Today marks 16 years since my dad and I last shared the same bit of earth.  Usually, I spend the day moping around crying and thinking about everything he’s missed and what it would have been like if he’d been there.

On this stunning, fall Annapolis morning, I just can’t do that.  I won’t do that.  He hasn’t missed anything.  He’s been with me every step of the way… because I brought him with me.  My family and friends have ensured his presence more times than I can count, as well.  And to my family and friends who have so selflessly dedicated time and energy to helping me feel my dad’s spirit, I’ll never be able to adequately convey my thanks.

Today, I’m going to spend in gratitude.  I’m grateful for the 16 years I did have with him.  That’s a heck-of a lot more time than many people get with their dads.  I’m grateful for the long drives to and from Pop and Grammy’s house.  I’m grateful for listing to Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan.  I’m grateful for hugs and tickle attacks.  I’m grateful for all our Christmas mornings.  I’m grateful for all our trick-or-treating and our Easter brunches.  I’m grateful for our Penn State football game Saturdays and our Sunday morning cartoons.  I’m grateful for my dad.  I’m grateful.

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