Ten years ago today...

Today is the 10th anniversary of my father's passing. It's hard to believe that 10 years have passed already, and although my grief is more bearable today than it was in the first years following his untimely death, my heart still aches for him many days.

I wish he could have met his grandkids. He would have loved to see how smart and cheeky they are. I think of his stern face and how mine must look when I discipline my kids. And I remember the special and unforgettable moments that still make me smile, and hope to create similar ones for my children, for it is those memories that live vividly in my heart.

My dad comes to me in my dreams quite often, and he is always smiling. It's as if to reassure me for the guilt I feel when I think of how much more I could have done for him in his lifetime, especially as an adult. I wasn't the easiest child to raise, and quite often it was his stern and severe side that I would see growing up. Once his job of raising me was done, though, he turned into a real teddy bear. :)

Here is the last photo taken of our little family, all together. This was in the summer of 1998:

I miss you, Papa, and I thank you for your wisdom, your strength, and your charisma. Thanks to you, a fiery temper, a big laugh, and musicianship will continue along for generations to come!