A year ago today, I lost the love of my life.
I didn’t realize it until he was gone. I knew I loved him wholeheartedly and unconditionally, but losing him is ultimately what it took for me to realize that I will never love another man as much as I love my father.
The last year has been awful. I’ve cried almost every day. I miss him terribly, and everything reminds me of him. There’s still pain, and a lot of it. I know it’s going to take time to move on, but right now it feels like that moment will never arrive. It’s hard to want something so much and know that you’ll never have it again.
He was my hero.
And worst of all, my little girl won’t remember him. She won’t grow up with the constant taunts and torment, the silly comments and the bags of candy from the gas station. She won’t get to ride down bumpy, old dirt roads in the country or go looking for deer tracks. She won’t have the wonderful memories that I wanted for her. I can tell her about him, show her pictures of him holding her, but it won’t be the same. Yes, it’s easier for her being so young… she doesn’t have to feel the loss and she’ll be too small to remember me being a wreck of a person, but even that sadness would be a small price to pay for the joy.
In the last twelve months I’ve struggled through paralyzing grief, bouts of manic rage, and long stretches of crippling depression. I know it’s all part of the process, but it isn’t me. I’ve never been one to cry. I can’t focus long enough to write, and anything even remotely resembling responsibility scares the hell out of me. I don’t think I can handle the disappointment of failure right now.
Right after he died, I used writing to deal with the immediate grief. I wrote Devil’s Daughter in just under a week, and I don’t remember writing large portions of it. When I go back and try to read it now, it’s extremely hard to do. A large part of me is in the story, and it hurts to see what I was.
I’ve come a long way, but I know I still have a long way to go, too.
Today has to be my turning point. I’ve been miserable long enough. And if I know anything, I know my Dad would kick my ass for crying over him. Then he’d kick my ass again for being such a sucky human. And then he’d probably give me a box of Andes mints, because that was what he did.