A father is supposed to be there to protect his daughter every day of her life. I did not get this from you.
A father is supposed to give his daughter away at her wedding. I will never get this from you.
A father is supposed to answer his daughter’s call every time she hears a strange sound coming from her car. I will never be able to do this again.
It’s been almost two years and I still find it hard to exist in a world where my father doesn’t. Most days I don’t even think about it anymore, but today is not most days. I get weird every year around this time, and it feels like the day I received the call. It was the call that changed absolutely everything for me. I never got to say goodbye. I never truly got to understand the pain that you were going through.
But you walk with me every day. I carry you with me on a daily basis. My eyes are small and a little too close together, just like yours. My skin is oily, just like yours. I live for ramen and pepperoncinis, just like you did. I love chocolate cake and a frozen Reese’s buttercups, just like you did.
I get a strange sense of happiness every time I see a pack of Marlboro Reds. A smile overcomes my face when I see a Budweiser. I feel a sense of relief every time I see a toothpick or an ice cold can of Pepsi. I know they’re small things that remind me of you, but now, that’s all I have left. I’m no longer able to create memories with you, because you are not here. I am able to laugh at the what I do remember and thank God that I had those times with you.
You were taken in what seemed like a blink of an eye. Most days I am not the girl whose father died. Most days, I don’t even think about it. Most days I find the will to choke back every tear.
Today is not most days.
Today I am reminded of that hurt. Today I am reminded that I am a part of the Dead Dad’s Club. Today I am reminded just how lucky I was to be able to have a Dad like you.
You were the first man to have my heart. You brought me into this world, and I fight the urge to call you every single day. The day you left this world, I looked at life entirely different. I found that putting up with people’s bullshit and unkindness should no longer be tolerated. I found that life is unbearably short and can be taken within an instant. I found that people are what matter.
I hold you close to my heart every single day. For all of my girls who are missing their fathers that are no longer here with us a little extra today, light a candle, play some Cole Swindell, watch the Cubbies fly the W, and look back at every memory you had together and be grateful for who that man has helped you become.