Things do not always have to happen for a reason. Sometimes, it just does because that is the course of nature. On November 24, 2017, I sat on the right side of my father and watched him leave us. No last words. No “I love you”. He just took his last breath and left.
I watched my siblings cry over his cold, resting body. I felt like my heart was breaking piece by piece watching and listening to my mother screaming at my father, asking him why he had to go so soon.
I nearly bit a hole in my lower lip trying to fight back the tears, but observing the agony my closest loves felt - there was no dam strong enough.
When he first got sick, I was so mad that it had to be us. We finally did not have to live in a little shanty home built out of scrap wood and a thatch roof anymore.
When he first got sick, I was so mad that it had to be him. I was so angry that I had to roll him on a wheelchair down a haunting oncology center hall every week.
When he first got sick, I was scared of time.
Since the day he left us, it has not been easy. Sometimes I miss him a little, sometimes I miss him a lot, but all the time, I miss him.
I miss him when it is sunny. I miss him when it is raining. I miss him when my lawn is not cut. I miss him in everything I do and in every corner of the world I explore.
As I get a chance to reflect on his life and legacy, I know he does not want his passing to hinder the way I live my life. The more I ride my bike around the city, the more I think about this concept of “the space between."
We all go through tough, tragic, and good times. I feel like those times are the pinnacle or climax for these life events. But what about the space between? I think that is where my father left his greatest mark on us and his world.
He did not need to say “I love you” before he passed. He had shown us what love is his entire life. He loved having people over at his house to share stories and to feed them. He loved to smile, because he had a perfect face for it.
I do not how long it will take to get use to him not being here. But I know the importance of the space between; between heartbreaks, between death and welcoming a new family member and other life milestones. I know this is cheesy, but if life was a garden, plant hugs, laughter and kisses. Make sure to fill these spaces with love and overwhelming support. Celebrate the milestones, but do not forget about the space between.