|From christmas 2007|
Today marks the 2 year anniversary of my dad's very sudden death. It was the day our little family's shield of "it'll never happen to me" was shattered. The day that confirmed (unnecessarily I might add) how lucky we were to have each other. The day that the tired old cliches used to feebly make mourners feel better went from just empty to plain irritating. ("everything happens for a reason", "God doesn't give you any more than you can handle" HA - I say - you handle what you are given. Regardless of what or why it is. Perhaps most damaging..."I know just how you feel." I'll leave that one alone though lest I go into a rant I'd rather not participate in today.)
We are still reeling from his absence. I know there are days that I'd love to call him still and tell him what funny thing the babies he'll never meet have done.
It's hard to believe how much my immediate family has changed in the 2 short years since his passing. He missed my nursing school graduation by 6 weeks, Damon's law school graduation by just over a year. Sean had just started college - and this week he signed his undergrad papers and is marked to finish next fall. Kyle is working to finish around that same time. Collin started med school (I know, we are just a school addicted family). Mommom passed away. I had triplets - his first grandchildren. Mom went back to teaching...and those are just the major happenings, never mind the countless intimate family moments now left bittersweet and incomplete.
I will never see the joy on his face as he holds his grandchild(ren). One of his greatest wishes was to educate all of his children to the point that they were completely financially independent. I can only imagine that he knows we are actively accomplishing that goal.
I remember Mom and I talking with the priest in planning Dad's service in Houma. We both said how Dad was a man of few words, but the ones he uttered mattered immensely. If he said things were ok, they were. If he said act - we did. He would add his opinion only when he felt incredibly compelled - which wasn't very often. But his silence made him that much more influential in our lives. I can't imagine a day in which I won't ask myself if he's proud of me - of my family - of our accomplishments. There are many instances in which I mentally ask what he would do given the same situation.
He was fair, stern, reliable. A rock in our family and a head of our household (even though he let us believe we were all somehow in charge!) Of course he was not without faults but he was one who knew what they were and was accordingly humble. The sting of his loss was felt immediately and is in most ways undiminished still today.
I hold a few stories of him close to my heart - ready to tell when the babies ask, "who's that in the pictures?" or when David asks, "where does my name come from?
Dad, you made more of an impression here than you ever could have realized (or ever gave yourself credit for) and will be sorely missed and dearly remembered always.