While driving past New River I always think of my Dad. While going up north and I was thinking of my dad and realized that it will 15 years that he has been gone. That number took my breath away. Each year it seems like I have different emotions when approaching his death day. This year it seems shocking to me that he has been gone 15 years. That just seems impossible. Just saying the number hurts my heart…..How can it really be that long???
Life does seem to just go on when at the time I wished my world would have just stopped. My world was filled with sadness, hurt, anger, confusion. I was a lost 14 year old girl trying to find my way alone. At that time in my life everything was going wrong, a dead dad, an alcoholic mother, a family so far apart from each other it seemed like there was no light, only dark. Life was lonely back then. His death did not bring my family closer together, only drove us more and more apart. I would not go back to that time in my life for anything. Though I believe that I would not be who I am today without that life experience, I would not like to relive it.
I owe a lot to my dad for me helping me be the person I am today. His death, his life, who he was and the person I knew, are all factors in me, who I am. He loved his children, though had a harder time expressing or showing all the time, he loved us. I would love to have him wrap his arms around me and hug me like he did when I was a little girl. Nothing like a daddy hug.
One of my favorite memories is our very last Christmas together. He gave all of us big, giant candied apples. Mine had M&M’s on it and that was by far the best Christmas gift I ever got from him. It was a reminder that his presence was the gift, him being there to give a special gift to his children (though they don’t remember the candied applesJ). Those moments you can’t get back and once those chances are gone, they are gone forever. Thank you Dad for leaving me with that memory, I will never forget it….
Dad, 15 years ago I said goodbye to you. I hope you are proud of the women I have become and continue to be. I miss you and I love you. Love Ash.