Eighteen years ago. My last chance to hug you, to be engulfed in your arms and whisper, “I love you,” to give you–my favorite–butterfly kisses. Did I hug you that day? Did you hold my hand or give me a kiss? I wish I could remember. But I was only 9.

Oh, how I long to hug you now! Not just to feel your warmth, to hear your heart beating and remember the sound of your voice, but to know what it feels like to hug my daddy when I’m no longer a little girl. How I wish I could have grown to know you as a friend, a companion.

Would we practice Spanish together? Would I sit for hours listening to your stories of life in Colombia? Oh, how I long to know of the years you spent growing up there, to know not just what it was like but how it impacted you as a person. Would you understand my heart and passion for Latin America? Really, truly understand because it was inside you, too, running deep in your veins? Would we still love hiking together, even though I’m now too big for you to carry on your shoulders? Would we talk on the phone? Would our personalities clash, us both being so strong-headed? Would I have made a habit of watching ice hockey with you, not because it interested me particularly, but because I just wanted to hang out with you? I’ve only ever known you as my daddy, which sort of gives someone a superhuman quality. What would it be like to know you as my friend, a fellow human being?

I never got that chance, and for that, I still shed tears. Eighteen years ago, my life changed when your life was taken. I have come to be thankful for the almost 10 years that I did have you, for the “I love you”s, the hugs, the butterfly kisses, for the silly games we played, for having a Daddy, because there are some who never get to experience either a loving daddy or a friend in their father.

Today, though, I want to know your hug.

  • I love you. Hugs from afar.

  • Pingback: Life-Changing, Part 1 |()

  • Naomi,
    What a beautiful tribute. He loved you and Esther more than he really got the opportunity to show you. I posted at Esther’s blog as well, but I will never forget that day. He was like another brother to me and I credit him for making me a Steelers fan! He loved you and your sister more than anything in life. He would be proud of the woman you are today.

    Love you – Uncle B

  • Geraldine Lawrence4

    What amazing young women you and Esther have become and I am so proud of you. I feel sad for you both. Remembering is good but it’s also very sad at times, isn’t it? Having lost your grandpa, I have a sense how you feel but I’m sure it cannot compare to the tragedy that happened to you girls and your mom. As I read Esther’s post this afternoon, I was about sobbing1 How well I remember that sad day. But God has done amazing thing with you and Esther and your mom as well God continue to bless you and Rich.

  • Russ Jones

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts & memories of your Dad (my cousin); I was just nine when my grandfather Pier for whom I’m named passed and I’ve often asked myself many of those questions about him. As for your father, although we didn’t see each other much after childhood, I knew him well enough to know he would have a been a great friend to you and a grandfather to your children had he lived. We can look forward to the day when we will see him again.

  • Elaine Davis

    You girls have made me cry. I remember the day when I was told of your Daddy’s accident. You were lovely little girls who grew to be beautiful young women. I do enjoy your posts of facebook, Thank you for sharing.

  • Kristin

    I still picture you in my mind as the little girl that used to try to tag along as Esther and I traipsed all over FST. My heart hurts for what was lost but my spirit is inspired by your courage.

  • Michelle Davis

    Well, that was beautiful, and made me cry. I loved your daddy like a brother. He lived with Mom (Aunt Ruthie) and I for a year or more in Brooklin. Then when we were both grown ups 🙂 we were in the same Army Reserve unit out of Bangor. We had a lot of fun on our weekend warrier times. I knew him as a man who had a great personality, always able to share a joke. When I was a teen he was someone to confide in. He was easy to talk to and quick to understand. He also wasn’t afraid to tell me what he thought 🙂 Your Daddy would have been a good friend to you. He was loved by so many for his big heart and huge humor. thank you for sharing this beautiful insight. He would be so proud of you and Esther, both are beautiful tallented women.

  • Pingback: {Tug-of-War} The Urgent and The Somedays » Naomi Liz Figueroa()

  • Pingback: Reflections on Grief {20 Years} » Naomi Liz Figueroa()

  • Elaine Stein

    Lovely. I’m sorry for your pain that lingers –

Menu Menu