June 18, 2017

my first father-less father's day

Padre,

Navigating this world without you is still hard for me sometimes. Each day has its own set of challenges, and there are still more times than not when I wish I could just pick up the phone to hear you say "Hello" back to me on the other end.

It's my first Father's Day without you. My heart feels so heavy with grief and I don't know where to put it down. All of the Father's Day tributes on Facebook and Instagram today are making me teary-eyed and a little bit jealous because all I want more than anything in this world is more time with you.

I'm learning how to sit with my emotions. I'm learning how to mange my grief and all the ups and downs every single day. I'm trying to rely on all of our good memories to buoy me through the day.

Like the Father's Day we went to Jellystone with the Dixon's and they had a dress up contest where all the dad's had to dress in drag and put lipstick on. Whoever did it the fastest won. There is no photographic evidence of this (sadly), but the memory always instantly makes me smile.

Or when you lived in Zion after you and mom split up and we used to go to late night movies on Friday nights. Then on Saturday we'd do laundry and either go bowling at the bowling alley up the street from the laundromat, or if it was nice out, you'd make me pack my swimsuit so we could go to the water park with the water slide that I refused to go on because I was paralyzed by fear.

Laundromats always remind me of you, Dad. The one in Zion I remember because it had the pinball machine. You were constantly digging around for quarters so I could keep myself occupied. After you moved back to Wisconsin, you used to take me to the one on 36 in Waterford. I always ran to you with the other edge of the your giant comforter, excited more than anything that you just needed me to help you.

I miss you, Dad. Every single day. The ache in my heart never truly goes away. Happy Father's Day.

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