Today marks the day that, 17 years ago, my dad transitioned from this world to the next. I used to mark this day with sadness, or finding ways to pamper myself because “he would have wanted me to be happy,” or eating lots of chocolate. Now, I choose to mark this day with gratitude.
I feel as though I was given a gift, because, for 25 years, I had the most loving, kindhearted father a girl could ask for. I had a dad who quietly taught me about the world. I had a father who loved me, and let me know that I was loved; that I was important. Because of him, because I knew I was loved and cherished, I never “settled” for the wrong man. How can I feel sad, when, for 25 years, I had my wonderful father in my life?
Unfortunately, so many friends of mine never had this connection. I was supremely lucky.
As I get older, I’ve had to watch my friends lose their parents. One of my good friends lost her dad to cancer a few years ago, and still mourns him deeply. I would love to wrap my arms around her and squeeze-because one of the truths that I’ve learned is that our loved ones are never really gone. Truly. All we have to do is just talk to them. They will let us know that they are with us in so many small ways, if we just open our hearts and minds and talk to them.
Here’s a clip from one of my favorite movies, illustrating just this. Peter Falk’s chatting to an angel!
So dad, just to let you know, I’m doing great! I’m filled with deep gratitude, for everything. And-you would have loved Chris, my husband. Kindred spirits, you two.