It’s our fifth Father’s Day without him, but for the first time since we lost him, I feel defeated. One thing I fear the most, is that if I don’t speak his name, or make the effort to share my memories of him, especially on days like today, that everyone else who knew him would forget about him.
Forget about him. Is this even possible? My heart screams “No!”, but echoes of “There isn’t much to celebrate now that he is gone” or “It’s different now, he’s gone” ring in my ears. Do they think I don’t know that? Do they think that I don’t feel this loss with every breath I take? Do they think that there are pieces of me that will never be the same? I know he’s gone. I live it every minute of every day. I live it first thing in the morning when he used to brush my hair away from my face and kiss me gently as I woke. I live it through the day when I’m reminded time and again that my life is barely recognizable to me. I live it when I make supper at night and I bury my memories of how much he loved my cooking. I live it late at night as I close my eyes to sleep. When my lips long for his good night kisses and I yearn to hear his heart beat under my ear once again.
Death can’t take away my memories. Of him loving my child as his own. Taking full responsibility of her through her youth, teenage years, and as she blossomed into adulthood. Of his tears as he held each of our other three seconds after they were born. Of his joy as they each accomplished goals and overcame fears. Of his desire and drive to always better our lives, making it as comfortable for all of us as he could. Of his laughter as he chased, tickled, and played. Of his struggle through his illness, and his will to live. He sacrificed so much to stay with our family, more than most men would. For us.
So, those people might be right….he IS gone, and it ISN’T the same, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is Father’s Day, and he IS and will CONTINUE TO BE the Father to our children. Death cannot change that.
So, “Happy Father’s Day, Baby”. I miss you and love you to the depths of my soul.