You never know how much you love someone until they’re gone. I never had the best relationship with my father and I always knew could try to. But I’m happy with what I had with him cause it was natural.
It’s hard growing up with parents that grew up in a much much different generation and culture. My father was over 50 years older than me. We had such different perspectives but I never doubt his struggles, intelligence or judgment.
I never took my father’s struggles or lessons for granted. He was a tough cookie! He grew up the youngest of 6, in an the era of World War 2 and the Great Depression. He strived to be the best and took pride in everything he did. He was the first in his family to earn a master’s. He came to America on a full scholarship from Pace for civil engineering. He did well and worked in large corporations. He retired early and enjoyed life. He lived a simple life and enjoyed his simple past times… cigarettes, gambling, coffees, newspaper and TV. He didn’t need much to be happy. He was a man of few words but a man with many stories.
He was my father. He was our family’s provider. And he did everything he needed and more to give my family a roof over our heads and a comfortable “American Dream” life. We had our struggles but that’s ok because they made us strong and who we are. That’s something I’ll never give up or regret.
In the past year, I’ve taken on this ridiculous responsibility to want to be everything for my family…. but it’s a lot of weight to put on. I just want to protect them, save them from any bad news or harm. But as life is, that’s inevitable.
I got the news my dad passed away on October 6th, when I was in Berlin. I was sitting around having coffee with some friends when I got a text to call my mom. When I got the news, I was shocked.. I was numb.. I was at lost of words, emotions, actions. I was frozen.
I was in another continent too far to just take a take a ride over to be there to see and hold my mother for support, to hold my father to say farewell. I was so lost… Everyone told I didn’t have to make it home. But how could I not? The days before I flew out I kept myself busy. Spending time with the awesome people I’ve met in Berlin and busying myself in Praha before flying back to face reality. I was so lucky to not be alone cause the moments I did have some quiet time, I got sucked back in a pitless dark hole.
I booked my flight home to be there for everyone, to attend the funeral, to grieve and pay my respects. I finally let it all sink in the day of funeral. I saw him in the casket. I heard the story of what happened. I paid my respects and participated in the ceremony. I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was this was my last time with him. My last farewell. I wanted to tell him anything and everything I needed to. I cried… and I cried a lot. I needed to let everything out. I didn’t care how I looked or felt, this was my farewell to my father. It was my last of my relationship with my father.
I know now he is peace. He is no longer in pain. He is free. His spirit will protect me and my brother and mother until our dying days. I know I loved him the best I could and I did everything I could during the last years of his life to be the best daughter I could.
Dad, I love you. May you rest in peace. You taught me more than I knew. You gave me more strength than I thought I had. I will take care of mom and brother. I will never forget you. Thank you for the life you’ve given me and the lessons you’ve taught me. I miss you and forever love you.
Your daughter, Angela
I can’t help but realize how lucky I am.I’m so grateful to have a family and a home that can never be broken. Through all the shit we’ve through and all the fights we’ve gotten into. We still love each other to pieces. Blood really is thicker than water. I’ll never give up on any single one of my family members. You are my everything. You all have given me my everything. And I am forever grateful of who I am because of you all. I love you Dad. I love my mom and brother for being there right next to me every step of my life. You guys alway know how to give me strength and support.