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Every time May comes around, I always get a little nostalgic.

My dad's birth date is May 6, 1950. He passed away May 31, 2006. He was only 56 years old. 

In November 2005, my dad suffered a stroke at work. I remember that day so well. It was a friend's birthday party and my family refused to tell me what was happening, so as long as I would still go to that party. I felt really guilty for doing so, but that's what my family told me to do. 

When I got home from school that afternoon, I was eager to get ready for the party. No one was home and for some reason I thought it was a little weird. My mom got home and told me what was going on and at that moment, nothing was the same. 

After my dad was released from the hospital, he soon ended up there again. He just wasn't feeling so well anymore. Tests after tests soon revealed that my dad had Cirrhosis. This is basically liver cancer. It was something I never imagined he would have, but it all made sense since my dad drank beer a lot. 

November was only the beginning. My dad was in and out of the hospital for seven months after that. I remember some specific days he was rushed to the hospital, on Dec. 5 (my birthday) and Feb. 14 (Valentine's Day). 

I wasn't there when he passed away. A couple of nights before, he was moved to the children's floor for more attention. My mom called us at home one morning, crying and telling us to hurry to the hospital. I think I knew then, but I didn't want to face it. 

He passed away that morning. My mom was the only one there when it happened. When we got there, he had already been unhooked. I can't even begin to describe how I felt at the moment, but I do remember my knees bending over and me crouching over my dad. I don't think I've ever felt so heartbroken and maybe I'll never feel like that again. He was my dad, the first man a girl loves and trusts. I was such a daddy's girl. 

I know that I wasn't there moments before he passed away, but every night before I left the hospital I whispered in his ear how much I loved him. I said my goodbyes every night just in case. I did get a chance to say goodbye to him, I just wish I didn't have to. 

This month is always tough for me. My dad is on my mind and it saddens me. I celebrate his birthday and sulk on his death day. It's all a mix of emotions that spark from my love for him. I will only ever have one dad. Even though he passed away, I have great memories of him. Enough to last me a lifetime and get me through milestones in my life. That way, he will be there for me. 

I miss him a lot. I wish he could see me right now, about to graduate college and start my own life. I know he would be so proud of me. 

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