Family

Happy Fathers Day, Dork-Dad

Me (ages 14 – 17, with a roll of the eyes and the most sarcastic, annoyed, disgruntled tone  you can imagine for a teenage girl): you are SUCH a DORK, dad!

Daddy (with a huge smile, the most energetic, excited attitude and ever so huge stature): I’m a dork-dad!  I’m a dork-dad!!

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It’s funny, you know, the things that come back to my mind on days like today.  Father’s Day.  It’s my first one without him.  This is the memory that keeps playing in my mind as I run through the gamut of emotions that have encompassed me the past 24 hours.

Last night, on the way home from my in-laws, I started thinking about how I won’t get to hear my dad laugh after I called him to say ‘Happy Fathers Day, Dork-Dad’ … like he always did.  I started thinking about it and I cried.  My sweet middle little, Piper Dean, said ‘Are you okay, mommy?’ and I lied.  I said ‘I’m fine’ and I drove on home.

I thought I was fine.  I really did.  I had a plan.  I was going to spend the eve of Father’s Day with hubby and his family, including my father-in-law, at his Granny’s house and today, after church, I was going to drive to my daddy’s grave and place some flowers … maybe even chat to him awhile.  I didn’t make it.

I realized last night that I wouldn’t be able to do it.  Once I got home, I realized it was okay that I wasn’t ‘fine’ … and I told my sweet Piper Dean that I had lied.  She’s so intuitive.  As soon as I said ‘Mommy was very sad.  Tomorrow is Father’s Day.’ I got choked up but she quickly said ‘Tomorrow is Father’s Day?’ and as I nodded, she got so quiet and small-voiced and said ‘and Grandpa Rick isn’t going to be here’ and I cried, nodding as she hugged me.

Although it’s true that I realize I don’t have to be ‘fine’ today, I’m battling the added emotion of guilt this evening.  Guilt that I didn’t go.  Guilt that I didn’t post my traditional ‘Happy Father’s Day’ message until late in the evening today.  Guilt that I didn’t send one single “HFD” message to any of the amazing {men or single moms}* that I know who might have needed to receive the affirmation that they are viewed as amazing fathers and fill-ins.

I just couldn’t. It was all I had in me to channel my heartache into getting up and going to church with hubby and the littles then spending the afternoon willing my heart not to roll tears every time my daddy came to my mind … which was a lot.

I survived though.  And I did call my brothers to tell them Happy Fathers Day and that I loved them.  And I did celebrate hubby today.  And I was able to tell my father-in-law that I loved him and wish him a HFD.  And I did make it through until late this evening until crying again.

My dork-dad was amazing.  He was the epitome of what a man should be as a father.  Only my mom can speak to his journey as a husband but I can tell you that there has never been a day in my life when I’ve ever wished for another father.  My tears have turned to happiness now .. thankfulness, really, as I realize what a blessing it was to have him in my life, helping me realize what a husband should be as a father.

I remember when my little brother and I were in Vocalaires (the show choir), we practiced before school in the mornings, at 7am.  One Monday, we forgot our lunch checks at the house.  Daddy brought them to us even though we never asked him to do so.  When he got there, he hugged us and as he was leaving, he said ‘I love you Laura Sue.  I love you Barry Jean’ and I remember turning around to the astonished faces of these twin girls in our group.  They were 16- or 17- years old and they were amazed at what they had witnessed.  The one said ‘Your dad tells you he loves you?’ and the other said ‘And he hugs you?’ … and Barry and I were so casual in our response of ‘yeah, of course he does’ … it wasn’t until years later that I realized not everyone gets to know that kind of love from their dad.

Yes, today was a hard day.  A sad day.  I don’t mean to discount the focus on my husband, by any means, because he is an amazing father to our littles.  It is however, Father’s Day, and I would be lying to myself if I ignored this ache in my heart that I fear will never really go away.

Happy Heavenly Father’s Day, Dork-Dad … I love you 27 Always

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*If you’ve managed to make your way to this blog post of mine, friends, please know that you ARE amazing and I hope your Father’s Day was all that you wanted it to be, and please forgive me for allowing the devil to keep me so caught up in heartache that I overlooked the opportunity to tell you directly how awesome you are!

 

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2 thoughts on “Happy Fathers Day, Dork-Dad

  1. Laura, My heart aches for you. I know all to well the pain you are experiencing. I still get choked up and teary-eyed when thinking about my dad. But I know in my heart of hearts that he is in a much better place and he is no longer suffering. I am here if you need me, friend. I think that is what bonded us this experience of losing our fathers like we did. I will say from everything I have heard you say about your dad, it was okay that you didn’t visit his grave. His body maybe there but his spirit you carry in your heart. And that being close to your heart is all he would have asked of you. Love you friend.

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