This is a photo of me and my dad. I was thinking about him last night. You know how a smell can just transport you through time and space? Well, the fresh spring air did that very thing to me and all I could think about was my dad.
He was my friend too. We would talk to each other for hours on the phone, about nothing really but somehow everything. He made me laugh and sometime shocked me. He knew everything there was to know about the woods and the garden and I would regularly benefit from this knowledge. Dad was also an amazing cook - a lot of my memories about him are related to food. The feasts he would prepare were mind boggling and when my brother's and I get together we always end up talking about some amazing meal that we had with him.
He died a couple of years ago. I have never felt so lost in my entire life as I did in that moment. His death was expected. It didn't make it any easier to comprehend. But I did get to say good bye and tell him how much he meant to me. I know a lot of people don't get that chance. This is going to sound cheesy but it is true - there is a part of me that feels empty without him here. I can go for weeks without thinking about it but sooner or later it always creeps up on me.
I remember sitting in the hospital one day, holding my dad's hand. This memory from when I was about eight years old came rushing back to me. We had gone out to the woods to look for mushrooms. I remember the smell of the forest - the trees, the warm dirt, the mossy rocks, the warm sunshine peeking through the trees. The morels. Dad could always find them, I never could. But that didn't matter to me. All I cared about was spending time with my dad in the place he loved best.