Today I’m thinking about all those things I miss about having Dad healthy and here with us.
It goes without saying that I miss everything. Some things make sense in terms of what I miss, but others are memories that mean a lot to me and may seem trivial to others.
I miss his voice. I do have a DVD with clips of family reunions where his voice is heard. I play that more than I probably should. I was devastated when I learned that my cell phone had automatically deleted his voicemails to me and there was no way to get them back. I get scared sometimes that I cannot hear his voice in my head. I miss his voice.
I miss his special ring tone and text tone. We talked or texted everyday. I’d hear his text tone and get a smile and welcomed the break to text for a few minutes. Or, I’d give a small laugh after I made his ring tone drum corp and he’d call. Yes, I miss talking to him and sharing with him. But, I miss that sound that tells me he is on the other end. It seems strange, I know, but when you are used to those sounds and what they represent you miss them. No one else can be my “gong” or “Drum Corp” notifications.
I miss his reassuring hand on my shoulder. Dad and I could have deep conversations about life and about things going on in the world. Sometimes, during really bad times, at the of our conversations we couldn’t say anymore and he’d put his hand on my shoulder, his lips would be tight across the front and the only sound that would come out would be, “tut.” He got it. I got it. I knew we’d be okay.
I miss his fried potatoes. Man, I do not know what that man did to those potatoes, but I’ve never been able to recreate them. Hubby loved Dad’s breakfasts when we were home. He did them right. Dad would laugh and tell me they are just normal potatoes fried in a pan, but I don’t believe him. He was saying something to those potatoes to make them so good.
I miss him complaining to me that I am messing up his lawn. He would OCCASIONALLY let me mow the lawn at the house. But, boy, he would pace (he’d exaggerate that pace to make it dramatic) but not really because he loved his lawn and loved having it “just so.” Hubby now takes that task because, like Dad, he doesn’t think I can mow a lawn properly. But, I love being on the riding lawn mower at home and coming over every inch of the land he loved, but miss the ball cap being thrown to the ground (in a comical manner) and the clutching of his heart (Fred Sanford style) when I would mess up the mow lines.
I miss him giving Abigail Pepsi, ice cream sandwiches, candy, cakes–you name it–he’d give it to her and then tell me he “forgot” I didn’t give her that kind of stuff. I miss him sending a weekly DVD for her. I miss him calling just to listen to her babble. I hate that my daughter will never know the kind of Grandpa he wanted to be.
The list could go on and on, but for some reason these are the ones on my mind. But, I also miss something else.
I miss the person I was before he died. The saying “Death changes everything.” is no exaggeration. There is no way I can be the same person before as I am after. I live a full life. I laugh. I joke. I love. But, I’m not the same. You are fundamentally altered after such a loss.
While it will be sad to see another year pass without him, I will remember to laugh as much as I can during this hard month because I am so fortunate to have so many things to miss and love about that man.