Dad’s been gone for less than 32 hours as I type this I’m still struggling to get used to this new version of life. While I can’t pick up the phone and have our normal every few day conversations I’m finding that it’s very easy for me to still talk with him and feel his presence, just in a different way.
In this new “regular” I’ve got someone who’s side by side with me that understands almost exactly what I’m going through. Everyone had a slightly different relationship with Dad. He was a spouse, a brother, a friend, and a helper as he was known to others. I could guess at how they are feeling, but it’s different than how I feel. Not better, worse, harder or easier, just different. Then we all have different family dynamics, support structures, and the like. Except for one person who’s the son of Dad and has much of the same family… My little brother Nick.
Depending on the day and which of us you ask we’d tell you just how similar we are or how opposite of each other we are. Regardless, we have many common traits. We also have many strengths that offset the other’s weaknesses. We also “get” each other and help to raise each other up when needed.
Losing Dad has absolutely sucked. That said, there’ve been a handful of positives that have come from his passing. One of them is that Nick and I are closer now than we’ve ever been before. We’re helping each other more, talking more, and becoming better friends. Our relationship has always been pretty solid, but it just keeps getting better.
As we worked through the planning details and whatnot we both hit the point that we needed to power down for a while. We went out to the gravel pit and started looking for rocks. This quickly escalated into throwing and breaking rocks, and then was a full on, two little boys playing in the mud event. It was awesome. We were giggling, giving each other a hard time, having fun, sharing stories, and enjoying the moment. Even when a sandal was lost in 15-ish inches of quicksand we continued to have a blast before going back to reality.
After our does of reality was over we headed out to Stoney Pub for dinner (got the chimi for you Dad!) and a few beers before heading home. Those two moments today were the first we’ve had for just the two of us in a very long time and it was exactly what we needed to keep working through the healing process together.
Knowing that I have Nick alongside me I know that we will both be alright. Nick, thanks for being there to stand with me as we overcome the greatest challenge we’ve had as a family. I couldn’t do it without you.