I first heard this song at my grandfather's funeral. He died a year ago today. In some ways it seems like been longer than a year, and in other ways it seems shorter.
I can still hear his voice calling, "It's the girls!" when my sister and I came in the door. Or "It's the guys!" when it was my cousins. He was Daddio to us. While he was not an overly demonstrative man, we all knew he loved us.
I still can't play "Last Date" on the piano and not think of him. Especially because the piano I have now is the one they had at his house. He never said much about it, but I know he enjoyed hearing my sister and me play the piano.
I was expecting my baby when he died, and my son's middle name is Daddio's first name. I know he's up there shaking his finger at me for doing it…in between fishing trips. You can't tell me there is no fishing in Heaven.
Daddio loved to fish and hunt. Quite a few of my memories with him are of fishing trips. Floating the Black Warrior River. Trout fishing at the dam. Watching him and Dad fly fishing.
Baby even has a few mannerisms that are pure Daddio. The way he will hold his head when he's tired especially reminds us of him.
Something that I explored while writing for NaNo was that those that have passed on are still with us in our memories. This feels especially true with Daddio's passing. Maybe it's because I'm no longer living in Alabama, and not constantly around things that remind me that he's gone, but a lot of times it feels like he's still here.
I still have a wreath that Daddio made, a model car he have me once, and a little baseball bat he whittled. Mementos to remind me, because I do not want to forget. The memories are bittersweet, because I know I can no longer make more of them with Daddio, but that's ok. That's life. And it's ok.