It’s been 9 years since you left us…

It’s been 9 years since I saw your face.

It’s been 9 years since I inhaled your scent.

It’s been 9 years since I held your hand.

It’s been 9 years since I pressed my cheek against yours.

It’s been 9 years since I looked in your eyes and we said all of those things that only a father and daughter can know and understand.

How long is 9 years? Can you really calculate it? It’s a few seconds ago. It’s yesterday. It’s last month. It’s as far back as I can remember. All of this rolled into one concept that has been assigned a number simply because science and mathematics deem it must be.

Where would you be right now had you not left that day? What would you be doing? What would you be thinking? I’ve had a million of those conversations with myself lately, especially considering the craziness in the world today. How many debates would we have had by now?

And then there is the other side. Where would I have ended up had you not left? What would I be doing? I can guarantee back then, I never would have seen myself where I am now. I had an entirely different life path happening.

There are those who think I have held on too long or have been too emotional, that you shouldn’t be on my mind every single day of my life. I don’t care. It is what it is. I’m actually more afraid of the day when I do lose you in my daily thoughts. It’s like a small part of you that I hold onto, a small part that is still here with me, guiding me along the way and protecting me. I can still hear your voice in my head when I do something stupid. And even when I do something right.

Even better is when Mom’s voice also chimes in. And I wonder how the two of you are doing up there now that you’re together. I love it when you come to visit me in my dreams, though you’ve been letting Mom do more of that lately. I guess it’s right that she has her turn. But I still miss both of you.

I’ve been watching The Golden Girls again. I know every word and every punchline and can still hear you laughing hysterically, even after seeing each episode for about the 50th time. I flash back to when the show originally aired and I would curl up with you on the living room floor to watch every Saturday. I feel peace and comfort when doing so.

I have also been rewatching the 2006 Jane Eyre series. I was so annoyed that you kept me up so late to watch it, but agree it really is one of the best interpretations out there. That was our thing. I still find shows and books that I want to share with you. I don’t expect that will ever go away.

But still, 9 years. That number 9. That number of closure and completion. It has a sense of finality, though it doesn’t have to be. It’s also the start of something new, as it means the beginning of a new cycle. What is going to happen in the next 9 years? I can’t wrap my head around that in the future, just like I can’t wrap my head around it in the past.

But as those days drop away, I’ll still be thinking about you and missing you, for those few seconds, into next month, and as far as I can see into the future.

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