Six years ago today my Dad died. I remember, as though it were yesterday how I felt when I got the phone call, drove to his house, sat in a living room across the street from his house as the paramedics did their work, told Cate, planned a service and spoke a eulogy. In many ways those first days and weeks felt like a blur. My grief actually intensified as the days wore on.

I miss him. I hate that he never knew my nephews. I’m sad that he isn’t at Cate’s birthday parties anymore. I still can’t believe he’s gone, though I completely understand that he is. I even have fleeting thoughts that I need to call him and ask his advice on something.

Though I feel rather raw and consistently on the verge of tears today, I am also aware of a deep gratitude that keeps growing inside of me. I had a Dad that I loved and even though he isn’t here, still love. He taught me a lot about doing things well and working hard, something that informs my everyday life at The Dale. I learned a lot about honest communication and confronting in love because of my relationship with my Dad.

I have good friends and family who are remembering with me today. I am surrounded by people at The Dale Drop-In who are loving me through it. I look around at people drinking coffee, jamming, chatting and cooking and think, “this is good“. My Dad isn’t here to see it, but I have the strong feeling that he would be proud. And that, however melancholy I might seem, makes me very, very happy.