There are some people in your life that will come and go without it phasing you in the slightest, then there are others that you've grown up with and that have seen you through every light and dark moment you've ever endured. They're the ones that make the difference, they're the ones that count.
Every single memory of my childhood has you in it, from teaching me to ride a bike to making me laugh in the middle of a temper tantrum, you were there. You were my biggest supporter and my number one motivator. You always made me feel like I was brilliantly smart and you saw something in me that I didn't see in myself.
You made me feel like there was nothing in this world that I couldn't conquer.
Fast forward to now, close to two years since we've lost you, and it still feels like you were just here yesterday. There are good days and there are bad days but there's not been a day as great as the one's where you were alive and well, that's for sure.
I'm starting to realize that when you died a part of me died too. You were the one that encouraged my sometimes unrealistic dreams because you genuinely believed I could do it, whatever it may be. You were the person that I could count on to make me feel on top of the world when I'd start doubting myself. You were the reason that all throughout my childhood and teen years, I had the amount of confidence that I did.
Now, I struggle with believing in myself more than I ever have. I doubt my major, my purpose in life, and my capability to follow through almost everyday. I had the luxury of you being in my life for 20 years, and now I'm having to learn how to find myself in a world where you're not there, and it's unbelievably hard.
I would give anything to have you back but that's not how the world works.
So now I'm having to grow up. I'm having to grow up without you and this reality is not one I ever imagined. I'm trying to take the lessons you taught me into the real world and it's tough.
It's tough to keep my cool, especially considering how calm you were. It's tough to not get frustrated at things out of my control, you were good at that too, you were always so patient. It's just tough. I'm older now and have new responsibilities and I just wish I could call you and tell you about them. You always had the best advice, and even if sometimes it wasn't the best it was comforting to know I had you in my corner.
I had the kindest man in the universe on my side, and it was the best gift I could've ever been given.
So there's only one thing left to do, what you told me to do. "Keep your feet on the ground." Sometimes this is hard for me to do but I have to get through whatever it is that is going on and I have to make you proud. I have to keep going and not lose myself just because this time right now is difficult.
It's going to be difficult for a while, living life without you but I have to do what you would tell me to do if you were still here. I have to get a good education so I can help others, I have to empathize with those that need a friend, and I have to make the world a better place than how I found it.
I'll have my moments but when those hard times come I'll just think of you and remember all that you taught me and all that you gave me. I wouldn't be where I am without you and I wouldn't be half the person I am now without you being in my life.
You'll always be my hero Papa.
Your Small Fry