It's always hard to believe it's been 3 years since Thatdad died. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday we were speaking on the phone. Other times it seems like we've been living this life with a missing piece forever.
This past year has been an especially big year for us, and although it has been filled with a great many joys, each comes with it's own painful reminder.
Thatdad missed so much this year that he would have loved to see. His son getting engaged to a beautiful woman, who Thatdad adored. The birth of his first grandchild.
I don't know if Thatbrother feels the same way, but part of me does feel like Thatdad is a part of these events, even though he obviously isn't. The night before we took a home pregnancy test, I had a dream. I was in the bathroom taking the test while Thatdad waited outside for the results. It was positive. I woke up feeling like I knew what the test would say, and that Thatdad also knew.
Following the brit milah, we took Thatbaby to the cemetery to "meet" his grandfather. I wonder how that's going to play out when he gets older. I don't looking forward to explaining, or trying to explain to Thatbaby why we visit and why grandpa lives there.
Even now, I sing Billy Joel's Lullaby to Thatbaby during naptime. The lyrics are on Thatdad's grave, and as I sing, it never fails to bring tears to my eyes. Thatbaby laughs at me when I cry. I'm hoping that's a phase he grows out of and I'm not raising a serial killer. I imagine how my dad would interact with him, how he would spoil him, how he'd react to the smiles, the talking, the outfits.
At the same time, as I said before, not having Thatdad around seems less of a foreign concept. What they must mean by "the new normal." We've all moved on in our own way. There are less moments when I reach for the phone to call him, or expect him to answer the phone when I call Thatmom. It's become natural to refer to "my mom" instead of "my parents." And for the most part, we've all returned to our regularly scheduled programming.
Part of me feels like my dad would be happy we're all moving on with our lives, healing. Part of me feels like he'd be sad that he was "forgotten" so easily - he was like that. Hurt when you chose not to go to the supermarket with him.
But whether he'd like it or not, we've all made it through another year.