Bombarded by bittersweet reminders of the still painful loss, I wake up
to all the white-toothed smiles and neck-tugging hugs of young women
wearing colorful summer dresses and middle-aged men in striped Polos.
Their jubilation on a once joyous day for me, as they surround flaming grills
cooking burgers and watching the afternoon baseball game like we once did,
only makes me feel more disappointed we will never celebrate together again.
We will never sit around telling stories late at night while Momma cooks
in the kitchen. Never watch another Western starring leather-skinned,
muscular gunslingers and outlaws. Never sing along with the car radio.
We will never share a drink as good friends or fight like only a family can.
Time took you away before I could show you the man I would become:
A lover of only the most beautiful women, a fighter of the worst men,
A drinker of the strongest whiskey, and a teller of the craziest stories.
I shudder every time something reminds me, proves to me, that it’s true.
Dad, I grew up to be just like you.