I think of you when I look at my kids. I yearn to hear you laugh at the crazy things they do. I wish you’d stop by the house and take us out for lunch. I still feel I should leave an empty chair for you at their activities or birthdays. You were always a couple minutes late but prepared with your video camera. I wish you weren’t a memory to them. I wish you weren’t a story.
I think of you when I take the back roads. You taught me how to blow a bubble while on a car trip. You practiced my spelling words with me as you drove me to school. We jammed out to Garth Brooks while driving to Louisiana. We were in the car a lot. You in the driver’s seat, me right next to you. You loved to go the back way home. The atlas was your friend. You seemed to take pride in finding the road less traveled. I wish we could have one more car ride.
I think of you when I pass a golf course. Growing up, if you weren’t home, you were at the course. I never understood it. Golf bored me (still does). You’d always say, “Track’s my job. Golf’s my game.” You’d golf to clear your mind. You’d golf to be with friends. You’d golf for reasons I may never understand. I miss your passion. I wish I’d have let you teach me how to play.
I think of you through any sports season. I can hear you yell. I can hear you argue. I can see you texting all your friends to either heckle them because their team lost, or to dispute some BS call. But it’s track season where I really miss you. The track just feels a little empty without you there. You were the smartest coach I ever met. I wish you were still there with me.
Just the other night, I walked into my bedroom to find Tony rocking Brooklynn to sleep. This is rare. She usually wants Mommy. Tony said he had to fight her for five minutes, but she eventually caved and let Daddy sing her songs. I stood there and watched the two of them cuddled in that rocking chair as she dozed off to sleep. A daddy and his little girl. I was proud because I know how lucky she is. How lucky she is to have a daddy to run to, a daddy to protect her, a daddy to love her unconditionally.
I thought of you in that moment. I missed you, but I was so grateful for you. Grateful you were there for me. Grateful you allowed me to be who I am. Grateful you were my role model. I was so grateful to have a daddy to have loved.
It’s been two years since we said goodbye. I think I’ll always wish you were here but I’m forever thankful that you were there when a little girl needed her daddy the most.
Love you and miss you,