For my dad, my veteran. For all veterans.
I always called my father on Veteran's Day to say hi and tell him I was thinking of him.
Today there is no one to call.
The last few months have been a bit like a roller coaster ride. Waiting for his death to come (since we knew it was) was like that initial slow ride up to the top when you know that any second the bottom is going to drop out and you're going to start free-falling. Then of course, the week or two following his death: Lurching down, down, down . . . .
Since then, there have been ups and down - not as dramatic as the initial one, but enough sometimes to take my breath away.
Lately, it's been more steady and calm. Sometimes, I think the ride is ending, but then I realize it probably never does. Every now and then out of the blue, I drop again. It is shocking and cruel, but I've realized this is life after the death of a parent. You never quite get used to it.
Since I have no one to call in person, I will simply wish all the Veteran's out there - past and present - my gratitude. You have given so much.
We are thankful.