Sunday was the one-year anniversary of Tom Pope’s passing; I found myself reflecting on my life trying to remember everything I can about dad. Knowing that a year had already passed really impacted me. I didn’t realize how difficult this past week would be; it was very hard.

It is insane how fast time goes by, how busy life is for everyone, and how at any given moment your life can be changed forever. I think I am afraid that by living my life and going through the daily grind that I am going to forget him. I know I won’t forget him, but I find I don’t take time to just sit and think about him as much as I used to, and that makes me sad.

At times, it feels surreal that I will never see Dad again – that he won’t be able to know my daughter; and she won’t know him. I think when people grieve or experience profound loss, there are many different ways to deal with it, but it comes down to time. Time does ultimately heal all wounds; the scar may always be there, but the pain definitely lessens. It is sad to me that this day and age things don’t ever slow down and we are always expected to do more, be more, get more. Even though sometimes the days may feel long, the years go by so fast and life is short. I think it is important that we all make an effort to take time for family, friends, and ourselves.

My father loved life – he loved his work – he loved his family and friends – and he lived each day to the fullest. He was full of light and energy and he shared that with everyone he came into contact with. Dad wasn’t going to let his disease or his chronic pain prevent him from loving life and wanting to live. He never complained about anything he was going through; kept fighting until his body just couldn’t keep up.

I am going to make an effort to be as positive as Dad was and to be the best version of myself that I can be. I urge everyone who took a few minutes to read this blog to reflect on your own life and find ways to be happy, make a difference, and realize how precious life is.

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