I purposely hoped today would be a day full of things to do.  I want to stay busy.  While I may not think often that the last year has been different, it has.  A year ago today, my father died.  While it was unexpected, it was also not unexpected.  He was not all that old, having turned 71 two days previous.  He was, though, in bad health.

The hardest times have been those times when local news has happened – not the day to day news, the big local news stories.  You see, my father was a newspaperman.  The first hit came – literally – at the beginning of April when Binghamton made national news with a mass shooting at the American Civic Association.  I cried.  I cried for the dead.  I cried for their families.  I cried because I thought of Dad missing the story.

There were other stories that made me miss my father.  Binghamton has been rife with shootings and stabbings this past year.  The other thing that has really hit hard is the local sports seasons.

My father was huge hockey fan.  He had a season ticket to the local AHL team’s games.  From all I can tell, he was on a first name basis with the ticket and parking assignment people.  He went to NCAA hockey every chance he got.  My oldest daughter is heading to the College Hockey America conference tournament next weekend.

I also can imagine my dad’s disappointment in the scandal surrounding Binghamton University’s basketball program.  He had season tickets to both the women’s and the men’s games.  He would have been furious about the recent decision to not allow the men’s team to play in the conference tournament.

Then, there are the personal, family things he missed.  I had a son graduate from high school and start college.  I had a daughter graduate from college.

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