Today is the twelfth year since my dad’s passing. My husband remembered, first.

My dad had a good life. He was born in 1929 to parents, Grace and Thomas. He grew up as a Catholic and was even an altar boy. My Grandma Grace had high aspirations for my dad as a child. I have a few pictures of him dressed up in costumes. He loved to sing. As an adult, he sang in every choir and jam session he could find. I remember as a small child laying on top of mink coats in a back bedroom, supposedly asleep, listening to my dad sing with his jazz band. He was a natural.

We moved all over the place when I was a child. But as an only child, I was allowed a more adult relationship with my parents. We were buddies and fast friends. I was lucky. Some children are not afforded the special kind of relationship that I had with my parents, growing up.

When I was 21, my parents went their separate ways. Things change and some marriages don’t make it for the long haul. That was the case with my parents. But both my dad and my mom went on to have loving marriages a second time around with my step-mother and step-father.

In my father’s second marriage, I got the one thing that I had always longed for as a child – a sister. My little sister is 30 years my junior and lives a long way from me. But nevertheless, we have a special kinship. I see our dad in her and she in me. Nothing can break the bond between sisters.

My dad fought illness for a long time before he finally succumbed to it. I am grateful that I was given one more chance to see him again before he died. He got to reacquaint himself with my children, his grandchildren, and it was a special time.

Today, Dad, I will light a candle for you in church and pay my respects. The distance between us is only temporary, though, because one day I will get to reunite with you in Heaven.