When I was younger I remember walking into a hair salon with my Dad. I sat in the chair and the hairdresser asked my five year old self what kind of hairstyle I wanted. I simply looked at my Dad, then back to her, and said 'I wanna look exactly like him! I want his haircut.' My Dad said nothing and just smiled at me while the hairdresser shook her head, said no, and started to offer up other hairstyles. We compromised on a style that was short, it was no buzzcut, but I came to a realization that she would be unwilling to shave all the hair off of my five year old head. I remember my Dad just being there for support and letting me make all my own decisions - even barter with the hairdresser. But that's just one of the things my Dad always did for me. He always supported me and let me be my own person - no matter the decision or outcome.
On March 19th, I had to say goodbye to the one guy in my life that I knew I could count on. I had the most amazing father a girl could ever ask for and I was so incredibly fortunate to have a bit of time with him in the hospital before he passed. He was in an incredible amount of pain near the end of his life and though it was excruciatingly difficult to watch him go, I can sleep knowing that he no longer has to feel that pain.
How can I say this? He didn't deserve the 5 years of battling this aggressive cancer. He was 49 years old and I know we hear it all the time, but he was too young. My Dad barely drank, never smoked, ate pretty healthy, and was always kind. He did nothing but put my mother and I before his own needs. Since the day he was diagnosed, he never complained, not once. He took on the cancer with nothing but a brave face and humor, lots of humor.
My Dad influenced me in countless ways. Most people can recognize the qualities they pick up from their parents. We are who we are, because of them. My mother and father have done nothing but influence me in positive ways to make me the person I am today.
I don't really know how to explain it. I am a different person now. I can say I have experienced what will be undoubtedly one of the most traumatic things in my life. I feel that I will never feel or be the same but, that's okay.
It's been almost two months since he's been gone. It still doesn't feel real most days but some days, it hits me hard, like right now - as I write this. Or moments where I see something and think 'Oh! Dad would love to see that, I'll tell him about it next time I call or see him.' - then I realize, I can't do that. Am I ever going to stop having moments like that? Probably not, but that is also okay. I don't really know if there is a proper way to grieve. I am still figuring that out. Time is also a strange concept to me now.. because how has it been two months without him? Some days it feels like it happened yesterday and others, well, it feels like a lifetime.
Proud. That was one of the last things my Dad was able to say to me. While sobbing, realizing that it was probably the last moment where he was going to be conscious enough to communicate. We held each other's hand and he told me he was proud of me and will always be proud of me. I sobbed even harder and we told each other 'I love you' over and over again.
I love you Dad. I miss you. I will do everything in this life knowing that you are and would be proud of me. I'll work hard but take care of myself and make sure to have fun. I'll be kind, focused, strong, independent, and goofy. I will always be goofy. Just like Grandpa, your humor will always stick with me. I have no doubt about where my sense of humor and ability to be easygoing came from. You always showed me that humor was important, whether you meant to or not. There is not a day that goes by, where I don't miss you deeply.
I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you.