dadMy father, Bruce C. Stanley, passed away on Sunday, April 15, 2001 – Easter Sunday. This time of year always proves to be hard at different moments. The joy is always accompanied by the sorrow. The bustle of family and friends visiting is now the companion of an emptiness of missing him.

Dear Dad,

I miss you.

There is no other way to say it. Maybe not very poetic. It may not be dramatic or great prose. But, I miss you. When we got married, there was an empty coffee mug at the reception. When Baby J was born, there was a missing Grandpa.

And now it is Christmas. The tree has been cut down, placed in the right place, decorated, and adorned with lights, surrounded by presents. But you won’t be here. You won’t be here to see her open her presents – one piece of wrapping paper at a time. You won’t be here to lift her up in the air and bombard her with kisses until she giggles . . . and warms your heart. You won’t be here to watch as eats Christmas breakfast – every last bite . . . . or her first cupcake at her birthday party.

You won’t be here.

Christmas was always you’re favorite time of year. At least it always felt like it. You didn’t have to go to work. You got to spend the whole day with the family. You loved handing out the presents and seeing what everyone got. You loved watching us play with our new toys – no matter how old we were. You loved spending time with the extended family.

But, you’re not here. And I miss you. I miss that Baby J will never get to experience your joy and love – especially at Christmas. I miss that Baby J will never get to feel the warmth of your hugs. I miss that Baby J will never have the chance to climb into your lap just to see you smile.

I miss you. Now, perhaps, more than ever.