He’s been gone for such a short time now.

I miss him. God, how I miss him. I think about the things I’d like to talk to him about. How I’d like to tell him about all the good things that are currently happening in my life. How I know he’d be so happy, so proud. He’d be so proud of me.

I didn’t handle the loss of him how I thought I might. I haven’t cried. You can think of that whatever you like. But it’s a fact: I haven’t cried. It’s not that I wouldn’t, or couldn’t. It’s that I don’t feel I should. Or need to.

Now please understand. I’m easily brought to tears. I’m a sensitive girl. I always have been. In this instance however, it’s not about that. It’s not about tears. It’s about respecting, and understanding, the man he is. Was. Whatever.

He was my father. The only father I knew. He was my dad. And I loved him fiercely. I would have been there more often, but that was not something I could do. He understood that. Or, at least, I believe he did. We touched on the topic lightly, a bare fingers breadth of touch, that led me to believe that he understood. Did I pursue it? No. I felt no need to. I’m not one to relentlessly pursue something if I feel it’s pointless, or already understood. If there’s need for more discussion, I’m confident that the other person will bring it up, or I will. I never felt that was the case.

But, my god, I miss him.

I understand him. It took awhile, though. To add everything together. All of the experiences, his and mine…put them all together, in a storybook kind of way…and think, yes, that’s a complete picture. I have done that. Added it all together, and been able to think, Yes, this. And that. Yes. I see it.

He was the most affecting, most fundamental person in my life. I could string together endless number of words to describe him…but if you knew him, you’d know that words, endless words, are superfluous. Yet words are what bind him and I together. He taught me to love words, to learn words, to know words. I would not be who I am, if not for him. That’s heady. Weighty. I am, I simply am because of him.

He was my father, the only father I knew, the best I could have had. Any and all of you should have been so lucky.

I think sometimes I can still pick up the phone, or go for a drive, and talk to him, see him. Of course, I can’t. But I am not distraught with this realization. Yes, I miss him. But I remember how happy he was to see me, when I last saw him, and I must, I simply must, remember that. It’s no small thing to bring a smile to the face of a dying man. And I had already told him my first published novel would be dedicated to him. Because he had taught me to love words. To pay attention to words. That is something you never forget.

I’m quite certain I would not be who I am, if not for him. So if I don’t cry, it’s not because I wouldn’t. Or couldn’t. It’s because I won’t. That it’s not appropriate. It doesn’t fit. I think he would understand. I don’t care if no one else does.

I love you, daddy. I always have, and I always will.