Father's Day, Interrupted

I think Matt will forgive me if this year, Father's Day is as much about him but me missing my dad so much it hurts on my first Father's Day without him. I do a pretty good job keeping myself occupied 24/7, and my dad wasn't really one to sit and dwell on things. He cared...he cared about everything...but he hated to see me cry and would do anything to make things better or "right".

When I found out I would be an "unwed" mother, he wasn't crazy about the idea. Give him a break, though, because he was of more traditional generation. But after he knew he upset me by his reaction, he called to make it better and embraced his granddaughter with all the love in the world. It just took him a while.

After my phone died tonight, I laid on the deck and watched the sky, trees, and bird for a good hour. And I cried...which I don't do a lot. The silence lets it all in, and I was actually glad for it. Glad to look up at the sky and focus on just him. I miss you, I miss you.

It is weird for me to have a finite set of photos...like the photos I have of my dad are the only ones I will ever have--you will never see how we celebrate Father's Day again with him. But, it is fun to go through them and share some I haven't shared before and a little bit about each one...

This one makes me laugh because he's playing solitaire on his iPhone, which he HATED. He never quite got the hang of the smartphones, but was always on it playing games, talking to someone, or accidentally dialing and leaving 2 minute voicemails of background noise. 

Can you see in his stature that he was a proud man? He was our patriarch, a man with so many loving grandchildren who made him proud. This was at Kristy's wedding. On that note...I was so proud of HIM. When masses of people left our church for embracing and inviting the LGBT community, he adamantly stayed. He had gay friends, he attended gay weddings. I have never attended one and he attended multiple! For someone who was born in 1925 to be that awesome, I couldn't be more proud. I had never said until Sunday 6/12 "I am glad my dad isn't here to witness this"...his heart would have been broken like many of ours. 

He always wanted to move back to the beach. And we kept him in Ohio. He reminded me of that on occasion, and I do feel bad that he didn't get to spend his final days at the place he loved most. This  beach is where we laid him to rest. 

Deck-sittin'. In the summer, we never ate inside unless it was raining. Damn the mosquitoes and glass table I always hated cleaning every night--he would be grilling something amazing and we would be eating outside. 

For Father's day a few years ago, I took him to The Wilds. It was an amazing trip. But not a restful one. I can just see in his eyes: "Let's do this". And off we went for a 4 hour safari I will never forget! Spotting the rhinos is super rare there, and the whole family walked up to our vehicle with their new baby that day. 

And ohhhh, did he love this little girl. This is the part that makes me cry. He could always get my little wiggle worm to sit still and talk to him. I am a mess when I think about all the things he would have loved to see her do. All the things he would have taught her. 

And this pair. It is no accident that they share initials. I wanted Rhys to carry a piece of him for life, and I honestly do see a lot of my dad in him when he makes certain expressions (i.e.: sleeping in the car)

Our week at the beach was always his birthday, and he secretly loved it. He loved that the week was about him and that we would make a carrot cake and sing, he'd get a new polo and accessories from the pro shop.

Many people never saw the joking side of him. He was very stoic 90% of the time in public, but at home or when he grew comfortable with people, he was either trying to learn about your life, make a common connection, or make you laugh. He was the guy at the party who would sit and wait for someone to come talk to him, and then they'd never forget him.

I have no recollection of ever going with him to the mall, so this one cracks me up. I think I put them in charge of taking Larkyn to the play area while I ran to a few stores. It just illustrates how he'd do anything for anyone. 

Father's Day was the last holiday we spent together, and June 30th was the last time I saw him before the accident. So, July 1st is quickly approaching and that just makes my heart race. I've done a pretty good job of shoving this down deep. It doesn't help me to "let it out" in person, it just makes me cry. I don't know where this is all going, sorry. Just some new images to help me keep his memory alive. I'm struggling with what to do on July 1st. Or July 5th. That whole week. I want to leave the country, I want to huddle at home. I want to cry, I want to pretend it didn't happen.

I miss you, I miss you. I love you.

1 comment:

Mom said...

So beautiful, Stacie. I have no words.

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