The last thing Dad and I said to each other at the hospital that night when he died was me asking him if I could get him anything, and he told me that he had all he needed. I had no way of knowing that just a few minutes later, he would draw his last breath and would be gone from me. I tried to tell him that I loved him, but his soul had already gone to be with the Lord. Being with him when he dried was the best and the hardest thing I ever did.
Even today, almost 38 years later, I so miss his easy smile and his dry sense of humor. And I often long to just be his little girl again. I realize now that I took that SO for granted when he was alive! It embarrassed me to have him pull out my 2nd grade school photo and show it to his friends - especially when I was 18! I never understood that he did it because it was his way of saying he loved me.
Dad's influence on us continues on. Just the other day, my husband made reference to him while we were working on the rebuilding of our deck. Dad was a craftsman, precise and correct in everything he did. He was intelligent and a very good problem solver. He did his best in every thing he did, and expected that from us kids, too! I didn't understand then that he was preparing us to succeed in the real world.
Dad lives on in our memories and in our hearts. Just wish I had had more time with him and that he could have known us, his kids, as adults - after we had obtained some degree of sense!
The broken heart and sorrow we feel is a tribute to the relationship we had with the one that has died. The emptiness we feel in their passing from here makes Heaven more real. Sometimes the hardest thing about the death of a loved one or a friend is to realize that the sun comes up tomorrow, and life goes on. We never stop missing them; we always remember them; and on those days when we can touch their memory, those memories are precious and comforting.
On this Father's Day weekend, I remember my Dad. I miss my Dad. I still love my Dad.