18 Years Later

My DaddyIt’s been 18 years today since I lost my father to cancer.

Eighteen years later I:

  • am a much stronger woman than I would have been otherwise.
  • have a better grip on my emotions.
  • am no longer as sad or resentful as I once was.
  • still miss him terribly.
  • still hate that he’ll never meet my children.
  • miss his gigantic hands.
  • think of him often.
  • see SO much of him in myself.
  • have learned to control the temper I got from him. (for the most part..ha!)
  • am thankful for the legacy he left behind.
  • can still remember his infectious laugh.
  • miss his stories.
  • will forever cherish the memories that I have.
  • and am thankful for the person I became because of this experience, even though it hurts.

I started several posts for today, some celebrating his memory, some telling the story and what it’s meant for me. I wrote and re-wrote, but ultimately decided to share this list instead. The topic is painful. Writing about it stirs emotions that I typically try to keep tucked away. Some stories I’m not ready to tell yet, and some leave the biggest smile on my face. Either way, I’m thankful for how I’ve grown and what I’ve learned over the last 18 years. I’m thankful for the people who stick by me and for what this day will forever mean to me. I’m thankful for the time that I had, the memories I’ll keep, and the years that lie ahead. Hug the people that you love and do something nice for yourself today. Life is too short not to.

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