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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Father's Day Without My Dad...

Every June, when the Father's day cards fill the store shelves, like Target and Walmart and even Safeway, I purposefully find myself avoiding them.  I pick up the cards we need, but usually I use the kiddos as a buffer between me and the cards.  "Which one do you think grandpa will like?  What about daddy?" I find myself saying these things.  I try not to let my mind "go there" and remember that it is once again another father's day that I can't tell "mine" all the things I want to... or even just once more how much I loved him, appreciated him, and valued him. 
This year I found myself walking down the aisle of father's day cards by myself.  I was looking at all the titles and choices and decided that this year I was going to buy my father a card.  I stood there for a while trying to decide which would be the best for him, fully knowing I couldn't give it to him.  Yes, I stood there in the middle of Safeway with tears streaming down my cheeks thinking of another Father's Day without him.  Yep...I bought my father whose been dead for almost 10 years a father's day card filled it out and wrote his name across the top.  I have no grave to lay it at because his ashes are scattered off the shores of a Maui beach, so it is in my top drawer of my night stand where I keep some pictures of him. 
                                                                (Letting dad sunset off the
                                                                  beach at the Royal Lahina).

I miss him. Almost 10 years ago, I said one final good-bye to my dad.  He hugged me at the bottom of the stairs, told me he loved me and kissed me on my cheek.  As he ascended the stair case, I watched unknowingly the last time I would ever see my dad. He was young, at the age of 52, still a lifetime to live, places to go, babies to hold...but it was not meant to be. 
I really miss what a good friend he was.  Not only to everyone he met, but to me and my brother David.  He always made time for us, loved to chat and talk to us on the phone and was always up for an adventure.  I loved that he appreciated our individual interests and supported us.  I know he would have done the same for his grandchildren.  I feel much of my grief is surrounded by the fact that my kiddos never knew him.  He had so much to offer and he gave to so many.  I know his legacy lives on in David and I. 
This year on Father's Day weekend, we were able to spend it with my family celebrating my grandfather's 80th birthday.  I was so happy to give my kids a family experience that reminded me of the ones that I had as child.  Aunts and uncles and cousins and grandma's and grandpa's.  It is truly a great legacy to have.  My only wish was that my father was there to share it too.  His shoes remain unfilled (as they will always be). 

                      (Papa and his great-grandkids at his 80th birthday)

So Happy Father's Day Dad!  Thank you for living an incredible life, for leaving a legacy and for loving me.  Thank you for loving people more than stuff, having a FAITH that was real, and encouraging me to follow the plan in life that God had for me.  I'm passing that on to my 3 babies here, while I know you are watching my 3 babies in heaven.  XOXO

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