Ten years ago today, my father died. It still seems like yesterday, and yet somehow, enough time has passed that I’ve now spent ¼ of my life without him.
He died about two months after Steve and I told him doctors said we couldn’t have children. He never met any of my children and I that’s one of the hardest things of all. I want my kids to walk through the woods next to him and have him point out which plants were edible and which plants were toxic.
I want him to tell them about the time he was camping with his future brother-in-law and a cougar appeared on the other side of the campfire. My dad got away without a scratch, but the other guy wasn’t so lucky! He caught a paw-swipe across the chest.
I want him to name the constellations for them and explain that a quark is an elementary part of matter. I want him to tell them of the time I was nine and he bought me a book bag with “Anything boys can do, girls can do better.” When I told him some of the boys in the class were upset, he laughed and smacked his knee. “I bet they were,” he said.
I wish he could see how much, Zach, our only biological child is like him. Most of all, I wish my kids had the opportunity to know what a wonderful grandfather they have. I still miss you, Dad.