Some might say it was the hardest day of my life. I disagree. I think the day we found out he had Stage IV lung cancer was harder. I think the day we picked his casket was harder. I think seeing my kids and talking to them about how they will never see their beloved Pop Pop again was harder. I think hugging and thanking the hundreds of people that came through the line at the viewing was harder. I think sitting through his funeral and feeling like he was robbed of so much life was harder.
Today may mark the day of his actual death. But in reality, I think the aftermath hurt more than the actual day. It's been 3 whole years and I can still be reduced to tears at the simplest of things that remind me of him.
I went to the gravesite with my Mom and Sister this morning. We released our balloons to heaven as we always do. We went to lunch and then I went on a slow run. Oddly, my stomach heart and I had heart burn. This has never happened to me on a run before. Perhaps my heart was hurting for a reason.
PS: To those that read this blog that knew my Dad, please do me a favor. Play one these songs for him today: "Islands in the Stream" by Dolly & Kenny or "The Dance" by Garth Brooks. I played them both during my ride to my mom's this morning. I think the Dance is such a fitting tribute to him. Islands in the Stream was one of his favorite songs. Oh yeah, have a cup of coffee, too!