Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Hey, old man.

I know it’s been a damn long while since you saw me around these parts. Here, I brought you flowers. One from Mom, one from sis, and one from me. You might be wondering why I drove all the way down here just to bring you a few flowers, huh? Well, that’s not exactly why I came. I came to pay my respects, of course, but I also came to talk. You see, I bumped into this girl two days ago. The girl I had loved a whole freaking lot two years ago. Maybe a bit too much even. Anyway, I wasn’t prepared, and I didn’t know what to do, so I kind of just ran away. But I was tired of avoiding her; I’ve been doing this for more than a year now. So the following day, I reached out to her, and we went for a walk. Best decision I’ve made recently. You should have seen her, Dad. God, she was beautiful. And I’m not talking just sexy and pretty. Hearing her laugh and tell me stories, seeing her cry and smile, I remembered how much of a beautiful human being she was. I remembered why I fell in love with her. I told her everything that had been on my mind and heart since we broke up. The pain, the self-doubt, the repression, the outbursts, the nostalgia, the hope… I laid all of it down. It felt damn good. She’s going to leave again, soon. But at least now I’m not mad at her about it. I’m slowly making my peace with the fact that she’s going to be hanging out somewhere in my heart for a while. And it’s okay. Who knows, we might just bump into one another further down this winding road. For now, I’m just glad I got to spend some honest time with her. To hold her small body close to mine for a few powerful seconds.

Don’t worry though, I didn’t come here just to talk about girls and love. We have much bigger issues to discuss, you and I. You must remember how angry and sad and scared I’ve been the other times we talked. Since you left, I’ve often felt like this world didn’t make any sense. That the inevitability and finality of death and the recurrence of pain and loss stripped this life from meaning. That this world somehow wasn’t enough. And I’ve carried this sour aftertaste in my mouth for years. I’ve constantly focused on the bad stuff. Unfortunately, I still do it too much.

I was smoking a cigarette on my balcony with a good friend last week. We were discussing this tendency we both shared: focusing on the negative. And I told him bluntly (I was also telling it to myself) that we were stupid motherfuckers. That we were consciously choosing to put the bad first and ignore all the good that was around. And that this had to stop. Because you know what? I couldn’t even count all of my blessings if I tried. There’s just too much good stuff. The majesty of the sun setting on the river while I was driving to meet you here. The warm smile of this girl I was just telling you about. The laughter and hugs and adventures I share with real friends. The jokes, drinks, and meals I share with Mom and sis. The overwhelming, mysterious opportunities that lay just beyond our tomorrows. And this cold Rimouski wind that dries my tears while I sit here by your side.

I miss you Dad. I wish you would’ve stayed just a bit longer. Because this world is enough.

And I’m so thankful you and Mom brought me in it.