There is quite a bit of surreal reality filling my world right now. Something strange about death. Especially when it’s the death of a parent. When you’re a child you believe your parents will live forever. I remember the day when I was a teenager the finite nature of my parents became reality. It was a day when my mom’s cousin passed away leaving my cousins without their mother when we were only in high school. Until that point, I lived in a fantasy state of mind that my parents were immortal.

The realization that my parents will one day pass away, as others have, was a discussion filled with lip service. Then, January 5, 2016 happened.

One day in and I believe that denial is what this phase is called. In an attempt to get my husband home earlier than the 15th my aunt e-mailed me my dad’s death certificate. Of course, because it’s an international travel issue, and flights like that are booked well in advance, we will not succeed with this attempt. However, opening that attachment made this experience all the more real.

My denial comes in alternating swings with realization. It’s easy to continue to focus on my kids, my day to day responsibilities and ignore the fact that my dad is, indeed, dead. That dialing his phone number and hearing his “Joe’s Crab Shack” or “Hello Alaska” greetings will not happen anymore. His voice was always so comforting and soothing on the phone. A deep raspy voice. Our sometimes quick, but always worth it phone calls. I tried to call him every Sunday. Usually on my way to the grocery store. I forgot a few times.

Since he moved to San Antonio in 2004, I called my dad every Sunday. It seemed to help me with the fact that I could no longer see him on a whim. So hearing his voice and talking through problems, or just updating him on how we were became the norm.

My last moments with my dad, I knew would be the last time I saw him. It is heart wrenching. December 23, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. I told my dad I loved him very much and walked out of my dad’s hospital room. I will not see him again, at least not in this life. I won’t hear his voice. Hear him call me “Sam.” Or hear him say “Love you too, punkin.”

I have three voicemails on my cell phone. I’ve listened to them multiple times to try to bring him back to me. It’s one of those denial moments.

My heart is aching to turn back time 48 hours. My mind is playing memories of moments over and over I had with my dad. My soul longs to know that he is at peace.

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