FamilyGrowing Up

For The Girl Who Lost Her Dad Far Too Early

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. TC mark

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Indiana University. B.A. English. Follow Ashley on Instagram or read more articles from Ashley on Thought Catalog.