On this day, 24 years ago, my father passed away. I miss him in a way that is hard to explain — it is no longer a gut-wrenching, agonizing grief, but a someone-is-missing way. It’s a melancholy ache I feel when I think of all that I want to share with him, and so I share him with them, with anyone who will listen, really, but mostly with my boys, who never knew him. I tell him about his gangly, goofy walk, of his hot temper, of his practical jokes and love of art and photography.
I tell them the stories my aunt told me about when he was a boy hiding in her closet for what felt like hours to her, until just the right moment, and springing out to scare her after she had been sitting at her desk for so long she had been sure she was alone. I tell them about the funny ways he said certain things, sayings that Andrew and I often banter back and forth between laughter. It’s how he lives on — through his art that hangs on our walls, on the walls of our family and friends, on the walls of galleries across the country from where they were taken so many years before — but also through our words, our stories, our memories and the feelings that flood our hearts when we think of him.
Today, we celebrate you, Dad. We miss you, but you are with us always.