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?