You've been gone nearly 20 years now. Hard to fathom it's been almost two decades since I've heard that distinctive laugh of yours or watched your pensive expression as you bent over the Sunday crossword puzzle.
My life has gone on, of course, as it does for any child who has lost a parent. That old cycle of life thing, for certain, plays a part in each of our lives. The cycle in our own lives, unfortunately, stepped in sooner than we expected, because 53 years was just far too young. (OK, time for some dark humor of yours to insert itself here... I hope they admire your sarcasm as much in heaven as we did here on earth.)
But when Father's Day comes around each year, I do face the day with some combination of long-standing sorrow and warm memories.
The happy memories are endless and would require a novel, not a simple blog post, to do them justice.
Still, I regret that you weren't here for so much of our lives for us to enjoy your companionship and for you to take part in our family's world. And your grandchildren--Four of them now! You'd find pride in their accomplishments, their athletic abilities, their humor, their intelligence. I can assure you that so many of those qualities were passed down from their grandfather, even though they never had the honor of knowing him.
I'm not a religious person, Dad. You'd understand that. And you'd be OK with that, too. Because even when your daughters didn't meet all of your expectations in our younger years, you always were clear in your love and acceptance of us.
And religion aside, you need to know there's still a spiritual side of me that makes me hold onto the belief that we'll be together once again, some day. Hope you'll have some pull to get me into the place where you are...
Who knows, maybe in the afterlife, I'll surprise you by matching your game on the golf course.
If not, I'd be content to just carry your golf bag.
I love you.