Remembering My Dad

May 10th marked the 20 year anniversary of my dad’s passing. It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long, and yet it feels like it’s been a lifetime.

I remember, all too well, the details of how that day went. I woke up to the phone ringing incessantly. I ignored it at first, until I heard my mom’s broken voice on the answering machine asking me to please pick up. I asked her what was wrong. “Something’s happened to your dad but they’re not telling me what’s going on,” she said tearfully.

No sooner had I hung up with my mom, there was a knock at the front door. I looked out the peephole to see a local police officer on the other side. My heart dropped and I knew: something really bad has happened. A former policeman, my dad had told me they only send cops out to deliver bad news.

I opened the door and the officer asked if I was Jerry’s daughter. “Yes,” I replied. He then asked if my mom was home and I told him she was on her way after getting a phone call from the hospital. He was so kind and when I asked him what’s going on he said, “Well, I think it’s best to wait for your mom to get here.”

I looked him straight in the eyes and said, “They don’t send cops out for good news. Please tell me something.” He just hung his head and said, “Honestly, I don’t have all the details yet.”

My mom finally arrived home and I got into her car while the officer talked to her out of my ear shot. She was visibly upset and shaken. The officer then got in his squad car to speak to dispatch. Just as I had suspected, it wasn’t good.

He lead my mom and me back inside the house and dropped the bomb.

That day changed my life forever. I’m still dealing with my dad’s death because I don’t think I let myself grieve the way I should have. I just went into survival mode and never looked back.

My poor brother had it the worst. He was only 14, just going into high school. My heart breaks just thinking about it.

My dad was a jokester. He was the baby in his family and he was the typical little brother. His personality was what he was known for.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and how different life would be with him here. I know he’s in a better place, at peace and not suffering. But the selfish part of me wants him here, making memories with us.

Dad, I miss you and love you. I miss your infectious laughter, words of wisdom and comforting hugs. I’ll never forget your hugs—they were the best. You’ll forever be in my heart ❤️

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