21 years...

this picture in this frame has been through life with me.

21 years ago life shifted in an instant for my family. in the morning there were 4 of us - by the end of the day.. 3. 

how anyone wraps their mind around tragedy is still something I don't understand - I guess people are just resilient. even as a 10 year old I knew I had to be strong. my brain told me to 'suck it up' and life would go on and everything was going to be okay. that stuff is kind of true.. things are okay & life does indeed go on whether we want it to or not. unfortunately when it comes to grief the brain isn't all that's involved. 

my heart is still just as shattered today as it was the day the policeman knocked on the door. my heart will forever have an empty spot where you should have been and becoming a parent myself has made that hole even bigger.

I miss you.

I try hard not to be - but I'm jealous of all the people that get to have their daddy. I want to be one of those girls. a 'daddy's girl'. I look at my kids sometimes and pray they never have to feel the pain that I felt for a long long time. (also because he's my husband and I don't want to lose him any time close to soon.. preferably I go first in about 120 years haha) I want them to have childhoods full of a father's love. memories they can truly hold on to for a lifetime. teenage moments where they are terrified of their father and he's down right angry at them. all those cliché things - I want them to have all of those things and more.

I have spent the last 21 years searching for signs all around me from my father and he's always delivered - I promise to never stop looking - but it's not the same as you actually being here. though.. I do know that without you here I've become stronger and I know it's a huge part of how I became who I am in every single way - but part of me will never stop wishing you never had to go. my heart always ached more for you in those pivotal moments like getting ready for a dance.. what would it have been like to have that 'protective' father making my date nervous haha or when I graduated from high school - a proud dad with a big bear hug at the end would have been amazing. not having a daddy-daughter sweet 16 dance like all of my friends was next to impossible to witness over and over again at every party but topping that list was having to walk down the aisle at my wedding alone.. I know you were there but in that moment I really really wanted you next to me.

but those were all moments that passed by and are over now.. the real stuff that I want you here for is the every day. you and mom should be here and be grandparents. i don't think I will ever stop being mad about that. it's not fair. and maybe I sound like a toddler having a tantrum but it's how I feel all of the time. I try to talk about you and they don't know who I'm talking about. honestly.. Cy doesn't even know who I'm talking about. he saw a picture of you the other day and said, 'wow, you really do look like your dad' - I was happy and sad at the same time but mostly angry - I want my husband to know my father. I want my kids to know their pop.

people like to say 'it gets easier' but I call bullshit. we just have to go on with our day to day stuff and life goes on.. but on days like today all the emotions boil to the surface and I kind of just want to stay in bed and miss you all day because all that missing you builds up all year long and today I get to let it out. it's like clockwork at this point but it's not easy. that's a lie. whoever started saying that to make people feel better is a liar. missing someone just becomes part of who you are against your will..

I've been missing you for 21 years and I'll continue to miss you for as long as I'm here. give mom a hug for me and don't stop sending those signs - I love you daddy. 

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