As of yesterday, my Papa has been gone for 19 years. I phrase it that way because it seems a little morbid to refer to “anniversaries” of someone’s death. Anyway, I tried not to think about it too much, but I couldn’t seem to shake a low-grade funk all day.
I miss him. It’s such a simple thing to say, but to truly miss someone is a concept we don’t often take the time to understand. When I say I miss him, I don’t just mean that I wish he were still alive. I mean that there are things I’d like to do with him that I can’t. I would like to introduce him to his grandkids (he wouldn’t care about the “step-” any more than I do).
I would like to hear his voice again. I’ve now lived longer without him, than with, and I can’t really remember what he sounded like. I remember him being a very good singer. I was blessed with both parents being exceptionally gifted in the vocal department, and was always being dragged around to different functions (church, barbershop and whatnot) and singing was an integral part of our lives. So it is something fundamental when I say I miss his voice.
I would like him to tease me about my hair going grey (and going away). I would like his advice on parenting.
One of the things I regret most about him dying so young, was that I never got to take him to dinner. I remember the first time I took my Mom to dinner. It wasn’t preplanned that I would pay, but when the bill came I took it, and she didn’t fight. It’s subtle but meaningful step in the relationship between a child and their parent. And I never got to do that with him.
None of this resolves anything. I still miss him, and I guess I always will. And I don’t have a problem with that.