Sunday, June 21, 2015

On Fathers Day...

Dear Michael,

We talked about you today, as we do most days. We were on our way to church, and I knew the pastors would say something about the significance of the day and honor the fathers in the congregation. I was kind of dreading it, to be honest with you. I know how blessed I am to have my dad here, but you were supposed to be the dad in our little family. Before we pulled into the parking lot, I said, "Happy Fathers Day in Heaven, Michael."

And your little girl said, "Happy Fathers Day, Daddy." Sweetest thing ever. I know you heard her. I don't know how that works exactly, but I know you heard her.

She skipped happily into the Sunday School classroom, and I hurried off to the service. Sure enough, there were some jokes about fatherhood, and some serious talk about the importance of being a good father. They showed a video of fathers and grandfathers having memorable moments with their children and grandchildren. The tears ran down my face. There wasn't a single person in that room who knew me, or knew my story. If anyone else saw those tears, they probably couldn't have imagined exactly why I was moved to tears.

Before church this morning, a sweet friend sent me this touching video as a kind gesture on this day to acknowledge all that's on my shoulders. And yesterday some of your family members had wished me a Happy Fathers Day, as well. I appreciate the kind gestures, but it doesn't feel right to me to claim anything on this day. I am her mother, and that's enough for me.

Today was supposed to be your day - Fathers Day. I cried because of all that can't be. The gift she made in her Sunday School class, she gave to my father. The cards and gifts we shopped for weren't for you. The other men in our lives - grandfathers, uncles, and cousins - are very good to us. But they aren't you.

So, yeah. That was Fathers Day. Way harder on me than on her, thank goodness.

Love always,

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