Eight months is a long time. But eight months without you compared to thirty-eight years with you?
Your death wasn’t the worst, the most tragic–it wasn’t even unexpected, really. Everyone dies, and everyone grieves, so maybe it’s time to close the book, let the ink and the tears dry, to finish this epilogue of your life that I’m trying to write. You lived a simple life in a routine town, worked blue-collar jobs, fought demons and flaws and disease, and you didn’t change the world–you never even wanted to. It was an ordinary life.
But as one of the two people who called you Dad, you weren’t just anyone. You were our dad. Irreplaceable. You were solid for thirty-eight years of my life, and you’re now a ghost or an angel or a spirit sitting next to me. The opposite of solid, no longer touchable. You’re something, just not here. You’re present, but only in my mind, heart, soul.
I’m dreading my next birthday because it’ll be the year I turn without you. How does life look on the other side of thirty-eight, the first year without you? You won’t be able to call and sing to me in your Mo-Tab voice. Worse, Father’s Day is coming up, and I won’t be able to call you.
When you love someone, they are not ordinary–something I learned in my undergraduate English class on Place in Literature–and you were part of my place, part of my home.
And I am homesick.