A Year Without Paul

It's been one year since Dad died. A year of firsts for me. My first birthday without Dad. The first time the anniversary of Mom's death passes without being able to talk to Dad. Livia's first birthday without Dad. The first time I didn't have to worry about forgetting Dad's birthday. Kaia's first birthday without Dad. Christimas without Dad.

A year and a half ago, frustrated that we couldn't afford trips to see my Dad and my in-laws in the same year, I decided that we should drive cross-country so we could visit both the following summer. Unfortunately when the summer came, my father was gone. I almost gave up the idea, but Kim encouraged me and we came across not for a reunion, but for a memorial. Too see the house for a last time as it had been (though I am sure Tim will take great care of it), and to share time with my children, and let them say goodbye to their grandpa.

Special Drink

I've spent some time thinking about some of our traditions. We used to love to have "special drink," which it turns out is a milkshake made using the special drink machine shown above. I've made some, but I think it would be a good time to get one of those for myself to pass the tradition along. I worry about what my children will remember about my father. We moved to California when they were still young, and unfortunately couldn't visit enough.

If there is one thing to learn from this loss in particular and from loss in general it is that our time here is short, precious, and easily squandered. On our trip across the country we saw amazing things, and spending hundreds of hours in a Subaru Forester turns out to be a tolerable way to see those things. We live in a beautiful world, and I am grateful that my father took the time to show us so much of it. It's the main tradition I hope to carry on for my daughters.