For the first time since my father’s death, I’ve put photographs of him in plain sight in my room. While cleaning out my closet the other night, I found the photos hidden away in a box. They were taken a few years before his death and they capture some of the happiest times of my life. I did not cry as I looked at the pictures, and I’m not sure why. I tend to sob at the mere thought of him. His face appears in my mind and I’m ruined for an entire day. Maybe my reaction is delayed. Maybe in a few days, I’ll break down. Or maybe I’ll put the photos away again, unable to see them on a daily basis. Still, I like his presence. I like seeing his face and his smile. I like remembering us together. I like knowing that I did have a father, that I did not dream him, that the years we spent together were real and beautiful. We were so happy. It almost hurts to see that kind of happiness--the kind you know you will never have again.