In the days following the first anniversary of my Dadís death, I couldnít help but feel sad. I still missed him so much. I would pass a beat up blue pick-up on the road and think it was him.

I would walk over to his old house where my daughter now lived and still expect to see him sitting out on his front porch. I would see him in my dreams, looking young and strong again.

I felt bad too because I regretted not spending more time with him while he was here. I wished I had visited him more, talked with him more, and listened to him more. I wished I had asked the questions that I never did. I wished I had given him more hugs and told him I loved him more often. I wished I had cherished the time I had with him here instead of taking it for granted. I was mad at God because Dad, Mom, and Nana had all passed away before I was 50 and I was mad at myself because I hadnít made the most of the time I had with them.

Today, I found myself walking under an overcast sky, staring at the leafless trees and wishing that I had that time back again. As I prodded along, though, God in His infinite love and understanding had another of His moments with me. The breeze picked up and one of the last golden Maple leaves let go of its tree and sailed on the wind until it landed in front of me. I picked it up and smiled. At the moment of peace I felt Godís sweet voice whispering in my heart and mind. "Death is momentary," He said. "But Love is eternal."

I knew at that moment then that my relationships with Mom, Nana, and Dad were not over.

We would see each other again in a place of love, joy, and light. We would make up for the time I wasted. We would spend our days in learning, laughter, and love. We would be a family again bathed in the love of our Heavenly Father. We would embrace that final adventure together and walk hand in hand into eternity.

Joseph J. Mazzella

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