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One Year Later

31 March 2014

Dear Dad,

Can you believe it? It’s been a year since you’ve been gone. If someone corrected me, showed me how I was reading the calendar wrong, and pointed out that’s really only been a month, I would believe him. It feels more like a month.

Dad 1Except that the baby isn’t a baby anymore.

I know you see, but sometimes I wish you were here to hold him. He’s so funny and he’s so smart. And already so much like you.

His hands remind me of you – wide fingernails and palms. He definitely doesn’t get that from his father. He’s going to have your hands, and I hope every time he notices their strength he remembers stories that we’ll tell him about you.

And he’s got the dog whisperer gene. He loves dogs and they love him. Just last week we were out walking, and two big golden retrievers came charging their fence as we passed. Playfully – I know these dogs – but still barking and jumping and moving really fast. He squealed his excitement and ran toward the fence. He has no fear. 

I turned 30 too – without much fanfare. You didn’t miss much. I got a new part-time gig writing (and editing), which is pretty cool. Timothy is focusing on his art this year, and it’s going really, really well.

Dad 2Mom’s doing okay. I think. I think she still doesn’t tell me everything ’cause she’s trying to protect me from something. You know how she is. She keeps herself busy as ever, although I worry about her at night sometimes.

Nothing at the house has changed, except that she rearranged the bedroom a little. Your coats are still in the hall closet. Your handwriting is still on a note on the fridge. I think everyone likes it that way.

She gets mad at you sometimes, but it’s that mad that only happens with people we really love. And it’s only that mad that happens when something is easy to know but hard to understand, easy to consent to but hard to let go of. She misses you, and I think she feels a little left behind. There are a whole bunch of people here who love her dearly, though, and we’re doing the best we can to help her figure out life without you.

There’s not really much else to say. We’ve kind of been keeping our heads down, I think – the way a person pulls his head into his shoulders after he’s been smacked. Watching our feet more than the horizon to make sure we don’t stumble … and probably to avoid looking at what might be out there. And I guess when you’re only ever thinking about your next step it’s easy to forget how many you’ve already taken, and it’s easy to lose track of how much time has passed.

One year

Sometimes I wonder if I’m too numb. If I’m doing this right. Sometimes I feel like I still don’t get it, like I’m still waiting for that day when it really sinks in.

We all have our days – at least I know mom, Timothy and I do – when the hole in our hearts burns a little bit hotter, and we cry a little bit easier. But for the most part, we’re still moving forward, and we’re unspeakably grateful for the confidence we have that we can move forward without leaving you behind.

Because we know you’re not behind. Not in a box. Not imprisoned in memories and photos. You’re in our future. And I know that the gap between now and then is much shorter than it seems from our disadvantage.

Love you. See you soon,


2 Comments leave one →
  1. tammywheatley permalink
    15 April 2014 4:05 PM

    I was just wondering today that it must be close to a year….I guess my clock was off a couple of weeks and I missed you posting this.
    “Sometimes I wonder if I’m too numb. If I’m doing this right. Sometimes I feel like I still don’t get it, like I’m still waiting for that day when it really sinks in.” <<< Yeah, That. That is exactly how it feels. They say 'Time heals all wounds'. In my experience, 'Time provides the means to get used to it'…but 'heal'?…There will always be that hole, because there will never be another like the one who is gone. There is only one Dad, one Husband, one Grandpa. We get used to the fact that there is this hole there now. One that will never be filled by any human again. Then, for those who trust in Christ, we let Him fill that hole with His goodness and love. I still don't fully get the whole 'Christ will be your husband thing'….but I go with it and let Him be God.

    • Lex permalink*
      21 April 2014 8:56 AM

      Thanks, Tammy. I think about your family a lot when I think about my dad. It’s nice to know, from someone who has been doing it longer, than I’m not doing it wrong. 🙂

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