Where has the time gone?
Some days when I think of you, it's as if I just saw you yesterday. My memory images often alternate between your last days with your sparse, graying hair (you never had any gray before the chemo) and your thin face. You talked less and less the sicker you got and I remember missing the sound of your voice. Even if what you said made no sense, from the morphine, I still relished every second. And when you couldn't really speak much, between the oxygen and not having the strength, the depth in your dark brown eyes told endless stories.
But more often than not, I picture you healthy. And strong. Your broad chest and muscled arms, your dark brown hair so much like my own. Our matching Smith noses above big toothy grins. Your skinny "chicken legs" poking out from your red shorts. Your voice, so deep and smooth, as you belted out with reckless abandon, the songs you loved the most. I still can't hear "Benny and the Jets" without your voice playing in my head.
We weren't a family that said "I love you". We showed it more than said it. But I remember on my 21st birthday, after a long lovely weekend of celebration with my family and my boyfriend at the time...I was resting in my bedroom, watching Mtv. That dreaded Mtv that you hated so much.
But despite whatever silly program was on, you came in and perched on the edge of my bed, looking slightly out of place.
"Did you have a good birthday?" You asked with a knowing smile. I reasusred you that it was great, one of my best.
"Good, I'm glad." You patted my leg and stood up, as if to leave. Before you walked out, you said, "Happy Birthday, April. I love you."
And I think I almost melted into a pile of mushy, emotional goo. Once you walked out of the room, of course. That is one of my most favorite memories, Dad. So simple. But so unforgettable!
I know I say it all the time, and I definitely think it every day, but here it is again. I miss you with all my heart and soul. And I love you!
And I'll end this with one of my favorite quotes that always makes me think of you:
"Time is too slow for those who wait,
Too swift for those who fear,
Too long for those who grieve,
Too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love,
Time is not."