It’s been more than a month since you passed away.
I talk to you sometimes. I hope you can hear me. I hear your voice calling me “kiddo”. I cried the other day when I dialed your cellphone number to see if your voice was on the recording. It was. You sounded a little tired and it made me think about all you have been through.
I miss you so much. I see everything so more deeply since you’ve died. I look at the grandsons living with me and I see them as you would. I can hear your laughter and see the funny face you would make when you reached out to tickle their stomachs.
I ache right now. Writing about you does that to me. It brings forward all the emotion and love and pain for you that I keep tucked away. Not the love so much as the pain. Sobbing until I couldn’t breathe got old after a couple of weeks, so now it’s a simple tear or two, usually behind my sunglasses where no one really notices. Other than mentioning you in conversation, I don’t talk in deep discussions about you, except sometimes with Mom or April. No one else seems to be able to handle it, even more than me. Denial is rampant right now, but who am I to say my siblings should grieve like I do? I know they love you as much as I do and maybe miss you even more because they saw you more often than I did.
You are present in every part of my life. I am making a tough decision right now, and frankly Dad, you are all over this. I feel the strength in me that I learned from you, the willingness to work for what you want, and to not be afraid of life’s challenges. I am going to purchase a mobile home that needs a lot of work, but has good land with beautiful trees. We can have animals there, Rayna will have her horse when the time is right. I saw some free goats on the computer a couple of days ago so I will look into that too. Chickens too. I remember going out and getting fresh eggs in the chicken coop we had when I was growing up. Do you remember that? Lol. Do you remember the year you didn’t want the chickens to freeze to death in the bitter Indiana winter, so you put heat lamps on inside the shed and burnt all their feathers off? LMAO. Do you know what that means? LMAO? Laughing my ass off Dad. Yes, at you and your silly mistake. Good intentions, naked chickens. LOL.
You are my hero and you will always be my hero. I wish so badly I could sit across the table from you, right now, and tell you things. Tell you what it meant to me when I was pregnant in 1981 with Richard Jr and you came over to the house and brought me a card. It was so sweet and so appreciated and I saw the love you have for me and for your first grandbaby that night. I will never forget it.
When my cousin, Joey, died later that year, you were instrumental in keeping me away from all the grieving and sadness because I was still pregnant with Richard Jr. Everyone was afraid I would miscarry if I got too upset.
I remember the night I went to your house after you and Mom divorced, you had been to the bay side of the Island and had a bunch of crab claws and melted butter. We sat and talked and broke crab claws for hours.
I miss you Dad. But you should know you are still alive, as much as if you were standing in your Earthly body in front of me right now. I feel your presence, your influence, your strength, your memories, your lessons, your convictions, your love.
I adore you, I love you, I miss you, I long for your face and your voice, and I see you in my eyes every single time I look in the mirror.