Another father’s day has come and gone. This year the boys and I headed out-of-town for some fun times instead of our visit to the cemetery. The boys keep telling me Daddy’s not really there, but for me the cemetery is my special place with him. When I really need to have a heart to heart with Pat, that’s where I go. Last year I would go every day. I couldn’t handle not being with him. We had never spent more than three days apart from one another until he had gotten sick and I wasn’t going to let that happen. As time went by I started going less and less. I could feel him with me everywhere I went and so I don’t need to go to that place in order to be with him.
The kids hate going. Absolutely hate it. We went to the cemetery last father’s day and we went for Pat’s birthday and both times were a complete disaster. The visits focus on the pain that we all feel each and every day. That’s not what we want to do. Our feelings of loss don’t go away. We are very aware of what we no longer have. Instead we want to carry the memories of Pat with us as we live our lives. That is how we can carry him with us and he lives on.
So, this year no visit to the cemetery. Some may say that is terrible. I see families who spend the day at the cemetary together and I think that is great for them. But not for us. We spent the day in the sun, being together, making new memories. We said Happy Father’s Day to Pat and said a prayer together. We talked about our favorite memories with him and then we let it be. We went on with our day. Yes, he was in our heart and our minds…it doesn’t take a day like Father’s Day to have that happen. We do that everyday.
I am usually anxious before holidays like this, because I don’t know how the kids are going to handle it. Typically they are fine, but you never know when something is going to trigger one of them. This year, my boys showed me that they are just like their father…true warriors. They are strong, and proud and want to live. Yes they are sad. Yes they miss their daddy desperately. But this isn’t the end of their happiness. They are living forward as well.
They have had to adjust to me as mom and dad. And I apologize for being a crappy father to them. It’s out of my realm of knowledge. But I keep trying. And when I can’t handle the dad role, I find a friend who can step in and help. So far so good. I guess that’s all I can ask for. Three boys with smiles on their faces loving life in honor of their daddy.