Over the past week I have been thinking a lot about my Dad. Since he passed away he has never been completely out of my mind, but lately I feel as if I have been haunted by his loss more than normal. It feels like every time I turn around I confront another reminder that he is really gone.
This past weekend we went to National Harbor for a holiday getaway. In years past, my Dad would have used his hotel reward points for our room. With a quick phone call he would instantly turn our planned day trip into an overnight adventure. Having to book the hotel felt surreal because it was yet another reminder that he is gone. I suspect that I will always think of him when we are going on a weekend getaway.
My grandmother's Menorah is on my kitchen table, and we have been dutifully lighting it every night. While I won't pretend to know all of the Hanukkah traditions, lighting the Menorah has been a tradition in our home since my Dad moved in with us more than a decade ago. Whenever possible he came home early from work during Hanukkah so that we could light the candles together. One of my favorite photos of my Dad was taken during Robby's first Hanukkah. I smile every time I see the image of baby Robby in a Santa suit, sucking a binkie and looking at Candy Papaw lighting the Menorah. This year, as we light the candles, I find myself fighting back tears.
Going through our decoration boxes, yesterday I pulled out the stocking I embroidered for my Dad when he was living with us. Sitting on the living room floor holding his stocking, I broke down. I tried to throw it away but couldn't bring myself to do it. Instead I just put it back in the box of decorations I am not going to use and packed it away. Someday I'm sure I'll throw it away, but right now I'm just not ready.