Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Still Miss My Dad

Today marks 4 years ago, my Dad lost his fight with lung cancer.  The loss of my father is no easier today than it was then.  I can make a lot of sense why things occurred the way that they did from a medical standpoint.  But like many others who have been or are in this situation, the struggle is with the fairness.

There are not many photos of me in my childhood with my dad.  Unlike today where everyone is obsessed with photos to post on social media, everyone wanting to share their life stories, pictures just were not that big of a deal back in the 1960’s.  And then came the divorce.

I no longer really talk about the divorce, because of how it affected the first half of my life, what it took away from me, away from us.  It was always something that he regretted.  Instead, when it comes to remembering my father, it will always be the second half of our relationship, that I would truly learn about my Dad.  I would finally have that relationship that I was prevented from having as a child, albeit in a wonderful way of my own.

My dad “grabbed the ring” for the second chance that he had been given with me, to be the grandfather of my daughters.  And they both loved my Dad.  Holidays which had always been a reminder of tragedies in years past, were once again a joyful thing to experience.  My daughters of course looked forward to the tasty treats awaiting them at “Pappy’s house.”

When my Dad would retire from his job, he had decided to drive a school bus, which at one point, I swear I would never have thought he would even think of.  But for the couple of years that he did drive, he shared so many stories of the many young children that he drove to and from school.  When we would visit with him, he seemed to have such an excitement about him that had increased since our last visit, he wanted to hear from his granddaughters the laughter and the stories from them, like the ones he had heard on the bus.

But I do still miss the friend, the talks, and the support.  I definitely appreciate everything my Dad did for me.  Most importantly, he showed me the importance when dealing with a difficult situation like divorce, and the impact it has on children.  To his last breath, we did not talk about details about the divorce.  And that was his choice, which I respected.  He made decisions when I was a child, decisions that he had to live with, whether I agreed with them back then or not.  But the decisions were what he felt was best.  He kept from talking about the divorce because he knew that a parent had no right, nor any business involving a child in the process.  And of many of the things that I look up to about my father, this is just one that is something I keep in mind every day.

By the time my father had passed, I had learned about my father, from him and from others, everything that would make him one of the people I will always admire most.  He was humble.  He was definitely stubborn.  He always believed in trying.  And he definitely loved his family.  The paternal side of my family is not known for their longevity, but in spite of everything he had gone through health-wise, he did reach his goal of the age of 70.  Still, there was so much more for my Dad and I to have done, for him to have experienced with his grandchildren.

I miss you Dad.

I always share a story that I wrote and dedicated to my father, “My Dad Was Just Like Me,” which you can find under the tab marked “Pages”.

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