My dad died three years ago today.
Out of respect for my mother and the memory of my dad, I'm not ranting today, or even trying to entertain.
It's raining here in Texas today - a cold dark rain, steady and solemn. It is, probably more than anything else, representative of the way I feel on the inside.
My dad had been sick, very sick the last months of his life, and his death allowed him to slip from this world into the next.
I have a friend at work whose mother is dying. The end is very near for her, and to watch my friend struggle with it brings me back to those dark days when my own family was so torn by emotion. You hate to see them go, but seeing them here and hurting is almost too much to bear.
More than anything else, I am struck after this time just how permanent death is. I don't want to be the one to break this to you, but I'll do it anyway. The people you love are eventually going to check out. They will be gone. And they will be gone forever.
No more phone calls on your birthday, Christmas gifts under the tree, or random emails. No more passing them on the street on the way to Target, no more family dinners to enjoy. No more anything.
Whatever unfinished business you have with your loved ones will remain unfinished.
Tell them while you can that you love them, and listen to them when they say they love you. Hold on to those words, my friends, because someday all you'll have is the echo of them in your hearts.
As for me, today I will watch the rain fall from the sky. It's cold and it's dark, but today, it's just what I need.