I was in my second year of teaching. We had just moved to Alabama a few months before. I just wanted to be close to home after my brother was killed. I was teaching at a small Christian school. That day started like every other day of teaching. I remember being called to the office saying something about my husband coming out to talk to me about something. I knew something bad had happened. When he arrived, my mom and Fred were not too far behind. They had all come to tell me that my dad had passed away. I guess someone else drove my car home. I don't really remember.
My dad had problems with alcohol and mental illness since before I was born. He and my mom divorced when I was seven. I still loved my dad. He was a charming, intelligent man that I know loved me....
He had lived with JP and I for a while after my brother died, until he hit a depressive episode and wouldn't go for help. So, in the middle of the night we drove from Nashville to the VA in Tuscaloosa. Dropped him off and that was the last time I saw him.
I didn't try to see him in those few months after we moved back to Alabama, it was just too hard. I was just too tired and still trying to process my own grief. I regret that.
I grieve his loss today, not just because I miss my dad, but because I miss all the things that could have been. The things that his addiction stole from me. The things that his addiction stole from him. I miss all the opportunities that we could have had together. So, I mourn him, but also everything I wished we could have had together, but just couldn't be in this life.
Grief has a way of sneaking in through the back door sometimes. Especially on the anniversaries.