It's crazy to think that I'll never see him face to face here on this earth. I can't pick up the phone and call him. Even after 2-1/2 years, that is the one thing I want. After 2-1/2 years though, my days are so much easier to get through. I was driving home from work today and for whatever reason, I thought back to that early morning after my dad had passed away. I remember I finally fell asleep probably around 2 or 3 in the morning and I think I was up within about 2 hours. I was in a hotel and I went out to his house, opened the pick up of his truck and tried to curl up in it.. to somehow be closer to him. It was so cold but I didn't care, nothing mattered. My heart was dead. I decided to drive up to the lookout point in Fairbanks and I just sat and cried. I didn't think anything could ever get any worse than that moment. And honestly, it hasn't and I don't ever see a day it being that bad again… not until the one day I dread, which we won't discuss because it's not going to happen for another 30 years at least. I will say this, I am blessed though. I had the honor of being this man's daughter. We butted heads throughout my teenage years, like any father and daughter, but probably more so because I'm pretty much very similar to him. He was stubborn (even though he continuously denied that trait) and I am stubborn in case anyone wondered. :-) But I know that this man loved me unconditionally and I loved him just as much. When I was little we would end our phone calls with 'I love you more' 'No, I love you more', 'No, no, I love you more'. I don't remember who ever won that battle but I believe we loved each other equally. My heart will continue to stay broke and deep inside there is pain from this loss. However, for those going through the beginning stages of grief, or even somewhere in between, some miraculous thing happens - that stabbing, aching pain that you feel - the numbness and loss of yourself - it slowly starts to return. You'll smile more, you'll laugh more but there will be moments that hit like a freaking hurricane that make you stop in your tracks. A tear will slip and you'll miss him like that first moment. A little pain will seep from your heart and you'll remember that pain but it gets pushed back again for another moment of reality that your loved one is gone. Hang in there because the journey is worth the ride.