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Anniversaries are supposed to be happy occasions, a remembrance of important life events like a weddings, college graduations, or years spent at a career. Anniversaries are supposed to make us reminisce and remember with joy, to remind us of how much we’ve grown and changed over the years.

Today marks an important ten year anniversary for my family, however, it is one that fills our hearts with sadness instead of job. Ten years ago, today, the most important man in my life left it too early, becoming an angel in heaven far too young.

Our dad fought a valient 5+ year fight against lung cancer, all the while continuing to take care of his family. He was the most honest, hard working, and loving man I’ve ever known. When I think on everything our family has gone through since – a daughter married, my graduation from medical school, the birth of several grandchildren, and the loss of my grandmother – it aches even more knowing what he has missed and how much he is missed.

Ten years later, and it’s becoming harder to remember his walk, his talk, his strong presence, and his passion.  A decade later, it’s still hard, and it still hurts.  When it gets to that point, I cling to the hope that somewhere he is watching over us, and that he’s probably looking down and smiling along with his mom and dad.  I hold on to the fact that we only hurt because we we care, and that our pain is a testament to how important someone was to us.  It’s a pain and a hurt shared with my mom and sisters, and a similar feeling with other family and friends.

What I wouldnt give anything to have him here for even just an hour, just to chat and impart his wisdom.  Yet I know that’s not possible.  Instead, I will hold my family close and my memories closer.

I carry your heart with me.  I carry it in my heart.

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