August 7th.

One year ago today, my father passed away.

A long year, yet I’m grateful for the way my family has stuck together. The one-year mark brings mixed emotions regarding the signficance of the date. It’s the day I lost my dad, yet thankfully it’s the end of the ‘firsts,’ those dreaded occasions we endured without him for the very first time. Many people told us the first year would be the hardest, and they were right. Our family still gathered, celebrated, recognized achievements, and blew out candles, but it wasn’t the same. There is a missing link. It’s like doing a puzzle that you can’t complete, or building a tower and removing the block in the middle.

I look forward to ending what seemed like an impossible year, a year where I viewed life as before and after. The date has been etched in my brain, as in…’that was before dad died, that happened after,’ and when I see August 6th on an old receipt, I can’t help but think, ‘That was when Dad was still here.’ Maybe one day I won’t do that, until then I’ve just grown accustomed to it, kinda like I’ve grown used to instant flashbacks of Dad each time I hear a certain Tim McGraw song on the radio.

It’s certainly been a year of growing, questioning, wondering, reminiscing, and remembering, and with that, I wrote the following list:

I Remember

Your flat feet

Combing what little hair you had to the side with your fingers

Your call to say that Anderson got a Starbucks

Your walk to Dairy Queen for lunch, yet leaving with an ice cream

I Remember

Your special recipe for Cheeseball

Your love for tiny glass bottles of Coke

How you never looked at the buttons when using a calculator

When you stated your first and last name to answer your phone

I Remember

Those trendy brown Skechers

The way your eyes danced when we were all together

The Tootsie Rolls in your pocket

Countless games of Trivial Pursuit

I Remember

The phone call that morning

Holding my sister’s hand on the way to the hospital

The world standing still

Yet somehow turning the following day.
I Remember.

Remembering you always, Dad…and hoping for new beginnings.