Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day 2013

This one's not the first Father's Day I've spent with my dad, but it's hitting me hard anyway.  There is so much stress and turmoil going on in my life these days related to my job that I don't feel like I am in "top shape" when it comes to being prepared to cope with the grief that still so often catches me by surprise, either with its timing or its intensity or both.

I looked through some old pictures today and found so many of my dad doing things he loved to do, whether it was sitting in a lawn chair in the sun reading the paper, running, sitting on the beach, or spending time with his family.  In all of them, he looks happy and healthy and as if he is perfectly content, and for that I am so grateful, except for a song that keep playing in my head:

Today I found myself thinking about how on the day after my dad had died, I stood in the shower in the guest bathroom of my parents' house, crying and crying, feeling so much like my heart was breaking that I thought I needed to hold my hand over my chest to keep it together.  Never had I imagined - or even thought to imagine - that a day like that day was coming, or like the days like the ones I figured were still to come.  I had no idea how I was going to get through even that first day without my dad there physically with me, much less through the rest of my life.  I felt like I was falling down a well in slow motion, and I knew that at some point I would seriously need to reconsider my world view and, in essence, myself.

So many times, I've thought back to the last night that my dad was in the hospital and to the way that he insisted on having all the lights turned out and for Jennifer and me to be on either side of him as he tried and tried to sleep.  I remember how he reached out in the darkness to grab my hand and Jennifer's without even looking, and, recognizing the trust, the love, and the vulnerability in that move, I quietly started to cry there beside him in the dark; I was so grateful that he was so sure that we were right there with him.    

What I wouldn't give for just one more day with him.  I wouldn't even care what we did together; I just have so much to tell him and to talk to him about.  It's like I'm the one now reaching out into the dark to grab a hand to hold, and I'm so grateful that I have people who love me (and tolerate me) enough to serve that purpose, but it's still something that's so much tougher that I could have ever imagined.

Happy Father's Day to the man who was the perfect father for me.
I miss you and love you more than I can adequately express.

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