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I’m jealous of all the people who have more time with my dad

The author’s father died when she was 14, and she is jealous because other people spent more time with him than she did.
Thanks to the author

  • My father adopted me when I was four, but to me he was always my father.
  • He died suddenly when I was 14.
  • Our time together was a small percentage of the life he lived, and we missed so much.

Being part of the Dead Dads Club™ is hard, but I doubt that’s surprising. It doesn’t seem to get any easier with time either.

My father adopted me on April 27, 2004, when I was four. He and my mother met after I was born, but he was always my father.

I like it when people share stories about my father. He’s not here to make any more memories, so it’s fun to reminisce about the ones he was a part of. But one of the things they don’t learn in the Dead Dad Club™ is that as children of deceased parents, we have to deal with the fact that we may not have been there for the majority of these memories.

Having limited memories is difficult

When you’re sad, it sometimes feels like you’re grasping at straws to find something new to think about when it comes to him. He died suddenly ten years ago, when I was fourteen. We spent almost every day going back and forth to school and sports practices, talking and listening to music in his truck.

Then it was all over and our time together was reduced to memories.

So many people had precious moments with my father long before I arrived, and my father had many without me, too. Of the years he was alive, I was only part of a small percentage, so sometimes I selfishly feel like I was robbed of experiences and conversations that we should have had and that he had with someone else.

My father loved family more than anything

My father walked my sister, who is fifteen years older than me, down the aisle at her wedding. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him happier than he was that day, other than the birth of my nieces. Forget Ron or Ronnie: Dad, Dad and Uncle Ronnie were his favorite names to call.

He was an overgrown child. Whenever he was near a random little kid at the grocery store or in a restaurant, he would look down at them and say in his big, booming voice, “How are you today?” Normally they would panic when a strange man was talking to them, and he would chuckle a little reluctantly. However, sometimes he made a new friend.

He was the biggest supporter and cheerleader you could find. He attended many of my cousins’ sporting events and was at all my softball games, dance recitals, and cross country and track meets. I think the activity we did most together was playing catch in the front yard, followed by shooting cannonballs in the pool. We also ate our fair share of French silk cake together, and every time I eat a piece I think of him.

I often think about what he misses

But he died before I ran my fastest times in high school—at his hometown track meet, of course—and before he could see me graduate. He didn’t see me starting and finishing college and high school, moving to a big city, getting my first job in my field, and meeting someone special. (He’s never met anyone I dated, so I guess it’s good for them, he would have left a creepy first impression.)

He won’t be there to walk me down the aisle or be called daddy by my children when I have them. But I will definitely tell them about him.

I’m glad so many people spent wonderful times with him and know how selfless, loving and hilarious he was. But it’s hard not to feel jealous, especially as time marches on and reminds me that soon there will have been more years without him than I spent with him. Yet I keep memories – my own and the memories that others so kindly share with me.