Father's Day
It has been 5 years since my dad died, and this was the first time I was able to stand in front of the Father's Day cards at Target and not collapse in a sobbing fit. Progress, I think. Either that or I have mastered the art of out-of-body-experience shopping. The first few years after he died were terrible. Everywhere I turned the word "Dad" was looming at me, and I kept wanting to scream at the elderly people I saw, "Why not you?" Irrational, I know, but it made sense at the time. The past year or two I have acknowledged Father's Day for my sweet husband's sake, because he is an amazing father, but I haven't done much more than that. I wake up, tell David he's the best, make his favorite food, and try not to think about the fact that my dad never met Zinabu--in fact, never even knew we were going to adopt again.

Today I was able to stand in the greeting card section at the store and spend a few minutes browsing for a card I knew David would enjoy. I was able to banish the vindictive thoughts I had when I saw other people buying cards for their fathers--like, "Do you know how freaking lucky you are????" Not the kind of conversation you exchange with a complete stranger who is just trying to find a humorous Hallmark card.

But I still miss him so much it aches. A terrible ache that has not gotten better over time, as so many people promised me it would. It doesn't get better... you just learn to live with it. I mean, this was the man that hugged me after I accidentally backed into his car when I was 16. The man who encouraged me to go to Italy for the summer after college. The man who was able to answer any question I ever asked him. The man who helped me re-do two kitchens in two houses in two years. The man who loved the summer I worked at Baskin and Robbins because he got free milkshakes. The man who gave me away at my wedding... What do you do when that person is gone?


jayme said...

I hear you. It freaking sucks. And you're totally right about how it doesn't get better with time. Your equillibrium shifts and you go forward. And other people may feel better about it. But the loss is always there and the grief keeps hitting at every moment that they should be there for.

Cathy, I just want you to know how much respect I have for you and David as parents. I so appreciate your candor and your humor. And I have no doubt that who you are is due, in no small part, to who your father was.

Jess Addison said...

Thank you for this post. :)

Mrs. Baker said...

Wow Cathy

That post really touched me.... yes ... big time.

Thank you for that reminder....

My father is my whole world...I should tell him that more often.

I cant imagine how difficult it is going to be once he is gone....

it makes me sick just thinking about it.

I hope this father day also makes you feel blessed for having such an amazing family.

Thank you for the lesson - again.

Thank you for that post.

Deirdre said...

Oh, Cathy. I'm so sorry.

This post really touched me. It's been 12 years since I lost my mom, and the pain is still so acute it brings me to my knees sometimes. From my experience the pain never gets less intense, but the debilitating bouts of grief appear with decreasing frequency over the years.

Here's to happy memories of your wonderful dad this Father's Day.

Sending you lots of love.

Heather & Adam said...

Thinking of you today! Your post really made me want to appreciate what I have while I have it. I love you! Just try to enjoy the day with your kids and your hubby.

Chatter said...

I am so sorry for you loss. I hope you find comfort in the beautiful memories you have with your father. He sounds like a wonderful man!

love, C