When I was fifteen years old, my daddy passed away of a massive heart attack. I was at school and got called to the office to hear the most horrifying news of my life on the telephone. The voice on the other end was a lady co-worker of his; she told me he had dropped while at work.

After falling to my knees, I broke into tears. I soon collected myself enough to call my momma and give her the news. Arriving at the hospital and seeing him on life support felt as if I were in a dream. How could this be reality? Shortly after we arrived and family began to gather, he died.

The part that hurts me the most is that I never got to say goodbye to him. The last memory I will ever have is getting into a stupid fight with him over not getting my way. Such silly teenage nonsense, thinking I knew it all. At first I was a zombie, people would hug me, and I felt nothing. I could not tell you whom I talked to, who came to visit or what I ate. It was like I died along with him. Everything I saw, touched, or smelt, reminded me of him. Finally, my mom decided it was time to move. For me, I had lost my heart, my soul, my world!

No matter where we went, it could not bring my daddy back to me. So many months passed, and I felt nothing. I was a shell, a living, breathing zombie. I had not cried since that day on the phone; I just existed.

After moving into a new house, the day finally came when I broke down. I could not possibly function any more, and the tears busted out of me and I began to run! I ran into the woods to be alone. While I was running, I was screaming. I suddenly stopped running because the pain was so unbearable. Curled up in the fetal position, laying on dirt, grass and leaves, surrounded by trees and sky, I gaveup. I did not want to go on just existing anymore. I wanted to be with him.

It was at that moment, with my eyes closed, wet and full of tears, that I heard his voice. That single moment brought me back to life. It was like I felt him right there with me. I heard his voice in my head. From that moment on, I knew I would be alright.

He said to me, “I am not dead; I am more alive now than I ever was in the flesh. I have not left you, my darling; I can be with you more now than I ever could before. So get up.”

I jumped up and my heart was beating wildly. “Did I just hear my Daddy’s voice?” I got down on my knees and prayed for the first time since it had happened. I prayed for forgiveness, to feel happiness again, to feel anything again. I prayed and prayed until light began to fade.

The Lord gave me peace that day, and from that moment on, I was able to cope, I was able to think, I was slowly becoming me again. After that day, it felt like a weight had been lifted. I could breathe easier and did not feel so depressed.

I am not going to say it was easy, because I am still to this day missing my daddy. Nine years have gone by since that horrific day that I got called to the school office. I can proudly say I am happier now than I have ever been. I have a wonderful husband now and a beautiful two-year-old daughter who puts a smile on my face each day.

I’m not going to lie and say I am completely over losing my father because the truth is, I miss him every day. When the anniversary of his death comes around each year, I become that 15-year-old girl again. That moment stays with me, and the pain I felt comes right back. I can’t let it go no matter how hard I try.

God has truly helped me deal with everyday life. I can sometimes go months without thinking of that day, but he is always on my mind. Anytime my daughter does something that makes me smile, I wish he could see it. Anytime my husband buys me flowers or holds the door for me, I wish he could say he was proud of the man I chose.

I wanted him to walk me down the aisle at my wedding, to hold his granddaughter the day she was born. Those are the times I miss him the most. But anytime I want to hold his hand again, I can just close my eyes and he is always there.

Sheena Matos is a freelance writer. Reach her at storylady@live.com.

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Sheena Matos

Sheena Matos is a freelance writer who has been through a lot of loss. Her father died when he was 46, and she had a miscarriage when she was 11 weeks pregnant. She is happily married and mother of a 2-year-old daughter. She considers herself a “woman with a wounded heart who can help others know that they are not alone.” Reach her at storylady@live.com

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