Project 365: Day Two

"You kids get off my law...n. You know what? Never mind. You stay where you are. I'll go."

Project 365: Day One

"On the darkest days, when I feel unloved, inadequate, and unworthy, 
I remember whose daughter I am and I straighten my crown."

It feels like something I read in a book. The plot is familiar, the details and circumstances are known, but it doesn't feel like something that happened to me. I'm not the one living in a world where my dad isn't. I don't have to think about how the only security I have is what I create for myself. Nope. None of that is me. I still have my childhood home to return to. I'm not wondering who thought I was ready to be a grown up, and marveling at the fact that I am ready to be such, even if I don't necessarily want to be.

My dad is still alive.  

At least, it feels like he should be. The intonations in his speech still ring in my head. The way his eyes grew distant when he would concentrate on some lesson that he felt he really needed to impart is clear in my memory. In my mind's eye, I can see his every gesture and facial expression as if he's right in front of me - 

- and yet he's been gone for 11 years.

Today was hard. It wasn't as hard as some years, and easier than some others. Still, it was difficult. I was reminded that I never stop missing my dad: the one who showed up at my track meets, never flinched from eating my latest creation from the kitchen, and never mocked or belittled my interests or ideas, but encouraged them. 

I have never been able to write about him in an adequate fashion. To do so, I'd have to look my loss head on. I'm still not ready for that. 

I'm grateful for this grief, however. It means that I had a dad whose love was so great that it altered my entire universe. I'm glad that he was my dad, and for the years of dinner and coffee dates that resulted in these memories that sustain me now that I can no longer see his face or hear his voice. 

Thanks for everything, Dad. You accomplished what you most wanted to achieve.

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