Here it is, another Father's Day without my father. My life looks so different than it did on the first Father's Day without him back in 1998. Back then I was a rising senior in high school balancing my quirkiness with my intelligence. Somewhere around Father's Day '98, I was figuring out how to adjust to a move from Illinois to Maryland. I was going into my senior year into a vastly unfamiliar area. I was essentially starting over at the end. I had to navigate the world minus one parent and with a parent who was slowly declining. I had to begin to adjust to having my grandparents, who I only saw a couple of times a year, now being my full-time roommates. I had no time to dwell. No time time imagine the what ifs and would could have beens. I just had to live.
Now all these years later I have kept living. Taking care of my mother, living together and managing all of our idiosyncrasies and doctors appointments together. Now starting a new job that combines my degrees and supports my desire to help others, just like my dad. Recently, my mom has told me many times how proud that my father would have been of me. I hope to that it is true. I hope that my life is a testament the sacrifices that were made on behalf of my mom and my dad. I hope that I am a reflection of the kind of person that he would have wanted me to be.
My dad passed away 18 years ago, but while some memories fade other memories are always as if they happened just yesterday. I tell my friends who have lost a loved one that it doesn't get easier but you just learn how to adjust. And I will admit that sometimes it hurts more now than it did then. But I keep going, i keep living because I am sure that is what my dad would have wanted.