On June 2, 1998 I woke to the nightmare that you had a heart attack. When I arrived tothe hospital they pronounced you dead.
My heart dropped to the floor, and I too wanted to just sink through the floor. I wishedto vanish from where I stood, and more than anything I wished it was me and not you. I always thought I would go first. I thought you would bury me. I was upset and mad that it wasn't me, and that it was you. WHY? Why must it be this way? Since that day,the nightmare has not gone away, and it has not ended. I've just learned to deal and cope. I try to live with your memory,and celebrate your life, and to make you proud. Sometimes I ask aloud if you're proud of me and all that I do in memory ofyou. I try to keep promises I made to you... and sometimes step on other people's toes in doing so. I wonder how others go on,living as though you hadn't impacted their lives, and how they can live with themselves by not respecting your wishes.
You were a carpenter by trade, and built your own house, that your family lived in. And I promised to keep it in the family and to maintain it, and I take pride in doing so. I'm proud to live in the house my very own dad built with his hands. How can they go on in indifference? How can mom just not care what happens to it? How can she be so consumed in this man that she started seeing within one year of your death, to not care what's happening here at the house? Each day I spend here alone at home, I think of you. When I maintain the house, cut the grass, yard work, etc, anything around the house, I'm thinking of you and wondering if you are proud of me for keeping my word...
The nightmare just goes on and on as the responsibilities of maintaining this house and the camp on the river can be overwhelming sometimes. I do it all by myself: the bills for two residences, the maintenance for two residences... Are you proud? I have to wonder, as I do it all alone.... Sometimes I cry, and think when you died you left a big set of shoes to fill, and think that I am all alone in filling these promises that I made to you. And I miss you. I miss when we used to do everything together, how we used to work on things, maintain things together, and all the time we spent together. WHY?
Things are not and have not and will never be the same since you died. I miss your smile,your laugh, how you never complained and just attacked whatever mission was at hand. And I tear up when people say that you will always live through me because I'm so much like you. And it makes me wonder if I'm handling anything like how you would if you were in my shoes.
Sometimes when I feel alone and miss you, I just want to yell, to scream, and wish it all away. I wish I could wake from this nightmare. I wish everything was like it used to be. But I cannot change anything by yelling and screaming or by crying. I can only do what I think would make you proud and to live in your memory and to keep thepromises I made to you. I will continue to do so that everyone knows I still love you and you will always always be a part of me. And you'll always be my hero.