I'm not sure what started it, but for some reason, I began to think of my neighbors and all that they've said to me since the day my dad went missing, after he was found, and well after that.
From when he was missing:
My neighbors were able to guess the area that my dad would soon be found at. All because of something my dad had said a couple times months earlier. But the search efforts came up empty until someone stumbled upon him. My neighbors also told me something my dad never could. That less than a month prior, he had gone on a huge tangent about how much he loved me and my siblings and how proud of each of us he was, especially me. That's something I'd never actually heard from his lips, I was just left to assume those things. And just writing that brought tears to my eyes, yet I'm smiling. And on a random note, my roommate jsut walked in while I was smiling and crying and she doesn't understand if something is wrong or not.
After he was found:
My neighbors mourned right alongside me. My friend went to the funeral and sat next to me and she even went when we buried his ashes at a later time. She cried like it was her dad, though it was mine. They all surrounded me with hugs and just sat there with me. Though I wasn't always willing to tell them what was on my mind, they knew i was hurting and just needed their friendship. My friend would even sit there with me and eventually tell me how much she missed my own dad and how much it hurt her too.
One thing that always makes me sad is how this summer, I was visiting my neighbors and 'Pops' made a random remark about how much he missed my dad. That my dad was his best friend and now he's lonely and without his best friend. And quite frankly, I miss them hanging out with eachother and I miss having that common bond with my dad and being able to spend time with the neighbors together- something no one else in the family would do but me and him.
Thinking about my neighbors and spending time with them reminds me of all this, which is a different aspect of my dad that most do not know. It's like the best kept secret between me, him, and my neighbors. I guess, I have a special connection with them and for that, I'm glad. It's like a treat getting to visit them since I'm not home that often. But it's something I look forward to, as I am right now.
Yet, in the end, I'll always miss my dad becuase nothing and no one can replace him...