Jun. 23rd, 2017

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Eleven years.

I'm starting to forget the Before, and that scares me. I've lived too long in this strange shattered, half-mended world, and all that came before is starting to seem like a hazy dream. Did I ever have my dad here with me? Was it all wishful thinking?

Deep down, I know it all happened. I had twenty-two years with him, full of thousands of stories, card games, hugs, bad jokes, four-wheeler rides, fishing, root beer floats, target shooting lessons, history discussions, dancing, bread baking, support, encouragement, and love. It was Real, it Mattered.

But right now, those years seem like a faded memory. Something that happened hundreds of years ago, a story from a history book. Not something that I experienced, not so long ago.

I don't want to forget. I don't want to feel like all those experiences happened on a movie screen. I want them to be Real again. I don't want to be comfortable in this new world. I want the old one back.

Eleven years ago, my world cracked into jagged shards around me. I've been picking up the pieces ever since, trying to salvage them and tie them together to create something new. And most of the time, I think I've done okay. I've scraped together a life for myself, one full of family and friends and love, one I can be proud of.

But it's never going to be like Before. There's no going back, there's no "getting over it". It's just learning how to live in this altered, broken world.

I wish more than anything else that my dad could meet his grandsons. I wish he could meet his son-in-law. I wish he could have seen me get married, graduate with a master's degree, get a job at a museum. I wish he could have enjoyed his retirement. Every day of my life, I wish he was here to crack a bad joke and give me a hug.

Dad, I love you, deeply and fiercely. I will continue to love you as much as I can as long as I can. And I promise you that I will Remember.


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June 2017

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