You should be here

ry=400Though I have no artistic talent whatsoever, music was always a part of my life because it was my dad’s passion. Songs from my childhood can bring me back in just a few chords. So it’s no surprise that, six years ago tomorrow, the day my dad died, I found myself on my bed, nursing an infant and listening to Let It Be over and over again. These words, somehow comforted me in those moments, enough to make it through the toughest time in my life.

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

After growing up with rock music, I started listening to country a few years ago. I’d lost my job and was trying to figure out my next career move and the lyrics in country songs just spoke to me.

So here we are, six years later, and I’m on my bed. This time with a fluffy dog and a quiet house. Instead of The Beatles, I keep listening to Cole Swindell’s “You should be here.” I alternate between smiling and crying.

It’s perfect outside it’s like God let me dial up the weather
It’s another perfect San Diego day, and I started the day on a run with my beautiful daughter.

Got the whole crew here, I ain’t seen some of them in forever.
I’ve been talking to some high school friends (who my dad loved) about having a reunion.

It’s one of those never forget it, better stop and take it in kinda scenes.
Several times lately, I’ve caught my kids greeting each other with a kiss or randomly saying “I love you.” It makes my heart feel like it’s going to explode.

Everything’s just right yeah except for one thing.
My dad isn’t here.

You should be here, standing with your arm around me here.
He loved nothing more than to stand with an arm around someone he cared about, a smile on his face.
Except maybe…

Cutting up, cracking a cold beer, saying cheers, hey y’all it’s sure been a good year.
It’s one of those moments, that’s got your name written all over it.
Like us, talking and laughing with friends, which we’ve been doing so often lately. We have so many good people in our lives. Maybe he’d even play beer pong with them, like he did with my mom and brother the last time I saw him. I laughed so hard that I cried that night.

And you know that if I had just one wish it’d be that you didn’t have to miss this
I have a pretty darn great life, but one thing is missing.

You should be here.
You’d be taking way too many pictures on your phone.
You always wanted to take pictures. It was annoying as a child and now I do it to my kids. Maybe that’s why. You’d be amazed with the capability of smart phone cameras now. You would have loved to see the kids grow up on Facebook and Instagram, since you lived so far away.

Showing them off to everybody that you know back home.
And even some you don’t yeah
You told everyone about us. Your poor coworkers. You talked so much to anyone and everyone. That’s why you’d take hours to just go to Target or Costco. You were probably telling the cashier about my new job or Michael’s business or Clay finally crawling.

They say now you’re in a better place
And I would be too if I could see your face.
Every time I think of you, it’s your smile I can picture so clearly in my head. The twinkle in your eyes. Michael has it. So do Clay and Avery. I stare at them sometimes because they all remind me of you. Especially Michael. With that beard. Wow.

You’d be loving this, you’d be freaking out, you’d be smiling, yeah
I know you’d be all about what’s going on right here right now.
My kids have become such interesting little people. You thought Clay was so great when he was not even two. He could talk, but the kids they’ve become, I know you could have spent endless hours with them. Even if they were annoying. Because you were patient and kind and LOVED to talk. Just like them. That smile on your face would be permanent. Because nothing made you happier than your family.

God I wish somehow you could be here.
Oh you should be here.

I miss and love you, Dad. Today and every day.


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