September 8

It’s been twelve years now since I was woken at 3:30 AM with that horrible phone call. Or was it 4:30 AM? After twelve years, it’s growing a little fuzzy. I remember thinking it was my father who had passed away, not Joey. I remember thinking my mom was confused in her grief. Expecting to jog her out of it, I asked to speak to my dad, thinking for sure that she’d recognize her mistake and tell me it was him who was gone. And then I heard my dad’s voice and I knew, irrevocably, that she was right the first time.

Two years ago, I was still waking up at that time every night. Now, I can’t remember exactly what time it was.

This year, for the first time ever, I missed the anniversary of his death. Just tonight, 9 days late, did I realize that the anniversary of his passing had come and gone.

I hesitate to say that I’ve finally gotten past the sense of loss and the feeling that he was taken too soon. I feel that may be courting trouble so to speak. No, the loss is still definitely there. I still talk to him on a weekly, if not more frequent, basis.

But maybe, finally, the intense stabbing pain in my heart may be lifting. He’s still the angel on my shoulder, seeing me through the dark and the light, and maybe making things a little easier for me. But now, there’s more rejoicing in his life than mourning his loss.

And maybe that’s my next step.