I watered the yard this morning. Just like my father taught me to do. I appreciated the dawning light this morning, just like I used to watch him do. This morning I admired the progress of the two trees I planted a couple years ago. I looked at the height they'd achieved, I reached out for their leaves. And when I connected, I felt not a leaf but my father.
I miss him every day, but I tell you something that I've learned during these past five months: Death may end a life, but it does not end a relationship. In the strangest of ways, I feel close to him.
Did I ever say out loud that I wished to be more of him and less of me?
It's hard here without him. I've fallen down and gotten back up again so many times since he's been gone. It's more tiring to fall than to get up. I never used to think it that way. But he left his strength behind with me, and that has changed my perspective. I know he left his perseverance with me.
And I know that losing him has doubled my heart.
I spend a lot of time with his words in my mind. I sew some of them together with memories of him and I look closely at what forms. I find him telling me that it is not what we do, or even for whom we do it, it is the method by which we live our lives. Through steadfastness, through courage, through perseverance. Through love, and through kindness. These are the important things. There is no education that can teach us that, only years.
Painted wings and giant rings, I wish to be more of him and less of me.