Since the day after he passed away, I’ve had a weekly, reoccurring dream. I am busy living my life, he is alive, but we can only talk on the phone. He never tells me where he is. I never see his soft smile with the mustache over-top, I never hold his rough hand with the carpenter grip. I only hear his words. Words that are certainly important, but I can never seem to remember them when I wake.
So much goodness has happened in my life over the last few months. Now that the dust has settled (and it’s the third Sunday in June) I realized that I’d never share any of it with him. I’ll never get to hear him say, in his loud booming voice, how proud is of me. His little girl, the apple of his eye, and some would even say, the reason he woke up each day, would never get to have her biggest champion with her for some of the best parts of her life.
Early this week, grief grabbed me by the throat and she didn’t let go until I sobbed, snotted, and felt her tight fingers squeeze the breath from my lungs, letting me know she never truly leaves her victims.
Grief is miserably hard, even 10 years later. It is especially devastating when really good things are occurring. Because the only thing worse than not having him here when the the world was so dark, is not having him here to smile and raise a beer to all of the light that is now in the life of the fierce woman he raised.
In a mere 16 years, that beautiful man gave me enough wisdom, unconditional love and encouragement to make sure I would be able to get whatever I wanted out of life. So today, I will be thankful for that gift.
My hope is that everyone finds a Marty Cooper in their life.
Be like him. Strive to make sure that those we hold the closest to us feel that constant, palpable, unconditional love. The kind that will allow them to conquer the world, the kind that will infinitely last within them.