Honestly, I went to write this Blog entry and I had to pause for a few minutes.
Not only was I trying to come up with some "witty, attention grabbing" title for this latest entry (that I realize is the first in awhile, but I have just been up to my ears with life. My apologies) but I also found myself getting choked up before a word was ever written.
After 26 years of life, this is the 1st Father's Day that I haven't had my Father. That hits hard, ya know? My Dad and I may not have been the closest, but Father's Day was never forgotten. It was never taken for granted. My sister and I always managed to get my Father out for lunch or dinner every year-- even if it was "sort of" Father's Day. Close enough.
(Then, of course, I hear my High School Latin Teacher - Mr. Andrews- in my head telling me "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." )
It also, just so happens, that my husband is away for a military training and I don't even have him to focus on this year-- since of course, he IS the Father of my child. (At least we think so. Pretty sure. Like 60-40? Haha just kidding. Really, I'm joking.)
So without a NEW Father to focus on this weekend-- I suppose its very likely I will be focused on my Father....
How much I miss him.
How much he did for us over the years.
And how much he continues to impact me-- even since his death.
He died just over 4 months ago.
If I stay busy (which isn't hard working full-time with a 1-year-old at home) I can manage to go a day or so without getting upset. But it doesn't take long for a Neil Young song to play... or for me to see someone out of the corner of my eye that looks just like him... or see a family riding bikes down the street... and even seeing Racing on TV-- these shoot my father's memories right back to the forefront and all the pain that comes with them.
Even now, just writing this down is tearing me up inside.
This Holiday will never get easier for me.
I know as time goes on, and my child/children get older it will become MORE about THEIR Father (my sweet husband) so that takes a lot of the pressure off. But every year this weekend/day will remind me of him and all of our precious time together and the pain of watching him suffer and struggle as his condition worsened.
I want to remember the good times-- but its so hard to block those moments out of my head. I wake up sometimes in the middle of the night from a dream -- and even though I can't remember what happened, I know it was about him.
I saw my Dad take his last breaths. I held his hand as he turned cold.
Some might find comfort in that, or they might get some kind of closure... but that memory is not something I can get out of my head.
I'm so glad we were there for him-- to tell him we love him and to tell him that everything would be okay -- but words can't describe the lasting effect it has and will have on me.
I can say one thing though-- this I know for sure.
I will never be able to wear mascara on Father's Day Weekend again. But I think I'm okay with that. (If you don't know me-- I'm a crier. Like sappy commercial, happy tears when I see a baby, shed a tear when I stub my toe kind of crier. Let's just say I'm very well hydrated-- and mascara is a risk I'm not willing to take when I know the waterworks will be flowing.)
I will never be able to give my Dad a card, or take him to lunch or Thank him for everything he did for me/us again--- but if every Father's Day I sit and think about him, our happy times and even our not-so-happy times, I think that's okay.
I can sit and remember him. Cry for him. Miss him. Love him. And somewhere deep down-- although I'm not very religious and don't exactly think I'm decided on the idea of "after-life"-- I actually think he knows that I'm thinking of him. And that I remember that he was a good Father.
He wasn't perfect-- but neither am I (and neither are YOU)-- and that's ok... Because in the end, he made enough of an impact on my life that I will think of him daily, remember him often, love him always and I will use Father's Day every year as a time to do all of those things-- knowing that wherever he is, he feels it.
And that no matter where I am on Father's Day or who I'm with, he will never be forgotten.