Today is Dad’s death-day. Three years ago, that was the phone call that got me out of bed in Seattle and on a flight to the east coast.

I don’t share this to elicit sympathy. Please don’t say, “I’m sorry.” After three years, I have reached a healthy acceptance. Like grief, this post isn’t about Dad. Not really. It’s about me. This is the anniversary of one of the most pivotal moments of my life.

Before it, I didn’t know where I wanted to be. My husband and I were both between jobs, looking at moving to DC (contingent on either of us finding employment out there, which of course meant it was not going to happen), but for the moment we were happy. Between job applications, I was writing. Life was good, if stressful while waiting for the world to tumble. As we knew it would. As it did.

After that moment, I lost control of my life. It took me months to realize and years to regain it. The one thing I knew: I needed to come home. So we did.

Have I mentioned I have the most amazing husband ever?

For nearly two years, I didn’t write. Not really. That killed me as much as the grief. And looking at the immediate before-and-after, it doesn’t seem like the good sort of turning point.

When someone you love dies, they take a part of you with them. You’ll never get it back. And that’s ok. Really. Because you’ll always be connected. Since he died, Dad and I have had some fantastic conversations. (And yes, for those of you who knew him, he’s as much of an ass dead as he was alive.)

I know things now that I never did before: that “this too shall pass” is true, that “he’s in a better place” is total bull and should never be uttered about someone who died unexpectedly, that things really can get worse. Always.

Since Dad died, I’ve truly met myself. I learned exactly how much crap I’m willing to put up with, that I truly am my father’s daughter (and that should scare you). I learned what I can survive, and what I might not. I knew I was stubborn, but now I know how stubborn. Most of all, I’ve figured out exactly what I want. And I’m going to get there.

So Dad, thank you. For everything. ♥

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