Yesterday would have been my dad's birthdy.
Even after more than 10 years I miss him so much.
I was doing OK yesterday - or maybe I was fooling myself. But in the early hours I woke and all the pain of loss came flooding back and the tears were there again. I wish he was still here, I wish I could see his smile and hear his voice. I wish I could talk to him and listen to his advice. To be safe in the knowledge that he loved me and would be there for me, whatever happened.
I met my friend Sue some years before Dad died. She'd lost her father not long before and missed him dreadfully - like me she was a Daddy's Girl. I distinctly remember her saying to me "Cherish him, because you're like me, and you are going to miss him if anything happens".
Yes, it does get easier to get through the days and weeks, but the real shock is that there are still times that catch me off guard, it's often a piece of music, or the simply the mellow sound of the euphonium which he played beautifully. Hearing Schubert's Serenade on the radio is guaranteed to make me cry for this was one of his solo pieces and is one of the loveliest pieces of music I know.
He was completely straight and certain in his beliefs - he knew what his life was about and what was right and what was wrong - he'd tell you if he thought you were wrong, but never ever reject you for having a different point of view.
This time of year is full of anniversaries and reminders and sometimes the sadness just overwhelms me. I try to blur the worst dates, the ones when my mum and dad died, but ingrained special dates are harder - my eldest nephew's birthday is at the start of September, I wonder if he even remembers the many hours he spent with his Grandad. My own birthday is on the 15th - and I was actually born on mum and dad's wedding anniversary so that's a tough one. Two weeks later on the 28th, well that's mum's birthday and two weeks after that it's dad's. Please spare me a kind thought if you can. I'm so sorry, this isn't fun is it?
So I'll just go now and try and find myself some peace and maybe some comfort in doing something practical. But before I go think on what Sue said. If you're a Daddy's Girl too, and you still have your beloved father - then cherish him because you can't begin to imagine what it's like not to have him there. Hoard your memories, Let him know how much he means to you and give your dad a hug - because I'd love to be able to do that to mine and I can't.