Well the year anniversary of my dad’s death came and went. Like I mentioned before March just sucked. I was in a terrible mood due to various things and I’m so glad it’s over. March 27th marked a year since my dad passed away and I think there was a lot of anxiety there about how I’d feel. Honestly? I didn’t feel that bad at all.
My reasoning for that was because the entirety of my dad’s diagnosis sucked. From December 20th-March 27th I was sad. I was sad every day, I was crabby every day, I was tired every day, and I was scared every day. So, honestly the day he died wasn’t any crappier than the day before when he was dying. March 27th, 2016 was actually a day of relief. He was finally at peace and we could finally breathe a bit. That whole day we were surrounded by amazing friends who came to take care of us when we needed it most. That whole night was spent drinking and sharing stories. Really… that day was one of the better ones all things considered.
I’m still struggling though. I struggle with the idea that it’s all over… it’s a whole year without my dad. Next year it will be two, then three, then four, and one day (not anytime soon of course) I’ll have spent more years on this planet without my dad than with him. I’ve done all the “firsts” that you expect but I have a whole batch of new firsts coming my way. I’ll get married one day and he won’t be there. I’ll have kids and he won’t meet them. I’ll reach milestones that he can’t cheer me on for. Those are the things I’ll still be living with even though I’ve gotten through “the hard part”.
I only really broke down once in March and it was at the most unexpected time. I was out soliciting donations from local businesses for our PurpleStride kickoff party we held this past weekend. I walked into Beefy’s restaurant which was a Papa Z favorite and he had five $10 giftcards waiting for me. I thanked him of course and as I was turning away he said “anything for Steve.” The owner of the restaurant new my dad’s weird orders by heart. They talked every time my dad came to get food. He didn’t know he had passed away until my mom came in to talk about the fundraiser. The guy had tears in his eyes when he said that so naturally I ran out of there and burst into tears in my car. That’s the kind of guy my dad was… he was the kind of guy that cared about people so much he made an impact on even the owner of his favorite Italian beef place.
I became inconsolable and had to call my best friend to calm me down. I was so busy with the fundraiser and organizing the walk that I forgot why I was doing it. There’s a reason I’m doing all of this and the reason is that my dad is dead. The reason is because he got cancer and he died. It’s easy to forget when you’re planning all these parties and you’re having such a good time at each one. We’re doing all of it for him… we’re doing all of it because he can’t.
Our fundraiser was held on 4/1… this past Saturday. It’s almost poetic that on 4/1/16 we were waking him and on 4/1/17 we were celebrating him.
Anyways… March is over and I already feel better. I mean, a lot of my life isn’t perfect right now but I’m working through it. At least I know I got through the first year relatively unscathed. Just gotta keep moving up and to the right.