The first two weeks in June are always difficult, as the anniversaries of two loved ones lost occur within days of one another; my sister-in-law (killed in a car accident June 9, 1999) and my dad (died of a sudden cerebral hemorrhage June 13, 1993). And this year, they fall in the same week, which culminates in the celebration of Fathers’ Day.
Yesterday I realized I hadn’t really felt the familiar sense of loss and heaviness that is usual for this time of year. I decided that maybe this year it had been long enough, and I was over it.
But it hit me between the eyes. Today. It’s not long enough.
Not long enough to lose the ache of loss, to stop thinking about the experiences we haven’t shared.
Not long enough to forget his nickname for me, his lovely white hair, or the wisdom with which he’d have helped us through difficult times.
Not long enough to forget her laugh, and the way she played with my young daughters, or to wonder how many selfies they’d have taken together.
Not long enough to forget how much he loved to watch the Cardinals play this time of year, and how thrilled he’d have been to know his two daughters saw them play a World Series game at Busch.
Not long enough to forget about the mother she would have been, the friend she was, and the sweet times she treasured with my mother.
Not long enough to forget what he taught me about love, that it isn’t dependent on how well we behave, what we wear, our grades, our jobs, or anything else … it just is. And when it is, it envelops us, holds us, cherishes us, sacrifices for us, and comforts us as nothing else can. It’s enough.
No, it hasn’t yet been long enough. And today I realized it won’t ever be long enough.
I’d rather feel the familiar ache and shed the tears than forget one moment. Because the memories are precious enough.