This morning I noticed that I was very short tempered. Tiny things that wouldn't normally bother me were making me red hot mad in an instant. After snapping at the boys for a very minor infraction I stepped myself back. Whoa, sister. What's up?
Then it hit me. All at once. It started as that familiar sweeping feeling of sadness that literally takes my breath away. Then the sort of scratchy, antsy feeling inside my chest followed. Like I wanted to run away but couldn't and it wouldn't help anyway.
Ah. It's Father's Day. My first without one. A father, I mean.
Last Father's Day I gave him a really great insulated water bottle to take with him to the golf course. So he could stay hydrated and healthy. I'd been nagging him to drink more water. Little did we know he was already sliding into stage four by then.
Has it really been nearly a year since this all began?
I've been ignoring it all week. Set it aside to focus on the father I do have to celebrate with this year. The one who made me a mother. A handmade card from my eldest. A perfect little something to present to him on his special day. But alas it caught me anyway.
As time ticks on and another first comes along I am still somehow surprised by how massively it hits me. By how sad it still makes me. By how large the spot is that his death left in me.
I keep thinking that if I can just make it through this first year I'll be done. I'll feel better. But as I keep relearning again and again, I will never be done. Grief doesn't get done. It changes. It becomes more tolerable. It becomes lighter. But it isn't ever over. It's just a part of a new you.
But this new me misses him oh so greatly. Every day, but some way more than others.
His smile. His laugh. His assuring way of listening. His ease in conversations. His perfect comedic timing. The sense of security that a daughter has when she knows that if her entire world fell apart there would be one person left standing to hold her up.
Until he's not.
On this first Father's Day without him I will feel his absence very strongly but I will do my best to muster up more gratitude than sorrow because he was mine. I will laugh and smile and look for the gifts he left within us that live on beyond him. I will thank the universe and heavens above that I was lucky enough to have him, even if for not as long as I would have liked.
The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long. (Lao Tzo)