Fathers Day this year is very bittersweet for me. On one hand, I want to celebrate the wonderful man I’m married to, who is an even better father than he is husband. He deserves many, many days of recognition for the joy and love he has for Dylan, but I’ll try to cram it all in on Sunday.
On the other hand, this day serves as a harsh reminder of the huge, gaping hole in my heart. See, I lost my father last year, suddenly and viciously to a very one-sided battle with pancreatic cancer. Its been a year and a half, but in the interest of full disclosure and complete, painful honesty, I still struggle with his death tremendously on most days. So Father’s Day is just one of those days when my grief is a little more overwhelming than most.
So my Father’s Day post will be twofold: I will celebrate my husband, Dylan’s father, for he is awesome and deserves the praise. And I will recall my own father, and some of the things I miss most, and I will grieve, because he was amazing and deserves the memorial. Here goes…
Dad, I miss your laugh, how robust it was and how quick you were to dissolve into it. I miss your phone calls, the ones that didn’t open with hello but with the beginnings of what was sure to be a hilarious story (“So I was feeding my fish today, and wouldn’t you know…”). I miss your voracious appetite, and the way you loved food. I will never forget the day you discovered Nutella; when we cleaned out your kitchen, there must have been 6 unopened jars waiting to be devoured by you. I owe MY love of food and cooking to you, and every time I’m in the kitchen I feel you there, urging me to add more butter. I miss your hands, how they were rugged and tan and weathered from a lifetime of making your living with them, but still soft and gentle and somehow smooth. I miss your belief in me, undying and unwavering as it was. I miss your smell, Oldspice and dirt and Irish Spring. I miss YOU, every single day. And I ache when I look at Dylan, because you would have loved her. She is, and I’m not exaggerating here, the coolest thing ever. I am so sad that you never got to meet her, but I am sadder still that she will never get to meet you. My memories are all I have to share with her. And that breaks my heart, a little bit everyday. You were the best dad anyone could ever hope to have, and on Sunday, if I cry just a little, its only because I miss you so.
Ok, onto happier musings!
Tom, I love you for who you are to me, but I love you even more for who you are to our daughter. The smiles you get from Dylan melt my heart and make me jealous, all at once. Even at 10 months old, she seems to understand that you are her center, her protector, her champion, and her friend, and that makes me grateful. Grateful that I chose right when I picked you (not that I was doubtful). You are an amazing father, and I tear up a little every time I see you with her, the way you play, the way you snuggle, the way you teach and lead and encourage and amuse. You are patient, giving, supportive, and most of all, you LOVE that little girl. With a fierceness and voracity and urgency that is both shocking and admirable. The future is scary sometimes, and I lie awake at night fretting about Dylan, worrying about how to protect and help her and guide her and teach her. And then I look at you, and I am calmed. Because you are her father, and for as long as you live, you will devote your life to hers. Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you, from Dylan, and from me.
Hug your dad, Sunday and everyday. If you can’t hug him, call him, email him, tell him how much he means to you. I did, everyday, and I wish I had done it more. Happy Father’s Day everyone.