Today is the beginning of the milestones we will mark as life marches on without my dad. Tonight we would have been dining together and celebrating his 80th birthday, probably at the Catfish House or O'Charleys or Cheddars. He loved them all. Instead of celebrating his birth today, I am intensely aware of my personal loss. There will be no more birthday celebrations for my dad, just as there will be no more birthday cards for me from him with a crisp $50.00 bill inside. I miss him so much today. I've been watching the calendar for weeks, this day creeping closer and closer, just as Thanksgiving and Christmas are lurking in the future. There is no joy in the anticipation of the holidays this year. Only a heaviness.
I am going to slap the first person that says to me "it is time to make new traditions". As I write that, I realize I have said that very thing to friends who have suffered the loss of loved ones. How lame am I? I know just as I was trying to be positive for them, others will feel compelled to do the same for me. I am not ready to hear it. I don't want to hear it. I need to grieve through the holidays and mark those anniversaries, the first Thanksgiving without, the first Christmas without. I still need to feel sorry for myself, little orphan Katona. Orphan. Webster defines Orphan as a child whose parents are dead. Becoming an adult orphan is hard. You have lost the last person who could love you undonditionally and care for you like no other can. No matter how old we become, when your parents are living you are still someones little girl. When they are gone, no one is left to nurture your inner child except yourself. It is very sad.
Nearly every time I saw my dad or called him on the phone, he greated me with "Hi Shug (short for sugar)" I loved that so much. It went right to my heart and warmed me from within in a way I can not really explain. I adored my father. I've said before that our relationship was often challenging, but he was my daddy and I wanted nothing more in the world than to make him happy. I didn't usually go about it in the right ways, but I really did want him to be proud of me. We often butted heads, argued about choices I made, but no matter what tensions were between us, I was still his Shug.
I miss him so much.