and tragedy of it all, isn’t it dad? Life goes on without you. You will not be here again tomorrow, and yet, the sun will come up again at about the same time, hopefully just as brilliantly as it did today.

Long story short, dad: we miss you. I miss you. But I’m okay. We are okay. I’ve lost friends and family before, we all have, and everybody does. In any of those circumstances but especially in this one, it is hard to put my finger on it and say definitively “this is okay, we are okay”, but at the same time, it is okay, and we are okay. I guess that’s what I want to say to you today dad, ultimately. We love you, we miss you, and we will be okay, if we are not already.
And so, I will wake up tomorrow with the sun—two years plus a day by then—and I’ll run the dog, and Sacha may or may not decide to be awake and come with us, and after that I will go to work and join the world and be the person you helped me to be.

Really, today is no different than any other day, as I think of you often and in different ways.

But today, in particular, I just wanted to take pause, to stop, and say that I love you, and I miss you.