How do I find the words?

veterans

2010

My Dad was a five time commander of our local American Legion.  Working on veterans issues was a real passion for him.  We found out a few months ago that the leadership of our Legion decided to name a room in the building after my Dad.  I get to speak words to honor my Dad at the ceremony.  I’ve been working on the speech for a few days.  I have so much I want to say, but I can still hardly believe I have to write about him in the past tense.

“My Dad was…”

“Dad would have been so proud…”

“Dad loved being around each and every one of you…”

I read those phrases with a feeling of disbelief.  How can I possibly be talking about him in this way?  I know it is all too real yet the words are written in a dreamlike state.  The words for this speech are much more difficult a year later.  In writing and giving his eulogy I was dealing with the loss on pure adrenaline.  Now, I am in the midst of truly grieving him.  I’ve had a year to mourn all of the firsts–first day of a new semester without my pep talk, first Father’s Day, first Christmas, first birthday.  I am now going onto the seconds and then the thirds and then the fourths.  My heart hurts as I think of how many more monumental moments in life we will have without him by our side.

But, having this room named after him is truly a remarkable gift.  A year later and he has not been forgotten and there will be a piece of him forever immortalized in a place he loved dearly and served for many years.  A year later people outside of his family miss him and want to make sure he is remembered.

A year later…it seems so hard to believe.

A year later…it is still a deep, deep pain A year later…it still seems like a bad dream

A year later…A year later…A year later…

How in the world can it be a year later?

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