So, I know Fathers Day just passed on Sunday. And as much as I would like to say I celebrated; my dad hasn’t been here for just over 13 years now. And though I would like to say it gets easier with time; the truth is it doesn’t. And it does.
This week my sister is coming into town. She has 5 kids who range in age from 10 to almost 19 years old. As I work to get my house ready for them to have a place to stay, I can’t help but think of my dad.
My house has been in utter turmoil for the last six months or so. Life has gotten so crazy, I can’t keep up. And though I’m asked often how I have time to bake and cook and photograph…well, if you saw my house; you’d know something has to give.
Just yesterday I was putting old pictures back up on my wall. And as I looked at the pictures from my youth, I can’t help but look back on where I came from and how I got to be who I am. Of course my dad has a lot to do with that! (Add a little blend of mom with a sprinkle of four siblings and a plethora O’animals and voila….. you have ME!)
I flash forward today and I think, Gosh how things have changed since dad passed. I was pregnant with my first (would have been his 9th grandchild) and since then, 7 more followed…… 16 in total. I almost laugh thinking about it, because for the longest time he thought none of us would bare children; that we would grow old with nothing to offer him. Boy did we prove him wrong….
His oldest grandchildren turn 19 this year. Boy how time flies.
As I ready my house, I think about dad and wonder how he would react to his grandchildren? I know how he would react to every single one, because they are all so different. I know he would have adored Aspen, my snugglebug, and would have laughed hysterically at me every time Avery threw a fit (my “mini-me). And though I know this, I still feel an ache in my heart for wanting to actually see his face when he sees them. To know how they would react to him!
There is such a void when you lose someone. That void never goes away.
I really do feel my dad around me a lot. And though I can’t explain it, I know it’s true. He’s totally around me a lot! And though I know this, I still wonder so many things……
That said, as my sister lands today and walks in my house (which by the way will totally NOT be ready), I know that my dad will be around us. He totally loved us girls. He loved my sister for her brain, wit, knowledge, perseverance, dedication and loyalty to her friends and family. He loved me for my heart. He really didn’t know what to expect of me, so he always stood in awe when I actually accomplished something! Kept him on his toes, I did…..
I’ve been blessed with two kids who remind me constantly of my upbringing. Their personalities are eerily like me and my sister. So I’m literally reliving my dad’s life with my kids! All the fights, the personality differences, the laughter, the wonder, the awe of it all. I couldn’t be happier. And I dare say he had a hand in giving me the two girls I have! And I am thankful. But with that, I am reminded even more of my dad.
Thankfully, I have my mom to laugh at me when I’m at my wits end. And we do talk about dad and what he meant to us. I just wish for one day….one moment, I could see his face as he sees his grown kids and grandchildren. That smile and wink that he always did when he was proud! It was my favorite thing about him. That and his hugs! No one hugged like my dad. Strong arms wrapped around with a big squeeze….. Now THAT’s a hug!!! He set the standards high with that one! I accept nothing less when I go in! Ask my nephew Andrew who dreads touching!! I have to make a deal to go in fast and get it over with, or he has to repeat until he gets it right! YES… I’m THAT Aunt!!
Dad, I miss you. Thank you for all you have given us. Thank you for loving us enough to be stern and teach us right from wrong. Thank you for your whole-body laughter and your whole body hugs. Thank you for your wit and your wisdom and for never being afraid to be silly with us! That was huge! Thank you for not just buying one bike; but 7, so we could all ride together as a family. Thank you for the family vacations in the camper and on the boat. Thank you for welcoming family to our home to live with us, even though it bothered me at the time. I’m thankful for all my cousins now because of that! You are the epitome of what family is and should be to each other. You gave, incessantly. You helped strangers often and I saw that. You were a humanitarian through and through and you were loved by so many.
Though you are not here physically, you are here always. You live on in each of us! When I see my children bend down to help someone who dropped something; I see you. When Avery hugs so hard her tongue sticks through her teeth; I see you. I know you are here, but I miss your face. And though I’m sure you know that, I just wanted to say it ‘out loud’.
And though we celebrate you often, we will celebrate you even more while Maureen and her family are here. Please know that you are not forgotten ever! I love you love you LOVE you!!! And I miss you with all my heart and soul!!!
your favorite daughter! (I know…it’s our little secret)