November 1st - The good, the bad and the painful

This time of year is always bittersweet for me. I love fall, have always adored Halloween, and generally happy dance when October shows up.

But eight years ago I lost my dad to lung cancer on November 1st, and autumn lost it's luster. I don't know if enough time could ever pass that I don't break down around this point in the calendar. I miss him so much, every day, but this day in particular is brutal.

My dad was my whole world. He supported me LONG past the time I should have been supporting myself. He was down low proud of my writing career. Telling his friends that his daughter wrote westerns. (I think he wanted to pick a genre he was sure they wouldn't ask to read, without having to share what I actually write.) Rather than being annoyed, I found it endearing. One of the million things that I think about and smile. He loved me so forcefully that I never once had to question it. And I loved him fiercely in return.

Then, one day, he was gone. It's still so painful that it's a physical ache. I thought we would have forever together, but that's not how life works. There are regrets that I will take to my grave, things that are too private to share, but should be at least mentioned in passing. As if acknowledging it could be some sort of penance. It's not. It's just another hole in my heart.

So today, I mourn him hard, and tomorrow I will swallow it down and continue on as I do every other day. Occasionally crying when I hear a Bob Seger song come on the radio, feeling it like a hug from heaven. And always, always thinking of him and the time we did have together, even if it was far too brief.


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