My father passed away a week ago today. Nothing can prepare you for losing a loved one, especially a parent, and I've been living most of this week in a complete daze amidst fuzzy blankets, boxes of tissues, and trays of comfort food. While ill for many months, my father's death has been the hardest, most painful experience I've ever had to face. I'm forever grateful for the three decades I've had with him, and that his passing brought him peace, yet completely saddened that he died just eleven weeks before my little girl is due. Knowing she will never meet my father is heartbreaking beyond words.
I've had lots of time to reflect with my family this week about the wonderful person my father was. There are so many good things he taught me that I hope to share and pass along to my daughter. Above all, my dad was generous and kind. He always looked out for the little guy and helped people in need whenever he could. He worked hard for what we had and always encouraged me to complete every job to the best of my ability.
My dad taught me to love all kinds of music, from oldies to cowboy songs, and nurtured my musical abilities from a very early age. He also taught me to love reading (even though I never saw him do it much himself), and got me hooked on using computers as a young girl. An abundance of music, books, and technology gadgets certainly had a profound impact on who I am today, and for that, I am thankful.
Most importantly, my dad taught me to have a sense of humor and enjoy life to its fullest. He was a true kid at heart and a really funny guy, yet his jokes were often the silliest ones you've ever heard. He loved collecting toys and had lots of little trinkets in his office to play with. He always kept a great attitude, even when the cards didn't fall in his favor, and I rarely saw him get angry. He never doubted a risk I took, and often told me not to worry so much.
There are so many things I will miss about my dad, and it's the little things each day that remind me of him that will be the hardest to move beyond. I'm choosing to keep those little reminders close to my heart, though, and find comfort in knowing he will always be with me.