My father departed this life ten years ago next month. The gravity of this anniversary strikes me profoundly. The month of his death has always been a difficult one. It encompasses his birthday, Father’s Day, and finally the memorial of his death. June has not been a fun month for ten years. This year, however, the memory of his death shocks me in a way I had not anticipated. How can he have been missing from our table, our conversations, and decision making these ten years? Of course the answer is that he hasn’t really, but we have missed that laugh and clever wit for far too long. The hardest part of missing him is when I truly need to know something that only he knows or have his sage advice, I am impoverished. He was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he always knew how to have a good time, loved deeply and believed in God. One does not find that every day of the week. My father prayed every day. He told me once that he learned the importance of daily personal prayer in seminary and how it was essential to his formation as a priest. One of my joys is that I have many of his prayer books and the lists of people for whom he prayed daily. I also have his Bible. I personally do not like that particular translation, but I love to hold it and feel his hands again. These are my little treasures. I miss him every day, and I can’t believe I have had to live ten years without him, but I have. I will continue to do so and carry his memory and the lessons he taught me for the rest of my life.
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