When you’re seven and your Dad dies you will stop seeing his family so much because it hurts your mom to be around them.
You start to feel like an outsider in a room filled with his siblings whose memories of your Dad exceed your own. You will feel jealous of your cousin who so easily curls into your aunts laps on Christmas.
Some days you feel grateful for the memories of him they share with you. They laugh at his funny pranks, shake their heads at his relentless teasing, and reminisce of a life long missed with him. Each memory, a treasure.
On other days their memories will irritate you because it will remind you of how little you actually knew him.
You will convince yourself that it doesn’t matter that you do not have as many memories…because he was your Dad…and as hard as they love him and as many memories as they have, that special relationship is safe just for you.
You will remember the laughing sparkle in his blue eyes when he would squeeze that soft spot above your knee. Tell you you’re boy crazy. You will feel happy again with your own memories.
You will have a special place in your heart for your Grandma and Grandpa who always seem to make you feel like the most special girl in the whole entire world. They will look at you like you are an angel, because they see pieces of their boy inside you.
Your Grandpa will hug you close, take a good look at how you’ve grown. You will see a familiar sparkle in his blue eyes when he squeezes the soft spot above your knee. Tell you you’re boy crazy.
When you’re seven and your Dad dies you will stop seeing his family so much because it hurts your Mom to be around them.
And you understand.