Pretty crazy. Today is 15 years since my dad passed away. I've spent over half my life without him. My little sister has spent 3/4 of her life without him. She was only five. At this time fifteen years ago today, I was saying goodbye to my daddy. I was about to go babysit, and I went in to sit with him before I left. Looking back, I know my dad knew he wasn't going to be there when I got back... he was definitely saying goodbye for real, not just for a few hours.
A lot has happened in 15 years... a lot more happens in life between 12 and 27 than birth and 12. It's weird to think about how our lives would have been different if he hadn't passed away. I know we probably wouldn't have stayed in Jacksonville... I may not have gone to UF... I probably wouldn't have met Matt. I'm a firm believer in three things: God will never give you more than you can handle, what does not kill you makes you stronger, and everything happens for a reason. I sure do hope God thinks I've reached my strength quota though.
I brought a picture to work today I was going to scan, but our scanners are all document scanners and I couldn't get it to work. I only have one picture in my possession of me and my dad. It was in the summer of 1993 after he'd finished building the Bayside Bridge (49th Street Bridge) in St. Petersburg. We're standing in front of the bridge and I'm grinning and he's holding Brandi (my little sister). I remember we went to Hooters (the original one) for the opening of the bridge celebration. My sister was wearing this dress I loved on her, but it was way too big. It was a good day. I remember it vividly. It's funny how certain memories stick out. It's really the last good picture I have of both of us. My mom framed it for Christmas 1994 and it went with me everywhere. At some point in college, it must've gotten wet because now the picture is stuck to the glass, and that's how I've kept it. Just a piece of glass with a picture attached to it. Next time I'm home (Mom's house... still home to me... I wonder when I'll stop calling it that) I'm going to snag a few pictures to frame around our house.
One of my co-workers saw the picture I brought in, and he said, "Gah, that's definitely your dad." I like it when people think we look alike. Most people say my brother looks more like my dad and my sister and I look like our mom. There's no denying that, but we definitely all have a resemblance to both parents. I have my dad's head. In fact, if you look at a baby picture of my dad and a baby picture of me, we look identical (I must've been mistaken for a boy a lot). It's funny, because my sister and I are often asked if we're twins (I'm seven years older... makes me feel good), but she looked so much more like my mom as a baby.
Anyway, fifteen years. I'm not sure what's so different about these milestone anniversaries. This definitely feels different than fourteen years. I wish I could say it doesn't feel like it's been that long, but it does. I remember so much more of life without a dad than with one. And, now I'm going to cry at work. Good thing my door is closed. It's definitely gotten easier, but I still think of him often.