It is my first of what will probably be many fathers day’s without you. I have been trying to write for weeks—but I get a line or a paragraph done and I hate it. I hate my writing because it still doesn’t capture what I feel. There are no words, black holes, or voids that can describe my life without you. If I get though a few hours without thinking about you I am doing well. Sometimes it feels like all of the happiness in life is gone and sometimes I feel like I have nothing to fight for anymore. I cant remember what your voice sounds like—and yet I talked to you everyday. While I have been independent and living on my own for years you were still my sense of security. No matter what everything would be ok because I had my Dad. I think one of the things that drove me everyday was just the desire to make you proud. That’s one of the hardest parts is not having you because you really enjoyed my small accomplishments in life and really felt for me when things are tough. We were like peanut butter and jelly—just a good mix. At every father daughter dance I loose it—people must think wow that photographer is really into her job—and super emotional. I can not believe you will not walk me down the isle if someday Adam and I get married. I can not believe my kids if I ever have them won’t know you. I cant describe to them how amazing you are….I cant describe to them you talents….your slight accent that I never noticed, your huge hands. There aren’t enough photos in the world to paint the picture to them of who you were. You were my best friend. You were my greatest cheerleader and you were my rock. I wish I could bottle up all of the moments we shared in the that last weekend and keep them forever—I wish I had more time with you. I would do anything for more time. I thought that the worst night of my life would be the phone call from you and Mom about my brother. I thought that I had been through the hardest worst thing in the world. The worst thing in the world was meeting you on that stretcher off of life flight and knowing just knowing you were already gone. Knowing that it was time to say goodbye. How do you say goodbye to the thing in life that makes the world go around? How do you say goodbye? The worst thing in the world was walking out of that hallway—away from your room—knowing you were about to die…..knowing the next time I saw you would be in a box at the funeral home. The worst thing was talking to you but knowing you couldn’t hear me. The worst thing was never wanting to let go of your hand—never ever wanting to leave. I could have stayed there with you forever. The worst thing was looking at the clock at 2:20 am on the drive home—and then getting the call from the nurse a few minutes later saying at that exact moment that I looked at the clock…they took you off life support. There are those moments when you do something consciously that you do all of the time like look at a clock but for some reason it is burned into your mind—into your life because at that very second everything changed. When the doctor started off talking to me that night he said “your dad will never be the same….and in the next breath he told me I had a hard decision to make” and at that moment I knew….I knew I wasn’t a strong enough person to see you suffer in critical care for weeks—I knew I wasn’t a strong enough woman to move home to take care of you because he said no matter what best case scenario was you would need 24 hour care, I knew I couldn’t deal with life with you only having half of your brain and none of your personality. I knew if you couldn’t work—make things—create—and build that you would never be happy again. At 2:41am by whatever medical standards they considered you dead.
My best friend said “you died of a broken heart” and in the days before and after my brothers memorial that Easter weekend maybe you knew—you felt you could trust Adam to love and take care of me…..and you needed to be with my little brother. Please God don’t ever take Adam away from me. I couldn’t handle it. My brother knew you were coming….I know he did. After my brother died I always felt alone because I didn’t think he ever came to visit as I like to believe spirits can. The morning before I lost my Dad Adam asked me a very random question—he peered around the bathroom corner and asked if I had used my Alex and Ani gift card yet? I replied no and asked why—and he said I should and I should send a note to the person who gave it to me when I did. I begrudgingly said I would do that…..but in my entire day of working at the computer I never went to the email with the gift certificate, I never visited the website nothing related to alex and ani at all in the weeks or days before. Around 5pm I realized I should start the lasagna because Adam would be home by 7pm. There was one thing left to do in my office it was to send a message to someone via facebook….so I left that window open on my screen so I didn’t forget. I made dinner, Adam came home, we ate, we went to the store, and then I finally came back into the office around 8pm. I began chatting with my friend Jessi who was vacationing in Cabo. Then I sent that message and I closed out of the faceook window. Behind that window was the alex and ani website with the bracelet called the path of life open in the window. So I turned to Adam who was sitting behind me in the office and I said “Ok I will do it” and he replied “Do what?” I said “this” and I motioned to the computer. He said “what are you talking about” and I said “I will use the gift card already—I get the hint” and he said “I didn’t do that” and I said “its ok—you picked out one I really like—and you know you are always more than welcome to use my computer” at this point I am beginning to get upset. I am upset because he is continuing to say he didn’t do that and I know I didn’t go pick out a bracelet. So I start to reason how this bracelet got onto my screen because I am not only starting to feel crazy but I am starting to cry. I say well maybe the cat did it—maybe the cat clicked the mouse on an ad….so I go back to the facebook page and I refresh and I refresh to see if I can see any alex and ani ads anywhere. No luck. Then I realize my brother finally came to visit….because even if the cat had clicked on an ad the ad would have not only opened in front of the current facebook window, but it wouldn’t have been a specific bangle it would have been like “mothers day sale, or new line” a big landing page ad not this very specific bangle. What I didn’t realize is that my brother was warning me not just visiting. The bangle description is “emblematic of life’s zenith and nadir moments, the path of life is representative of an infinite number of possibilities and expressions of love. Illustrating life’s twists, turns, and unexpected winds, wear the path of life charm to proudly celebrate your own willingness to travel towards life’s fruitful moments.” He knew that loosing him and then my dad might just be to much for me…he knew I needed someone to remind me to stay positive. I guess in being a photographer what I have realize most is how precious those moments I capture are. Those family formals no one likes doing—that smallest combination on wedding day with just you and your dad or you and your mom….those moments they are priceless. Time is fleeting—and time is a funny thing—because it just keeps going—even if you lay in bed and wish for it to stop—even if you don’t know how you will press on—it just keeps ticking away. The path which you were walking down can disappear in an instant and a new road begins. I hope the new road I am on is one that allows me to be a good person, and do great things. I miss you so much Dad—I hope you and my brother are happy in heaven….I hope you two have everything you ever could have dreamt of in this life. Lately I keep hearing that country song by Lonestar that says “I’m already there, Take a look around, I’m the sunshine in your hair, I’m the shadow on the ground, I’m the whisper in the wind, I’m your imaginary friend….And I’ll be there until the end….We may be a thousand miles apart But I’ll be with you wherever you are” I know its not about a father-daughter but those lines make me think of you. I sure hope you are around.