December 14th marked the 10 year anniversary of my dads death. I often find myself getting more emotional and sensitive around this time. I find myself needing "my fix." I go through pictures and the few things that I have of his. I keep a few of his shirts in ziplock bags- when I open the bags I can still smell him. His scent takes me back to so many wonderful memories when things were easy. Not that things are not easy now, but after he died I had to grow up fast. I was out on my own in so many ways.
My brother and I always try to have dinner on the anniversary of his death, so this year was no different. We included our families since it was the ten year mark. Sitting at the dinner table, I looked around and could not believe how much he has missed. How has 10 years passed? He has missed weddings, deaths and births. So many wonderful grandchildren that he would love so much.
Sometimes when I drive to our old neighborhood I still say to myself that my dad wouldn't believe the changes, or lack of. My grandparents live only 2 doors down from my old house, so I always see the home we shared. The home where I said my last goodbye to him. If I stop and think about it too long, I get very upset. I can still see the gurney being pushed down the driveway.
This year I dug up my Senior Legacy that was due just a few months after he passed. I wrote the whole thing about him. It made me smile to go back and see the stories and the pictures I included. So many memories fade after 10 years.
I also included the speech I wrote for his funeral.
Within the senior legacy, I wrote a sonnet about my dad. It actually ended up being published in a book.
His hands were the anchor of my being,
The strength of my soul and the dawn of day.
They held me high and kept me believing
While leading me forward to show the way,
His love of life reflected in his eyes,
Shining ahead like a luminous light.
I felt his warmth through the force of the skies,
The blue of the ocean, the depth of the night.
His compassion for others helped me see
The true picture of his love for mankind.
Always encouraging me to be me,
His heart engraved the journey through his mind.
The hands, the eyes, the heart of a father
Mirrored in the spirit of his daughter.
For dinner this year, we decided to meet at outback. My dad always loved a steak!
Kylie being silly.
Landon and Kylie having a picture contest.
Kane loves Kylie so much. Every time she would go over to him, he would wrap his arm around her. Sweetest thing ever!
Kane and my brother. My brother wore one of my dads old work shirts. He had a commercial roofing company- O'Malley's National Maintenance.
Big blurry group shot, that's what I get for letting the kids play with my camera!
My dads favorite color was green, so we all wore green to dinner in his honor...this was the same thing we did 10 years earlier for his funeral.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rains fall soft upon your fields and, until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
-Old Irish Blessing