If I were to look on the calendar at this date, 8 years ago, there would be no indication that it would hold any significance. It was a Sunday, the day before Memorial Day, and across town my father was sleeping in his bed. Except that morning he would not wake up, and spent the day in a coma, while friends and family flew in and gathered around him and whispered words of love and comfort and assurance until late that night when he finally, quietly, peacefully, passed away.
On the first anniversary of his death, I sat across from my mother and said words I wasn't sure I meant: "It's just another day."
As time goes on, I hold on to those words with such fierceness that I've come to believe them. My father does not die again every May 25th. He only died once, and the sadness of that day is not something I want to relive, or memorialize. If I were to choose a date to remember him, it might instead be my wedding day - when he told me how proud he was of me, and how full his heart was with love for me. It might be the day I had Katie - when he stood nervously by my side and threatened my doctor and held my tiny daughter with his giant hands, so very carefully. Or it might be any of the countless days when I was a scared child, or a floundering teen, or a struggling young adult - when just his physical presence calmed me, and his faith in me made me believe in myself.
I do not miss him today more than any other day. I do not think of him any more than usual.I will honor him the best way I know how - by living my ordinary life. By loving my family and laughing plenty, and by remembering the best of his days, not the worst. I miss you, Daddy. Every day.
2 weeks ago