twelve years

twelve years ago today, my dad lost a five year battle with colon cancer.  i remember every minute of those last few days like it was yesterday.  it’s hard to believe that more than a decade has passed since i last heard his voice.

though he was very sick, nobody expected it to be his very last trip to the hospital.  he was such a trooper we thought he'd bounce right back like he always did.  on that last hospital stay, i remember him sitting up and shaking his head in disbelief watching the tragedy of 9/11 unfold on the news.  he was certain that the terrorist was saddam hussein and cursed him for his monstrosity.  he didn't survive long enough to find out the truth.  he left us just two days later.  

sometimes, i find myself having juvenile thoughts and wishing i could go back in time a couple years before his diagnosis so that i could somehow prevent it all from happening.  i wish i could take the knowledge i have now and give it to the child version of me so that my dad could still be around and meet his grandchildren and enjoy retirement from all those years he worked so hard to support our family.  i guess i'm still a kid at heart.  

i know life goes on but twelve years ago it was hard to accept the fact that time didn't freeze after death. instead, it kept moving forward.  time was passing and everyone went about their normal daily activities.  the days after my dad left, i would stare at his worn out shoes at the front door where he last took them off.  he was no longer there, but the places those shoes have taken him hung in the air before me.

i miss him so very much but i know he's in a better place now with no suffering, no burden, no more pain.  all i have the power to do is continue to live a life that i know would make him proud.  i will raise his grandchildren with the same undying love and devotion he had for my mom, my sisters, and me.  and i will pass on our secret handshake to my children,  instill an appreciation of the Beatles and the King of Rock and Roll (Elvis, of course), and share with them the deliciousness of vanilla ice cream with canned pineapples.

remembering my dad today...and everyday.  

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