I can feel their eyes on me, people looking me over as I speak to them wondering why I haven't shaved or look disheveled. It's because I can barely look in the mirror anymore, whenever I do all I see is you. As I brush my hair back it looks like your hair, I grow a beard and it's your beard. Even the bags under my eyes are exactly like yours, it's inescapable.
It's been ten years since I saw you last, when I watched you take your last breath the color washing away from your face. It's a hell of a thing to witness but even worse to feel it, I could feel you go as I held your hand as I'm sure Mom could too laying there with you. It's tough to go on everyday with that movie playing over and over again in my mind, you waking up at 3:00 am to look at us and say, "I love you guys." The last thing you would ever say and only a few hours later when your breathing became labored, forced and then with a final gasp you let go. Then seeing Mom's face as she realized you were gone.
Amazing how ten years doesn't feel real, how fast it went. You got to see Kolton but you missed out on Mia, you would love her as you did all your grandkids and Great Grandkids. You missed out on meeting Madison, she would've made you laugh a lot. Christmas has never been the same or any holiday for that matter. Horse shoes in the backyard on the 4th of July always my favorite. Working on any car in the garage with you and talking about anything and everything. Drinks at Ocean Deck in Daytona the perfect bar you said and I agreed.
I couldn't imagine what went through your mind as you only had three months to process the news of "Terminal". Only enough time to get rushed into treatments and such to put things in order, but that is where you gave me one last gift, one last favor. Tammy.
She scheduled your treatments and I remember you coming home and saying, "Guess who we ran into...". Well Old Man you wouldn't have believed how that worked out. Everything happens for a reason, you always told me that and you were right. I wish you could've been in Key west with us, your kind of place laid back, easy and the drinks flowing with the ocean whispering all around. Seeing Lillie, Leanna and Kolton grow so quickly and doing so well. Diana taking such good care of Grandma and everyone for that matter. You would be so proud of Jeremy and the master Electrician he has become, or how well Olivia is doing in college. And Micheal as the good father he has been to Madilyn due to your influence I'm sure. Or the life I have finally gotten thanks to you directing me back to Tammy, it's now my turn to play with grandchildren and watch as they make me so proud in so many ways. Or seeing the guitars Larry and I can build, you would be amazed at how two punks from the Eastside finally put their heads together and talents and made some of the best around. And how I finally picked up an airbrush like you wanted me too and painting some great stuff.
But you're not so I guess I'll just keep talking to the mirror wondering why you don't answer back even though I'm staring right at you. At least I can see you whenever I want...