Man, it's been too long since I have blogged. I have pictures to share and stories to tell, but alas, today is not the day for it. Soon, I promise.
Today has been a hard day for me. February 16th is the anniversary of my dad's death. It has now been 7 years since I last got to hug him or talk to him. And it's hitting me. Most years, I notice the date and go "Man, this sucks. Oh well," and move on with my day. But this year, it's been very present in my thoughts all day. :-(
I think the hardest part of my grief is for my children. My dad was made to be a grandfather. He had so much fun with little kids. Babies instinctively loved him. They would relax, snuggle and sleep for hours on his chest. I remember one time when my twin cousins were super little, I think like 2 months old, they came to visit. All of us went out for something, including their parents, but we left the babies at home with my dad. (In hindsight, I'm impressed- being left alone with newborn TWINS?! Duuuuude.) When we got home, Dad was in his recliner, with both boys snoozing on him. A-dor-able.
But my kids don't get to experience that. I don't get to see him make Jilly giggle or cuddle with Jason while watching sports. He lived in the same ward that we live in now, and he would go to Church with us, if he was still around. But instead of getting to see Grandpa all the time, they get to visit his grave and see a headstone. Instead of getting hugs and wrestling with him, they get to hear stories secondhand. It makes me really sad, because I just KNOW that they all would have been the bestest of buddies.
I have only been to my dad's grave a couple of times since his funeral. I just didn't see the point in going. He's not there, not in any real sense. That may be where his body was laid to rest, but his spirit is off on important errands. Today I just knew that I needed to go. It was pouring rain and by the time I got around to finally dragging us all out the door it was getting dark. We got there and had to wander for awhile until I found his spot. We only spent a few minutes there, but I'm glad we did.
I don't know how I'm going to tell my kids enough about their Grandpa Brad. I probably can't. But, I will tell them as much as I can. I will tell them how much my dad loved to watch sports. I will tell them how he rooted for college teams (1. BYU, 2. UW, 3. USC, 4. UCLA, 5. The rest of the Pac-10). I will tell them that he used to do theater tech as a high school and college kid. I will tell them that he loved to wrestle with me and my sister and always let us cuddle with him. I will them how many hours he spent patiently sitting on the couch, while I was perched on the top behind him, sprinkling my plastic salt and pepper shaker toys into his hair and combing it all around. I will tell them about Saturday afternoons when I was little, when he would spend a couple hours doing all the ironing while watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. I will tell them about Sunday nights when I was a teenager, watching Alias with him, how I would make sure I was home from whatever fun events that might be going on. I will tell them about his crazy cats, and how Tiger only liked him. I will tell them that he called me Laimee, and loved to tease me (on second thought, maybe I'll forget the whole Laimee thing.) I will tell Jilly about how when she was a baby, she would stare at a wall or a doorway, purposely avoiding me, and giggle and talk, as if she saw someone there. I will tell her it was her Grandpa Brad, making silly faces and telling her jokes. I will tell Jason about how he has beautiful deep brown eyes just like his Grandpa.
I will tell them how much I love my dad and how much he loves me. I will tell them how much he loves them too. I will tell them that they knew him before they came to our home and they will get to see him again.
(This is from my 1st birthday. Sorry for the poor quality, it's a picture of a picture.)
I miss my dad. A lot.