The first few years, Aug. 14 snuck up on me.
That’s the day my dad died, in 2000. As any of you who have lost a parent know, those first milestones – Christmas, birthdays, Father’s Day – carry an unmistakable void. They came and went, and I wondered how dad must have felt on New Year’s Eve of the year before.
That day – early evening, as people finalized New Year’s Eve plans – doctors told dad he had leukemia.
He waited days to tell my sister and me. I lived in Tallahassee, Fla., eight hours of mostly of Georgia highway away from his brick house in Belmont, N.C. My numbness thawed when I told my friends at work that day, the tears rushing out before my words could.