In the midst of all this ugly, who-the-heck-wanted-this-to-happen, reality of the loss of my father is the continuing thought, "How can you be gone?"
Each time I pass a photograph of him, I think that thought. I also look quite a bit like my father. Because of this, I ask that question when I look in the mirror. "Good lord, Dad," I say, "how can you not be here?"
Yet, he is everywhere in my thoughts.
Friday I was in a cabinetry showroom with my three children. They occupied themselves much like my sister and I would while we waited in Dad's office--playing with samples and looking through books and books and books of construction materials. I don't know what Maverick and I were looking for in those books, but we enjoyed it all the same.
Whenever Dad would visit, he would notice all the ongoing construction or the newly finished construction. He'd make a comment or point to a feature I had never noticed. So, I cannot pass a construction project without thinking of my father and what he would say.
Today, my husband has the girls out in the rain. Dad drug my sister and I out in all kinds of weather to hunt or field trial or whatever he was doing. He toughened us in that way. Call it kid boot camp. I guess Phill is teaching the girls this. I've thought of Dad throughout the day.
The denial never ends, though. I know he is gone. That gaping hole has not closed. My heart feels that he is gone. There is that tiny bit of denial.
Oh, Dad, how can you not be here?