Sunday, July 17, 2016


Standing in line at a Walgreens pharmacy on a Sunday morning, I heard his deep, yet gravelly voice on the other end of the line for the last time. It was the very last time I heard his voice say “I love you.”  As a child, we were in church from the time the doors opened, until the last person left.  But this day was different.  I called him while waiting, which is what everyone does at Walgreens, wait, wait, and wait some more.  The line is seemingly never-ending.  That day however, on July 19, 2015, I wish it would have taken longer.  We made small talk, discussing the change in vehicle inspection prices, and my journey to get my car inspected.  A normal discussion for us, but so very out of the ordinary this time.  I was sick, waiting to pick up an antibiotic at the pharmacy.  He was still in bed.  He knew breakfast had been cooked, but he said “I’m just so tired.”  I made him promise me he would get out of bed and have pancakes.  I inherited my ability to talk to a brick wall from him.  Yet this day, neither of us could quite find the words to say.  Silence came between us.  I said “I love you daddy.”  He replied “I love you.”  Our entire conversation lasted no more than 15 minutes.  I would love for it to have lasted 150 minutes.  Less than a month later, I saw him.  I don’t know if he recognized me, I don’t know if he understood what I was saying.  I had a lump in my throat the size of a plum as I said “Hey daddy”.  Less than 24 hours after seeing him, we said goodbye for now.

As the anniversary of our last exchanged “I love you” is approaching, I’m at times overcome with tears and sadness, but they are washed away at the reminder that we will see each other again.  We will be reunited and we will talk the ears off of everyone in Heaven together.  We may even find a golden brick wall to have a conversation with.  We will laugh, we will smile, and we will be together again.  Until that day, I will continue to relish in the fact that I am both loud and funny just as he was, as I am my father’s child.