I turned 50 this year. You died 14 years ago today. You came into my life 24 years ago, nearly half my lifetime ago.
I shake my head thinking about the numbers.
I hardly recognize the man I was when you were born. I like to think I did my best with you for those precious ten years of life you had, but when I look at who I’ve become, who I’ve grown into, what I’ve achieved, I wish you were still here to see me. I have so much more love to give than I ever thought possible.
I blame Farah for that.
You only knew her the year before you died. You never got to see us get married; never got to see the life we’ve built together. It’s an incredible, beautiful, magical life. We celebrate you every year. We acknowledge you in random moments where I go silent at some random event that reminds me of you and she quietly asks, and I nod, while biting back tears. Through her I’ve learned to love myself so fully and completely, to love others without wanting anything in return, to accept the love of others freely and without fear or suspicion.
And there is so much love in my life.
I have 4 goddaughters, each of them beautiful, wonderful, and magnificent in their own way, and I’m so grateful for them in my life, that they actively and profoundly want to be in my life.They are all adults now, which also blows my mind. I give to them completely.
I wish you could’ve met them. They would adore you. I just texted the eldest one, and she said “Of course she remembers you”, which made me smile and cry at the same time. I will definitely have to call her after this so we can talk about shared moments with you today.
You would’ve been 24 this year. That blows my mind. You were 10 the last time I held you in my arms, the last time I looked in your eyes, the last time you drew breath. I wonder how different you would be now. Would I still recognize you as much as you might not recognize me? I like to think we would. To think that our bond, our love, would let us pick each other from any crowd. To know that we are forever family.
I know I haven’t written the last two years, and I have no excuse. When I sit at the keyboard, the tears flow freely, even after all this time. You’ve been gone longer than you were here, and yet it was only yesterday that we shared every moment within those ten years together. You are alive in me, in my memory, in my heart, captured and preserved for my entire life.
It makes me sad to think that when I am gone there may not be others that remember you, so I commit to not missing another year where I post here so at least there are a few that can capture a small glimpse of who you were, and what you meant to me. What you still mean to me.
I guess it’s also selfish for me to keep posting as well, not just because it’s therapeutic, but because one day my own memory of you may fade, and I will have only these notes to trigger the emotions, the love, the heartache, everything, of you.
Even thinking about the possibility of forgetting brings more tears to my eyes. I feel that would be the greatest sin of all, forgetting the life of one that meant so much. I understand now why when my grandfather fell to dementia, how truly tragic it was for him to lose his wife again and again. To forget someone that meant so much to him only to hear of her passing anew.
I love you. You were my best friend. You saw me through one of the most challenging periods of my life. You never faltered, only ever showing me unconditional love. I did my best, for what it’s worth. I’m not sure if I was a good dad, but I like to think you were happy, that I provided you a good life.
I miss you.