Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Three Years Ago Today...

I woke up to the phone ringing and before I answered it, I knew.

I picked it up to hear my mom's voice, and through tears, she said, "Mijo." And I knew...

When I had left San Diego for the last time, my father was so sick he couldn't open his eyes or even recognize me. I kissed him on the forehead and, knowing I would never see him again, left back to school. He told me he wanted me to before he got really sick, and that he wanted me to go back to school so I wouldn't fail out. So, I did. And I waited for the call.

It was Plebe Parent Weekend, when all the freshman's parents come here to see their sons and daughters for the first time...they parade and show off their uniforms and I was supposed to demonstrate the high dive. We had planned for my dad to come and I'd even checked out the wheelchair accessability. Instead, he died.

I spent the weekend trying to either be by myself or at the least pretend things weren't eating me from the inside out. Sometimes, when friends and parents would ask, "Oh, your parents couldn't come?" I would simply say, no...they couldn't make it. Other times, I would tell them, "No. My dad died this morning. They're busy now." and walk away. I felt like shit, so why shouldn't everyone else?

As things go, it seems to get easier, although easier isn't the right word. I don't think a day goes by without my mentioning my dad to someone. Sometimes, it's happy and I want to share a memory of him. Maybe how he changed his "H's" to "U's" or how he had a white mans overbite and thought he was Mexican. Other times, I want to share the pain I still feel knowing that when I throw my hat in the air in eight months, all I'll be thinking about is how he's not there.

And then today. 11 Oct. I didn't even realize it was today until I was eating dinner with friends. And then, it hit is the day. Three years later. And I couldn't eat...or drink...and I left. I cried as I walked home in the rain, and I don't know why. I don't miss him any more today than I did yesterday or the day before, and I wasn't even there to be with him when he left. To bless him, or say goodbye, or hug my mother. All this anniversary is for me, is a phone call.

At his funeral, there was a Marine Color Guard. After they left and the crowd (a large crowd, I should mention) was dispersing, I saw my dad looking off into the Harbor. At least, I thought I did. As the man turned, I saw it wasn't my dad at all, but my Uncle. That moment is when I realized that I would never see him again.



Blogger Alex said...

I looked at that first picture without reading anything, and honestly thought, "Who are those cute kids Adam has with him, and when did his hair get that long?"


8:28 AM  

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