I glanced at the date- August 24- and a lump caught in my throat. 29 years ago, my life was forever changed. I think about it almost every year on this date, even though I cannot remember anything about the day. Not even one thing.
My dad died instantly in a skid steer accident. I can’t even imagine what a terrible day it was for my mom and close family and friends who were old enough to comprehend what had happened. Even though I have lived through the shock of the unexpected death of a close family member twice since then, and I can remember those days all too well, this was different. A young man, father of 2 little children and husband to a young woman who is 6 months pregnant with their third child, is practically indispensable- not that I think of anyone as dispensable, of course.
I can’t imagine explaining to Emily that she would never see her daddy again. She’s just a little older than I was at that time. Apparently I didn’t understand at all, because Mom says I asked for my daddy every day for months, until one day I just stopped asking entirely. I often wonder if I blocked out the memory, because I do remember something that I am told happened the week before his tragic death, so obviously I have the ability to remember back that far.
Even though I cannot remember him, I miss him, sometimes more than others. I wonder how different my life would be with him in it. I don’t think it’s being melodramatic to say that my entire life would’ve turned out differently. This major event had to be part of shaping my personality and view of life, and I am sure I have made different choices because of that, and the changes that happened as a result.
I can’t imagine how it would be to try to raise 3 little children without a dad. I know it can be done- there are lots of single parents in the world, for whatever reason. But it can’t be easy. My husband has been gone a lot lately, and it’s hard on me and it’s hard on my girls. But I know that eventually things will slow down and we’ll see more of him again. And we still get to see him and talk to him some of the time. I can’t imagine how much harder it would be truly be a single parent.
We all survived the loss of this important person, of course. Our lives have gone on, we’ve grown, we’ve changed. My mom got married again, to my dad’s brother, and they had 5 more children. But I wish that I could remember my dad. I wish I knew more about him. I miss him… 29 years later.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait until that day… no more tears, no more death, no more struggle- not to mention, that day when I get to see the ones I miss so much.