On the one-year anniversary of his death
It’s been a year, and nothing has changed. If I were still sitting by your bedside and you asked, “What did you do today sweetheart?” I would probably still respond with, “Not much; just worked.”
To be honest, things kind of stood still once you left. People told me it would be better by now. Some people told me it would take six months, somebody else told me four weeks. (My mother takes longer to grieve discontinued lip stick colours, so I knew that wasn’t true); and most people said a year. But they were all wrong.
I still miss you.
I still miss you every time I listen to Frank Sinatra. I just took him off my IPod now. I’ve had a few awkward moments at the gym where I hit shuffle, started my work out with a little “Black Eyed Peas” (they’re a band not a food) and ended up breaking down into tears on the treadmill singing “My Way.” I wanted to keep my membership, so I thought deleting Frank was the best decision.
I miss you every time I watch King of Queens. The way Arthur Spooner yells and shakes his fists in the air reminds me of that time on your birthday. Remember? You were still in the hospital and I asked you what you wanted for your birthday. You looked at me, threw your hands in the air and yelled: “FREEDOM!”
Sorry all I could get you was a White Spot hamburger.
I miss you every time I get coffee at Tim Hortons. I don’t go there as much anymore, now that you’re gone. I drink Starbucks now. I don’t like it as much, and it is significantly more expensive, but it hurts less, so I drink the stuff.
I miss you every time I ask someone for directions. I wish I could just call you. You loved giving me directions, and you always managed to make sure I didn’t get lost. It annoyed me when I was a teenager–how you insisted on going into mind-numbing detail about how to get from point A to point B. As I got older, I started realizing how much you loved it, so I just let you (even when I already knew where I was going). You were actually pretty impressive … even closer to the end when you didn’t know who I was; you still had fantastic accuracy when directing me out of Richmond.
Oh, and on that topic, I’m sorry I complained so much about driving out to see you. I really did love spending time with you; even if all we did was drink coffee and watch “Friends.” Even when I was grumpy because I was clipping your toenails, or brushing your dentures, know that I would do it all over again.
I’m sorry I got so frustrated with you when you were sick. It was hard coming to see you and having you introduce yourself to me anew each time. Although you were pretty funny that time you asked me my name and after I responded, you said, “Oh, my daughter’s name is Ashley!” Thanks for always thinking of me, even when you didn’t know I was standing right in front of you.
Thanks for always calling me, even though you didn’t have any idea what to talk about with a 16-year-old daughter.
Thanks for coming to every singing and dance recital I ever did. I always figured that mom made you, but even when you two weren’t together anymore you came to every show. This means one of two things: one- you were well trained, or two- you really cared. I think it was a bit of both.
Thank you for buying me all the Backstreet Boys magazines my heart could ever dream of. Terrific waste of your money, really, but it sure did make me happy.
Thanks for always being early when you picked me up from school. I remember all my friends running up to tell me, “Your dad is here to pick you up, and it’s 3pm! Doesn’t he know you’re not done until 4:30pm?” I’d run out to the car to tell you that you’re way too early and your response was always, “I just didn’t want to be late for you.”
I’ll remember your advice. I won’t let anyone’s negative thinking bother me, I’ll take care of my car so she takes care of me, and I’ll be nice to my mother (well, I’ll try). I’ll remember that just because I’m arguing louder, doesn’t mean my argument is right, and I’ll buy more than just black clothes (but as I’ve explained to you numerous times, it’s a tremendously slimming shade).
It’s been a year—nothing has changed, and it won’t. I will still miss you at every birthday, every Christmas, and every time I eat at White Spot on a Friday. I will miss you when I get married, when I have kids, and every time I find a Backstreet Boys magazine tucked into a box labeled “fragile.”
With all my love,
Your peanut, Ashley
My name is Ashley and I am the Children’s Ministry Coordinator at Relate Church in Surrey, B.C. My mission is to develop the God-given potential in every child who crosses my path *Insert Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” here*. I love all things jazzy, particularly music, and I tend to break into song throughout the day for no apparent reason. I blog here and tweet @AshleyMandanici