When a parent dies, it doesn't matter what age you are, you can't help but feel like a lost, scared little kid. Today is the second anniversary of my Dad's passing. It's still not easy.
I know I was luckier than some. I got the chance to have my Dad walk me down the aisle, to have him hold my babies, to ride Thunder Mountain together, to say good-bye. I am thankful for those gifts. Still, I can't help but wish that he was here to see my kids grow up, watch Jack and Aidan play hockey, cook us his famous pineapple sweet and sour chicken, or flash me one of his amazing smiles.
Even though I miss my Dad everyday, I know he is not lost to us. I see him in my nephew Aidan's passion for hockey, Caitlyn's attachment to pens and notebooks, my niece Ainsley's love of reading, and Jack's infectious smile. I see him when I look at my brother and the devoted father he is to his children. My Dad lives on in us and in our memories.
Although I debated whether I should share my grief about the loss of my Dad in this blog I decided that all too often we hide our emotions, afraid of what others will think. Feelings aren't things you should have to hide or be ashamed to express. That was just one of lessons I learned from my Dad. He was the type of person who would rather hug someone than shake their hand. He expressed his love for his family and friends on a daily basis. Growing up that way meant we always knew we were loved, and that whatever we did, my Dad would be there for us. And it also meant that there wasn’t anything left unsaid. I'm thankful for that peace.
Today I tried to focus on all of the good memories - to celebrate my Dad. I cooked his pineapple sweet and sour chicken for dinner, laughed with my kids about some crazy Granddad stories, and let my family know how much I love them.
And his legacy of love lives on...