I miss you, dad.

Dad, today it has been 1 year since you left us.

I won’t lie. I miss you. So terribly much. I miss our chats. I miss your advice. I couldn’t tell you the good news that we had bought a house. You didn’t get the chance to see the pups grow up. Mom turned 70, and I turned 30. And we would have loved to celebrate with you.

Mom misses you too, you know. After 50 years… the struggle was and is still hard. But she is settling in to her new home nicely. She goes for daily walks, and has taken up gardening. She is also sewing again. She says you sometimes visit her. Not only in her dreams, but also sometimes in her room. It shows me how strong your connection was, and is.

I can’t say I’m not jealous of that though. Since you’ve left, it’s been darkness and heartache and pain. When I dream of you, I don’t see the healthy man you once were. The image of frail you is etched into my memory forever. This makes me very sad.

I’ve been trying to deal with the loss. I’ve gone through the phases. But there’s still an emptiness that only you could ever fill. I should be grateful that I had you as dad for almost 30 years though. Because you were (are) the best. A teacher, a mentor. A man who had so many good qualities. A man who never had anything bad to say. A man who was always there to lend a helping hand. A man who expected nothing in return. Selfless. Brave. An inventor. A tinkerer. You built Beetles from scratch for pete’s sakes. How many people can do that?

You taught me about respect. About being independent. About standing up for my beliefs. You also told me that one day, my opinionated ways and my big mouth would get me into trouble. I have carried that advice with me, always. Thanks to you, we are three strong, independent siblings.

We have vowed to take care of mom. We sold the house you lived in for so many years. Mom relocated to Pretoria, you know. To be closer to us. It’s so nice to be able to arrive at her house in just over an hour. We also bought mom a new car. Her first new car ever. She loves driving around in her neighbourhood now with her friends. She is in a nice place, where she is safe. There’s even frail care. I think you would have liked the place. I think you would have liked living there.

I miss you, dad. Every single day.

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