Fifteen years ago today, we laid the shell of my father’s soul to rest. He was no longer here. And my world forever shifted. Yet life continues on its narrow and wide paths. And still I stand as a tribute to my father.
There are those who still remember. Who remember a calm, intense presence. Humble, powerful leader. And remember a man who would sacrifice in the name of love.
Sometimes I wonder if we didn’t disappoint him. In the end. Praying for a healing that would not come on this side. Sometimes I wonder if he would have been able to slip away more gracefully if we had allowed him to live out his last days differently. I wonder. I just wonder.
Years later, I long for conversations. Conversations that I play out in my mind often. I wonder about how I might be if he were still here. Would I have gone through a wild, college, woo hoo girl phase? More than likely. Would I have fought so stubbornly to be my own self? Yes. Would I have made the same mistakes, had the same successes? Yes and no. It’s all about choices. I’ve made them. Regardless of my father dying now or then – I still had choices to make.
The memories are different. They shift and twist with experience.
The memories are still the same. Am I not still his little girl?
In moments of quiet clarity, I think how proud he would be of me. Of my sisters. So encouraged by the close friendship between the three of us. How we so enjoy just being together. Proud that his grandchildren know him because my sisters talk and share stories of him with them. Proud that my best friend Elle can’t wait to meet him because she feels she knows him already.
For now heaven is but a little ways off until we all reunite again.
Until that time, I will stand as a tribute.
One who has not forgotten and is so very grateful for the time we had.