I received this card for Father’s day.
However, my kids are not old enough to shop alone or to write sentences, so yes, it did not say anything on the inside and I bought it for myself. But whatever. It means a lot to me and hangs in my kitchen to continually remind me of the job I’m doing as a widowed mom and how important that job is. But as motivating and inspiring as the card is, it still exists because of Father’s Day. Oh ya, the day where you celebrate the person with whom you made your kids. Well fuck. He is dead, so this shall be real fun.
Visiting his grave with our kids in tow was not how I imagined celebrating him on this day. I was supposed to let him sleep in. Instead the girls watched too much tv, while I drank too much coffee, because I’m too tired. I was supposed give him the gift of time so that he could have some precious time to himself (also, maybe steak and a bj? mmm…let’s be serious. Widow or not, I’m way too tired for that!) Instead, I entertained the girls all day and got almost 0 time to myself for the millionth day in a row. We were supposed to order pizza in his honour for our celebratory dinner. We still ordered pizza in his honour, but there were leftovers instead of him eating every last piece. The girls were supposed to give him their ugly, beautiful daycare crafts and he was supposed to put them up at his work with pride. Instead we took the ugly, beautiful crafts to his graveside. But most importantly, he is supposed to be here with us. I am not supposed to be doing this alone. He was and is a better parent than me. I continue to remember his words of patience, love and guidance to me as we tried to figure out what the fuck we were doing as we raised our girls. I am doing my best to keep his presence alive for the girls and we talk of him and love him everyday. His impact on the girls is profound. He may have only be in their lives for a short while, but he was instrumental in building their foundations. He has contributed to the beautiful people they are today and to the beautiful people they are becoming. I will be forever grateful that Kevin and I made such wonderful (and sometimes, insanity inducing) humans. They will change the world one day with their kindness, their grace, their love and their curiosity. On Father’s day, despite his death, I still celebrated him and his amazingness as a father. I also celebrated all the dads in my community. They’ve stepped in and are doing their best to help me raise our girls. Such an amazing collection of dads in my life who understand the meaning of ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. I wanted to do something nice for them all today, but I have my fucking hands full with my kids, so that’s not going to happen!
My first Father’s day as a widow was messy and beautiful, just like so many things in this crazy widow life. I spent the morning releasing balloons in Kevin’s honour with our girls at the cemetery while sobbing, I spent the afternoon laughing with friends and neighbors as our kids ran wild around us while drinking champagne and I spent the evening making out on the couch with my boyfriend. A messy, confusing, beautiful and exhausting day. But pretty much par for the course for a widow. And a perfect example of where I am in this journey…feeling the darkness and pain of the grief, while simultaneously feeling the warmth and the beauty of living life and moving forward. Bittersweet.