Memories and Gratitude

When my dad was on hospice a family member asked, “What’s a favorite memory with your dad that you’ll always remember?” I responded with a half laugh, “That’s a hard question!” My aunt Joni chimed in, “There are just too many great ones, right Jess?” My Aunt Joni is right but I felt badly that I didn’t have a more satisfying answer to give to my other family member.

When my dad passed, I found myself reliving his last days and replaying his last breaths in my head. With such sadness, it was really hard for me to get past the experience of watching someone you love so much, die. I had some genuine concerns that those favorite memories of my dad were getting buried by his last moments here on Earth. Since that day, I have tried my best to recall  my favorite memories with my dad. It’s true that there are too many to count but why not try to remember them all?

My dad’s service was just about a month ago and it was filled with the sharing of so many wonderful memories. On behalf of my entire family, thank you to those who attended. Thank you for crying, laughing and sharing stories alongside us. It was so powerful to see how many of your memories and stories shared the same great characteristics we all know to be true of my dad. Stories that showed his faithful character, loyalty, generosity and warmth. He had a larger than life spirit but one that didn’t take up the whole room. A spirit that sat in the corner and brought out the best in everyone else.

The memories that others shared and continue to share have helped me remember my fondest memories too.

It’s been 6 weeks since my dad passed. I no longer feel the need to dwell on my dad’s death but rather than his life, legacy and our dearest memories. It feels like a good place to be right now.

Our hearts still ache for a big dad hug, or some wise advice and that unforgettable deep laugh. It is daily that I remind myself that I carry my dad in my heart.