It is hard to believe that it has been a year since the death of my dad, Don Amsler. I suppose that you can say time has flown, and in a way it has. We have had an entire year of “firsts”. First Thanksgiving without him and his always thoughtful Thanksgiving homily. First Christmas without him. The first time I wasn’t able to call him on his birthday to wish him a happy day. I need not go on.
I am not the first person to lose a parent to quick illness. What we have all experienced this year is experienced by so many others. And yet, if you asked all those other people, I would guess that they all feel as I have felt this last year, as if it is a singular event to lose a parent. Perhaps it is because I had him in my life until almost the middle of my 50’s. Who knows. The knife edge of grief has dulled over the past twelve months but the ache is still there, the sorrow that occasionally overwhelms at the oddest moments. I have a feeling that will always be the case. I have yet to be able to listen to the last voicemail he left me, about a week before his death, when he was already in the hospital and so very ill. I listened to it that day and thankfully didn’t erase it. He didn’t sound himself, being deep into his pneumonia, but he still sounded like my dad. And he laughed at how horrible he knew he sounded. That would be so like him, to laugh at something like that at a time when he was in such tremendous pain. I have taken the precaution of copying that voicemail onto my computer in an Mp3 format, just to make sure that it is not lost at some point. Apple doesn’t transfer over voicemails and sometimes the iphone just eats them for no apparent reason other than plain cussedness.
Below I have embedded (hopefully) my remarks at his celebration of life. I don’t think there is anything else to say except,
I miss you, Dad, more than words can ever truly express.