I really can't believe it's been that long.
My dad has been gone for 11 years. Diagnosed with cancer on his 60th birthday and gone two years later to the day. After three tumors, multiple surgeries, countless chemo sessions and eight months of gradual deterioration at home, he needed to go. We were begging for him to go. When it was over, the house was lighter. A weight had been lifted. It was finally over. He was free.
I was just 23 at the time. I felt like I was just starting to figure things out.
Since then, I've gone back to school, found the job I was made for, met my wife, bought a house, and had a little girl that would have turned my dad inside out. He'd be 73 today and I have no doubt he'd be rolling on the floor laughing and playing with her like a man half his age.
That's the part that hurts.
As much as I would enjoy sitting next to him at Wrigley Field, playing golf together or just talking hoops, I would give everything I own to see him play with Emily for one day. She would have him wrapped around her finger within seconds. That's kinda her thing.
And as I think of him this week, it's amazing how he still plays a role in our daughter's future. The other day, Kate casually mentions to me, "hey, you know who shares your dad's birthday? Dr. Paley."
If that's not a sign, I don't know what is.
We got this.