My dad died a year ago today.

It is still so strange to be in the world without him in it. I had the privilege of having my father in my life until I was fifty-two (and he was nearing 91) — for which I will always be grateful.

Many of my friends have lost their parents when they were younger than I.

It is also fortunate that Dad lived a good life to the end. His final year may have been a bit less “enjoyable” because his body was starting to give out on him, but for whatever reason he continued to grace us with his presence. He rarely complained and his mind continued to be active; he was always interested in the family’s doings, read books and enjoyed watching sports on TV.

The last time that I saw him was the previous October. Somehow I think that we both sensed that this was to be our final visit, although I will never know for sure. But I believe there was something unspoken between us that intuited we were spending our last time together on the physical plane.

We sat companionably in his living-room watching baseball on TV. I’m not a huge baseball fan but I wanted to spend time with him.

Dad was past the point of verbalizing any unfinished or final business — not that we had any, really; all was good between us. We just sat there sharing the space of companionship in front of the TV. During commercials (which he always muted; I think of him whenever I do that now!) I told him little bits and pieces of what was going on in my life, and he would nod his head in acknowledgment.

The game ended and I went over to Dad’s chair and kissed him, saying, “I love you, Dad”. He smiled and got a little misty-eyed and replied, “I love you too, Cam”.

Yes, I miss my father very much. But I am happy that he lived such a full and interesting life, the world was a better place for his presence, and that he lives on in our memories.

In fact, his spirit emerges at the most unexpected times with me and my two brothers these days. Words and phrases uttered in his inflection. Certain facial expressions pop out on the faces of his progeny. Familiar gestures suddenly remind me of Dad.

So in this way, he will always be with us.