September is around the corner. To many that means school is near, the anniversary of the September 11 2001 attacks will be remembered, the month indicates winter is closing in and the holidays will begin shortly. For me, September is now a reminder of how much I miss my father. His birthday is coming up and I find that I am more heartbroken in knowing that I cannot wish him a happy birthday. On the 16th of February of 2012 my father passed away after a long battle with kidney failure. Over fifteen years since being diagnose with kidney failure he constantly moved forward, never accepting the words of the doctors who told him to tone down his activity. Unlike most of the patients at his dialysis center, my father was active, constantly walking, driving, engaged in various activities and always had a smile on his face. His behavior had a lot to do with his faith in God, he truly believed that he was given a second chance and he was going to appreciate every waking second of it. His faith and his active life style allowed him to recover quickly when he became sick with the flu, a situation that can truly injure or even kill a weak dialysis patient.
I have three daughters and two of my daughters were fortunate enough to know my father. My daughters loved their grandfather or papa as they would call him. My dad loved his granddaughters, he did everything with them and they always wanted to be with their papa. My oldest (who is 5 years old now) took it the hardest when my father passed away, she is still missing her papa and at times asks if her papa could come back and play with her and read her stories (she had many dreams for months with my father). My second oldest, she is a trooper like me, she is tough and shows little emotion, when her older sister starts crying and states how much she misses her papa, the little sister looks at her and states assertively, “Papa is in heaven. He was sick but now he is better. Cheer up.” Usually that works and the older sister slowly stops crying and then begins to smile. Afterwards, when no one is around, my trooper comes and tells me how much she misses her papa too.
My youngest daughter never met her grandfather, she was born a few weeks after his death in March. However, this little baby who is older, walking, babbling and showing her personality to everyone indicates that she received a great deal of her grandfather’s personality and quirks. From the way she stares at you to the way she drinks her water and the way she sleeps at night, reminds anyone who sees her that she has many traits of my father. Sometimes I stay staring at my daughter and I can see in her specific traits of my father and I cannot help but laugh and wonder if they had the opportunity to meet in passing.
Although I was the only child, my father was always there and he did whatever it took to take care of my mother and I. He always showed us love, compassion, strength, endurance in life’s trails and tribulations. Recalling how my father dealt with my girls, how this man who at the time was becoming weaker and his health was deteriorating, he managed to get two highly active toddlers exhausted, usually all this down while he was sitting down. After every visit with their papa my little girls were exhausted, they would sleep for hours on end and when waking up would complain of being tired but full of energy to discuss all the great things they did with their papa.
At times I find myself lacking as a father, with all the stresses in the world and the difficulties in economy affecting every part of life, my time and patience with my girls are at times short. I do my best to keep them healthy, taken care of, I make sure to show them love and try to play the games they want. I make sure to read them bed time stories every night, say our prayers and the Pledge of Allegiance and sing songs with them until they sleep, yet feeling as if I am falling short somehow. But there are days I just wish my father was here, to have him only a phone calls away, and just to ask him questions and for help in the things I feel I’m lacking in. His advice…he was full of it and unfortunately I did not heed all his advice in my youth…but how I wish he was alive to give me some now.
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