Losing my dad feels as though all that was once good in the world has vanished. A glass that was once more than half full of love and hope and happiness has dried up. Never again will it be as full as it was. But its strong 24-year-old base built by a loving father will be filled drop by drop with renewed love and hope and happiness.
We might all want to consider starting from scratch. I now notice how insignificantly we spend the time we have. My dad once told me, “You have too much good energy, kid, to waste it on things you shouldn’t.” He’s right. If we transferred half of the energy we expend on meaningless things to ones that actually matter to us (family, laughter, smiles, cooking, fishing, friends, health, research, education), the world we’ve created would actually be one to be proud of.
I am the proudest daughter of the proudest dad imaginable. There is not one thing I do or think that isn’t a result of how he made me. And now I can’t imagine doing anything without him. I thought I always knew how much my dad was a part of me. Turns out I had no idea. I’ve found myself left with a hole in a heart that was once bursting with joy. I’ll never be the same person I was, but I will be a person he will be proud of. I’ll never have the same kind of happy, but I am determined to recreate happy.
I tell myself that my dad would want me to be happy, but being truly happy without him is impossible. I won’t ever be the same okay again without my dad to tell me that I will be okay. So I’ll find a different version of happy. And a different version of okay. Not yet. But some time.
You will always mean the world to me, Dad. I love you.