A year ago today you left the house only to leave this world a day after. Tomorrow will be exactly a year since I last heard your voice or saw you. I remember how on that Thursday evening, in the hospital, after sitting in the waiting room next to me for a few hours, you were finally given a bed and a sedative to help ease the discomfort you were feeling at the time. I felt so lost and confused and empty and cold that I started shivering. I was afraid to move, to even breathe. I sat there in that armchair watching you sleep, sedated. And I don’t remember feeling anything after that. It was like everything around me was frozen.
I don’t know how long afterwards a nurse came to check on you. Then she came and stood by my chair and gave me a hug. At that moment in my life I was so desperate for a friendly voice and touch. And this stranger gave it to me when I needed it most.
When you opened your eyes late at night and saw me sitting beside you, you insisted I go home and stay with the kids so they won’t be alone. I don’t remember how I drove back home, only that I was crying and screaming in the car because I didn’t want to do that while facing the kids. I had to be strong, those were your words.
A year without you my darling has gone by. Not a day has passed that I haven’t missed you. Not a day has gone by without us having mentioned you or thought about you for a million times, not a day goes by without us, the kids and I, having a ‘dad moment’.
And I still wish more than anything in the world that I could hear your voice one more time or see your face or touch you, just once, just once. Many are the nights when I open my eyes thinking you are beside me on the other side of the bed. But when I don’t find you there and see the empty space the harsh reality hits in and I close my eyes tightly to escape that reality. The world has lost its glamour to me.
I know some numbers have certain significant meaning in a person’s life, birthdays, anniversaries, first dates etc. And somehow I seem to be associated with the number 16 in a strange way. When I was in grade eight in high school, we had a new teacher who taught us civilization in a foreign language. Being foreign himself he found it difficult to pronounce our names so he called us by numbers. And when I think about it now my number was 16. Later on our first date was on a beautiful spring day, on the 16th of May decades ago and our last was on the 16th of November 2012, on that cold autumn day in that hospital room in Montreal.
I still don’t understand why you left us, or rather why your time came so soon. I like to believe though that you are with me, with us every step of the way. When I go out I still think that somehow I will see you in a corner of the street somewhere because I don’t know how to go on without you. Because even after a year the pain is still the same, if not stronger.
May you rest in peace my darling. We will always love you and forever miss you.