I came out of the library today to have the sweet spring wind rolling of the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains greeting me as the chrome doors slowly closed as I paused for a second to take the fresh aroma in. The time of year is one of my favorites; it’s warm enough to go outside in shorts and a thin t-shirt, but not hot enough where I will sweat buckets.
As I moved my way to the cobblestone, where I normally cross the street to make the quick two-block walk home, I saw something out of the corner of my eye.
I thought I saw you, dad.
At least, I thought it was you behind the wheel of a crappy burgundy Mercury something or other; he looked like you, albeit a younger version of you, but you nonetheless.
I glanced twice at him and each time I did, I squinted my eyes as to focus on your clean-shaven face; I hardly remember you without your grizzly Adams beard, but the times you did shave, you looked so handsome, dad. Perhaps, ‘dapper’ is the right word to use. He had the same sun-leathered skin look as you did; you spent so much of your time attending to your beautiful bleeding hearts, roses, tulips, and gladioli, so having a heavy sun-kissed look was to be expected.
For a moment, or even a few moments, I think my heart stopped. My breath was caught in my throat and it was painful to even shape my lips in an inquisitive fashion. Tears started to form in my left eye, though I could blame it on allergies — for some reason, dad, I have so many horrible allergies in Colorado.
It took about 45 seconds of me looking like a total moron starting at this man, and maybe it was when he got out of his car and gave me this, “WTF are you looking at, bih!?!” look, that I came to my earthly senses. Once I did, he really didn’t look a thing like you……so I wondered, was this just my imagination, or did you come and say ‘hi’ to me today?
Today, dad, I missed you. I missed you so much.
There are days where I can’t remember you, and it scares me. I can’t remember your musky smell or I can’t remember the sound of your breathing machine when the weather became too humid for your breathing capacity to tolerate.
There are days, when I can’t picture your face anymore. Am I bad daughter because I admitted to that, dad? I can’t make out your face when I dream of you, which becomes more rare and rare.
Today, I missed you, dad.
The cherry blossoms are starting to form on the trees lining the street in Olde Towne Arvada and I know you would love it here. You would love it here so much. And the humidity is nearly non-existent, so it would be easier for you to breathe. I have always wanted to show you the Red Rocks — OMG, dad, you would love them. It’s so beautiful.
I imagine you would love my German Shepherd, Scottie, so much, dad. He is so loving, protective, and loyal — just like you — with a bit of quirkiness to boot.
I imagine I would show you all the parks here, dad, like Wash Park lined with its gorgeous and majestic flower gardens or the Denver Zoo and I know you would love the Botanical Gardens.
The flower shops are so various here, dad, and I would want to share all of them with you; I’d need your green thumb to help plant a beautiful herb and flower garden. Dad, you can’t imagine how horrible the soil is out here.
Then, as the man slams his door shut, I wake up from my daydream.
You won’t ever experience these things. I won’t ever be able to show you.
But I know, more than I know how to spell my name, that one day, when we meet in heaven, that we’ll talk about it.
It’ll be you and Kandy and Mimi; I can visualize you – in your perfect self – with no bloated stomach, no oxygen tank, with your teeth in tact, and you’re walking again — greeting me as I make the transition over.
Oh, dad, I can see you walking again and not just walking, but running and leaping with your arms thrusting in victory to greet me. Running to meet me as we embrace and everyone is so happy.
Dad, today, I missed you.
I scare myself when I can’t remember the way it sounds when you call me ‘Tam-toe’ or the snoring sound that comes from your room when you finally do get some sleep. I can’t remember the way your stew tastes, dad, but I do remember you were best cook. The way you put love in your food, is the way I want to put love into my children and my words.
But I’m scared, dad, I’m so scared.
I’m so scared that one day I won’t remember you at all. That one day, I won’t have a negative nor a positive feeling in trying to grasp memories to remind me of the best father in the world.
I don’t want to forget you, dad. It frightens me that I may forget forever.
It horrifies me to such an extreme, I get goosebumps of displeasure and fear, and all I can do is sit and wait.
Wait for a sign or something — a note from heaven signed, sealed, and delivered from you.
And I wait.
And I wait.
And I wait.
It’s almost 3:20 in the afternoon and time for me to get Zachary from his bus stop.
That’s my sign, dad.
That’s my reminder, I will never forget you or all the pleasant memories we shared.
Zachary has the twinkle you had in your eyes; he has your hearty laugh and his love is amazing.
Today, dad, I missed you.
And like the cherry trees, and their blossoming buds, I know my heart will always have an eternal memorization of you even when my mind fades into the darkness of nightfall.
Like the cherry trees, the heart never forgets your undeniable love and life’s inspiration to me.
Today, dad, I missed you.
I missed you.
I miss you, dad.
I. Miss. You.