February 4th has been a day I've hated, with good reason, for the last seven years of my life. It's the day my father passed away. This year, things are different. Mainly, because I'm different. This year, today wasn't the horrible, depressing, saddness-filled day it used to be.
I had a good day today.
I've gotten to a place in my life where as much as I miss my dad, it doesn't kill me to think about him or my life without him. After all, he's really not gone. I see him every, single day in the faces of my two boys. Thing 1 was concieved the year after he died and I knew long before our 'What-Sex-is-the-Baby?' ultrasound that he was a he. I knew he would be a little peice of my dad coming back to me and he was.
I found comfort in them today and in a letter my dad wrote to me on my thirteenth birthday. He saw then that I was becoming a woman who would be strong enough to face the challenges of the world, kind to those in need and a woman he was proud to release into society. He saw that I would be a good mother and wife and I find so much comfort in this because it answers so many of those 'What If's?' we ask when we lose someone we cherish unexpectedly.
You will always be an important part of my life, Dad. I will always look to you for an example of what to be, what to do. You were a great and wise man and you passed too soon for your time. The knowledge you passed on to me will not go wasted, will not be squandered but will be used to feed the minds of your grandchildren. You taught me so much; about myself, about life and the world. Rest assured knowing I am the strong, capable woman you saw fourteen years ago; I'm just a little more gray (yes, I take after you, in that regard too), a lot wiser and honestly, vastly more optimistic, something I know you'd approve of and it's because of you.
I love you, Old Man.
<3 now & forever