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  • Writer's pictureMaria Thacker Goethe, MPH

It’s been a year…wow.

Exactly a year ago I lost my dad to CJD.  It’s a strange realization to think it has been a whole year and we survived the initial heartache.  Where did this past year go to? I mean – it has flown by. I guess it took at least 6 months to crawl out of the emotional shock of everything and of course the massive amount of paperwork that comes with someone dying, but, now that it is here, it is still rather shocking.

Things are going well, the family is healthy and mom is learning to live without dad while still remembering him every day.  His picture frame is giving a kiss by my nephew each time he visits mom and we often think to ourselves – “How would Steve handle this?”  It is certainly not easy, but the waves of sadness come less frequently and the memories of him while he was sick are fading, to be replaced with happy memories and things he did that can still make one laugh.

This morning we visited dad’s grave at Honeycreek Woodlands.  It was a freezing with the windchill, but we were happy to say a prayer for him and the family, place fresh flowers, and see the new bench that was set nearby with the inscription “Luz de mi vida.” (This means light of my life and was something that dad always said to mom.)  Looking out into the pasture that the site overlooks were stunning cloudless blue skies and tall grasses blowing in the crisp breeze.  It was gorgeous and every time we visit we are happy to have selected this spot to visit and remember dad.

I miss my dad so very much.  Most nights when I let the dog out I like to look up at the sky and tell him good night and thank you for all he gave me and others.  There is not a single day that passes that I do not remember him – his smile, a witty remark, embarrassing dance moves or simply an article or movie I know he would have loved.

I wish he was here to see everything I’ve been doing. I hope he is proud of me, as he definitely was an influence on my life. I know he is still with me as I feel his presence, but it’s just not the same here anymore without him.  Mom misses him so very much, but we try to be strong for each other as I know that’s what he would have wanted.

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