A year of lasts and a year of firsts

Last year was a painful year of lasts with Dad – last birthday, last Halloween, last Thanksgiving, last birthday for me, last Christmas, a New Year realizing the coming year was going to be incredibly difficult, etc….

I had not considered until recently how this year would be even more painful as we suffer through an agonizing year of firsts without him. So far I have had several moments where I thought to call him, but realized I will never hear his voice on my phone again. His birthday was tough and my birthday and Thanksgiving were tougher, but I fear that none of those compare with the approaching Christmas season. I somehow made it through my birthday & Thanksgiving without having any major breakdown, mostly because we focused on the joy of having my mother here & my son home for a night of celebrating his 21st birthday. It was a much more pleasant weekend than I had been expecting.

Christmas will be a bit lonelier, leaving me much more time for reflection. My mother will be going to Kansas City to spend Christmas with my brother and niece, and my son will be going to Aiken to spend Christmas with his dad. I will be working both the night of Christmas Eve and Christmas night, so we are basically skipping the holiday. I’m not sure this is the best idea, but it’ll be over in 23 days… I just have to hang on till then.

Next year should be milder, save for the anniversaries that are forever etched into my memory. I don’t think I’ll ever stop thinking about May 1st (May Day) as the beginning of the end. That was when the brain mets made their debut. And EAA AirVenture will forever be tainted with a bit of sorrow, because we found out about the cancer days before I spent a week at Oshkosh last year, and he passed away days after I spent a weekend at Oshkosh this year.

I know I’ll never stop missing him and wishing he could be here to banter with, but I look forward to a time when the pain is a little less sharp.