It’s been three years. Three whole years since you left. I know it was all for a better place, a place without pain, without cancer and non-functioning kidneys. And I’ve laid to rest the guilt I used to feel. But I still miss you.
Abby was only two weeks old when we went to visit you after your first heart attack. I admit that I feel regret that she won’t know you. And now, Nathan. Some part of me believes that you met Nathan before he came to us. I cling to that hope some days. It feels like a tiny shred, but I hold it tight all the same.
Did I mention I miss you? I miss the silly jokes we would play, when we would reach our arms across each other in the car to point at things, when we would joke about taking bicycles out from underneath their riders as we passed by. I miss zebra-striped french toast. I miss long car rides out in the countryside where it was calm and quiet.
I miss you when I’m playing games with Abby. I miss you when Nathan comes running to me to give me a hug or just to cuddle. I miss you when I’m driving the long drive to Dawson Creek or the even longer drive to Vancouver where we pass through some of the places we used to drive to together.
I don’t know how I can tell my babies about you, how to tell them that they have a grandfather who isn’t here anymore. We haven’t really broached the subject of death with Abby yet. I’m not sure where to begin.
Some days I wish we had more pictures of you. But you were more often behind the camera taking the photos instead of in front of it, posing. And while those pictures are still special, it’s not the same as having a picture of you to show your grandchildren what you looked like, to put a face with the memories I try to share with them.
Anyway, I just thought you might like to know that Nathan kind of looks like you, sometimes when he wears a certain expression or arches an eyebrow. Abby tells jokes that I know you’d love, and her drawings are starting to be more purposeful as she draws proper shapes like rectangles and circles.
I love you, Dad.