It has been a little over a year and a half since I received the news that my dad would not survive injuries he received from a bike riding accident. This shocking news just seemed impossible! I didn't understand how this could possibly have happened. The idea of life without my dad seemed so inconceivable. My dad had always been my rock. He was the one I went to in my times of trouble. The one I relied on for much-needed advice. He was the person who loved me unconditionally, despite my many mistakes. He was my perfect dad.
The months that followed his death were dark ones for me. I tried to understand the anger in my heart and not let it control me, but I could always feel it there, lingering. It all felt like such an injustice that this young, healthy, strong father of mine was no longer a part of this life of mine. But then I received another call that would change my life yet again. My 6-year-old daughter Emilie was killed at her school, Sandy Hook Elementary, along with 19 of her classmates and six educators.
After learning of her death, I remember sitting alone in my room, trying to understand the horror that my daughter had just gone through and feeling so much guilt that I wasn't there for her. I couldn't help her. I couldn't comfort her. I couldn't be there for my daughter. I felt like I failed my job as her mother. Then a powerful peace came rushing through me as I realized that someone else was there for my daughter... my dad. For the first time, I was grateful my dad was where he was. I needed him to be there for my baby, just like he was there for me my whole life. He could do what I could not.
I have now realized that the invaluable lessons my dad taught me throughout my life did not leave me with his death. Going through some of the worst trials and stresses in my life, I am lifted by my dad's powerful love and advice I received from him in the past. His words still come to me and still guide me. He empowers me to pick myself up every day and teach my other two daughters the true value of unconditional love and support. Father's Day is a sacred day for me to truly feel grateful for my father and the example he was and still is for me. I miss you every day dad! Love you forever...