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A season of firsts

A season of firsts

This year on Thanksgiving, I set the table for two instead of three. This was my first rivalry weekend without my favorite person yelling at the television alongside me.
It will be the first Christmas morning I won’t be able to wake up early and make breakfast with my favorite chef.
This is the first year the thought of skipping Christmas entirely and pretending it never happened didn’t sound too terrible. This is my first holiday season missing my dad.
This past year has been a year of firsts. The first time I didn’t have my father with me during family weekend at school. The first Halloween I didn’t receive a text from my dad suggesting I wear a turtleneck or dress up as a nun. The first Father’s Day I stayed in and watched movies and ordered a pizza instead of going to a baseball game or having a cookout.
My dad passed away 10 months ago, and not a day goes by that I don’t miss him.
I have come to realize that losing a loved one is something you deal with for the rest of your life. It isn’t something you can wake up one day and just be over. Some days will be harder than others, but remaining positive is the most important thing you can do in order to feel some sense of normalcy again.
Losing my father was a great loss, but it also was a great gain. In losing my father, I gained a guardian angel and a greater sense of appreciation for those I have not yet lost. I have learned to truly cherish every moment I spend with the ones I love and to never let a single person leave my company without having let them know that I care about them.
Life is a fragile thing and sometimes it takes a great loss for you to realize how quickly things can change.
I miss my dad every single day. I don’t think it is a feeling that will ever leave me. He continues to be a huge part of my life even though he is no longer a tangible force I can see.
Lately my days have been filled with more happiness. When I think of my father, there is now a smile where tears once fell down my face. I smile because I am thankful to have such great memories of the times we shared together.
So though this year may have been a year of firsts for me, it turns out it wasn’t a year of firsts without my father. It wasn’t my first year without my dad because he never truly left my side. He is the reason why this is the first year I feel like I am surrounded by all of the right people. He is the reason why it was my first year working as not only a writer but also as an editor.
This will be my first holiday season with my dad watching over me, and that is the greatest first yet.

About The Author

Cait Schall

Cait Schall is a junior journalism major and the assistant opinion editor for Eagle News. She is a rollerblading enthusiast who enjoys attending sporting events and concerts. Cait is also a proud member of Chi Omega at FGCU. When you can’t find her writing in the newsroom she most likely can be found outside trying something new that’ll probably result in broken bones or at home binge watching her latest Netflix obsession. (Follow Cait on Twitter: @CaitlinSchall)

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