I’ve never been one to set a huge store on particular dates. If we celebrated my birthday a few days before or after—say, on the weekend instead of the Wednesday my birthday fell on—all was well. And such celebrations were usually pretty low-key. But I find it impossible to glance at the calendar and see August 26 and 27 looking at me without reliving those terribly tragic days a year ago.
I miss my dad.
There’s no getting around it. I’m angry that he’s not here to help my brother through his divorce. I’m griefstricken every time Kara reaches a new milestone and he’s not here to share it. When Kara plays with her adopted family at church, as crazy as it sounds I’m jealous for my dad’s sake that he’ll never be able to play with her the way they do.
And yet, those are just… moments. The real tragedy seems to me another illogical emotional loophole: that, for the most part, my day-to-day life remains the same. My dad is gone and nothing should be the same; everything should be different; there should be a big gaping hole in my vision—something, anything to show me and the world what has been lost.
But there’s not. And while in a way it seems tragic, I simultaneously rejoice in that blessing. My life remains largely the same because I have no major regrets. I know how very much he loved me. And he knew how very much my husband loves me; my father gave me away to a man we all know treats me as well as Dad ever could. And though Dad will never see Kara smile or hear her laugh or watch her crawl and walk and play, he got to see her entry into this world. He left me with a whole new family of my own and the sure knowledge that it was an offshoot of, not a replacement for, my home nest.
It’s true that in many ways life will never be the same, but the love he showed me throughout his life will continue to be an inspiration to me, just as it always has been.