This past Monday, a lot of people were celebrating Labor Day.
For my brother and I, we raised a glass to our father, who passed away five years ago. Dad was the kind of guy who lived very much in the here and now. He had a decent job, a brilliant mind and a hell of a disposition.
He left me a lot of things. I'm sure my nerdy sense of humor (and nerd-dom in general) came from him. My sense of fantasy, even though he never really followed it, certainly was acquired from my father. And of course I also have the beat up old house that he left to me after he passed.
One of the biggest dissapointments in my life is knowing that he won't be physically present to see all of the things that my brother and I have accomplished in his name. There are things that we would have liked to have left him, too. A lasting legacy that he could have seen before he died. He wasn't able to see Matt graduate from college or get his nursing license. Before he passed, I dabbled here and there in a few various things. He was always very excited to see me on a television show or a movie, even if it was only a small glimpse of me as a background actor (read: extra). But he won't be able to see my proudest accomplishments. He won't be able to see that I was able to publish a book, even if it was non-traditional. He won't see all the work I've put into making a legacy of my own.
There are other things that leave a shadowy spot on my heart as well. I know that he'll never see either of his sons married. He'll never get to meet Rhianna, the woman I intend to spend the rest of my life with. He'll never experience the joy of being a grandfather.
These things all weigh heavily on me, as I'm sure they do to Matt, and all the rest of the loved ones he left behind.
There is a bright spot in all of the sorrow and mourning that you have for someone who has moved on, however. My faith sustains me. I'm sure that there is something out there. At various points since my father has passed away, there is no doubt in my mind that though his physical manifestation is gone, he is still present somehow. He looks down on us and he smiles, content that we're making the most of our lives, and that we still remember.
In a year or two, I'll have muscled my way through the first trilogy of the Tellest fantasy. After that, I want to try and tackle a prequel, that follows Kaos before some of the hardest turmoil in his life. Though I could never properly capture the essence of my father, I've already got a character in mind who reminds me so much of him. I wish that Dad was still alive to see him the way I see him - as this hero who gave his children the love he could, and sacrificed for them when necessary. Though he may not see it, I know he feels what is in my heart.
I remember you, Dad.