Five years ago today, you took your last breath here on Earth, and my world has looked a lot different ever since. I honestly can’t believe it has been five years. Well, in some ways I can, because it actually seems like an eternity and the blink of an eye all at the same time. It has been five years since I have seen you, talked to you, and had you give me directions for just about anywhere I needed to go. I live in Florida now, but I still don’t doubt that you would figure out how to get me places, because that is just who you were.
People tell me all the time that time heals all wounds, and in some ways they are right, but in other ways they couldn’t be more wrong. Most days I am okay. I get up, go to work (I work at Disney World now, Dad, it’s kind of unreal when you think about it) and I deal with people and sports and everything else in between. I have my friends, and we have family down here who I am so thankful for, and those three girls keep me on my toes. You would have loved them, Dad. Because that is just who you were. You loved everyone, and you never met a stranger. But there are other days (days like the one I am writing this) where it is hard to breath through my tears and my heart hurts so much from missing you.
You saw me do so many things in the 22 years you were here with me, but you have also missed a ton in the last five that you have been gone. You missed my senior season of softball. And I have to admit that first game at home without you in the stands for the first time in my life was weird and extremely hard. You missed me student teaching and all of the funny stories I got from my kids. You have no idea how many times I picked up the phone to call you to tell you one, only to realize you wouldn’t be on the other end of the line. You missed me moving down to Disney to work the first time and becoming a lifeguard at a place that you and I saw from Tower of Terror when I was 12. Me. A lifeguard. It was a wild year to say the least. You missed us getting mom a dog. His name is Oreo, and while he has turned into a brat this last year, he has been so good for our family, and I know you would have loved him.
Yes, five years ago today you got taken from this world and from me. And while you have missed a ton, there are things that I am thankful that we did when you were still here. I remember our times when we would sit out on the dock and fish and just talk about life or sit in silence so we wouldn’t “scare the fish away,” or the times when you would call me to check on me just to see how your baby girl was doing. You will always be the first man I ever loved, and my #1 hero, and even though I am grown at the ripe ol; age of 27, the little girl I once was misses her daddy. Thanks for being the best guardian angel I could ever ask for, and know that I love you always. You are missed so much, but I know you wouldn’t trade your seat in heaven for anything. Keep watching out for me down here—this girl will always need her daddy.