I guess for the most part life itself hasn’t changed that much since you have been gone. The grass still needs to be cut, the garbage taken to the curb every week, everyone goes to work each day it seems that the daily routines haven’t changed. But what has changed is the emotions and feelings of those who know and love you. I cannot express the amount of joy and love that you brought into many people’s lives as they themselves stumbled through life’s unexpected joys, griefs and labor as the days came and went. You were the best example that I know of someone who could handle anything that was thrown at them, a master of figuring things out. The go-to guy.
When it first happened everyone told me about how this feeling would get better and easier with time. It made me feel a bit better, knowing that with time, I would be O.K. again. I can say that death does something to you. It hardens you. It tempers you. The thickness grows much like the callouses you get from swinging a baseball bat. Trough the repetition of plugging forward daily, your mental strength builds along with those callouses and pretty soon you can no longer hit till your hands bleed because those callouses go to the bone. There is no longer any pain, no longer any blisters, only mental toughness and physical callouses to protect and allow you to continue doing what you are doing, live. Having lost your father when you were of similar age I’m sure that you know what I’m feeling, dad.
There is no doubt that those callouses have formed over the past two years but there is always that memory and carries the sharpest of blades to cut right through the callouses and consume every single emotion within. Without the slightest warning or cause that earliest memory of you comes back to me, consumes me and cuts right through linty he callouses that have grown. It’s ranged from hearing a certain song, driving a highway that was traveled in the past, looking at pictures, or even setting a foot on a baseball diamond as a coach. There isn’t a game I haven’t looked out in the crowd to see if you are in the crowd.
Today happens to be Father’s Day, so it’s a bit obvious that those callouses are not present and life seems to have held still since that Friday. But to be honest, most of life has been seemingly holding still.
Here’s to you, dad. Thanks for never putting a cap on my mind, but for always planting seeds, lessons, and character. Not just in my own mind, but in everyone that you met. You are missed by many and loved by many.