It is nearly impossible to put into words how difficult this last year has been.
Yes, I always knew at some point in my life I would have to say goodbye to my father. Never in a million years did I expect to do it at the age of 22, but I guess life isn't fair, is it?
Our year of "firsts" was an up-and-down roller coaster ride which I don't wish upon anyone. It was unique in that we added another member to our family, when my sister got married six weeks after daddy left us.
It broke my heart not seeing my dad there to walk his baby girl down the aisle, but we knew he was there. From the beautiful weather he provided, to the surprise visit from a butterfly, which we can only assume was him making a visit.
Two weeks after the wedding, we finally laid Papa Bear to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. It is true that we can't make a trip to see him without playing Carly Ray Jepson's "Call me Maybe." I sure hope his fellow service men don't care, because we all know daddy is dancing in heaven.
Since then, there have been so many moments where I wish I could have a conversation with him or given him a hug, but most of all, tell him how much I love him. I didn't do that nearly enough while he was here, and that is one of my biggest regrets in my life thus far.
Whenever I go back to my parents' house, I wish he would be sitting in his chair in the family room watching a baseball game, or a documentary on the History channel. We don't have that luxury anymore. We only have memories.
I've heard things get easier as time goes on. I hope this is true, but I wish he was still here with us. This may be selfish of me, but I can't help it.
Instead, we carry our memories of daddy in our hearts every single day. I'm very happy to be a Lofgren. I just hope I'm making him proud.
I'll end this post with a few lyrics from Billy Joel's "Lullabye."
I promised I would never leave you
And you should always know
Wherever you may go
No matter where you are
I never will be far away