“But, does it really impact you? You don’t live with your parents, you don’t depend on them, and they aren’t part of your everyday reality. How does losing your father now make your life that different?”
1. It’s different when you come home to visit, and there is one less excited family member to give you a giant bear hug at the door.
2. It’s different when you meet people and they ask you “what do your parents do?” and you have to carefully use past-tense verbs, hoping they won’t notice.
3. It’s different when your friends complain about their dads constantly calling them, texting them, and embarrassing them. It’s different when they say, “damn, my dad is calling again,” because you would do anything for one more call or bad dad joke in a cheesy text message.
4. It’s different every year when Father’s Day rolls around and you’re bombarded with Hallmark cards and “perfect gift ideas,” constant reminders that you’ll never get another chance to get him that new fishing rod and toolbox or just tell him that you love him, and that he raised you well.
5. It’s different when your car won’t start and is making weird noises, but you can’t call him to ask what to do. It’s different when you’re drunk and don’t want to drive but can’t call him to come pick you up.
6. It’s different when you graduate from university and there is one less cheering, beaming face in the crowd than there should be.
7. It’s different when you land your dream job and all you want to do is go out with him to celebrate, because you know how proud he’d be.
8. It’s different when you meet that guy or girl that you think you might love, and your dad isn’t there to put the fear of God in them should they ever break your heart. And to remind them, semi-jokingly, that he has a gun.
9. It’s different when you’re planning your wedding, because you know that you won’t have the first man you ever loved to walk you down the aisle and give you away.
10. It’s different when people ask you where your dad is and you have to explain to them that he’s gone. It’s different when you have to say that to yourself, every time you forget and think you might actually get to see him again.