The thing with grief is there will always be hurdles to jump and big fences to negotiate. Do I go round or attempt to leap over, all the while hoping I don’t spectacularly trip and fall flat on my face!
Yesterday was Fathers’ Day, a day which creeps up and I am only slightly aware of, out of the corner of my eye, just there in my peripheral vision.
You can’t avoid the displays in the supermarkets but I walk past quickly. Although I still have a dad to buy for my boys don’t and I feel at odds with that fact.
The bottom line is it’s just not fair.
((I’m reminded at this point of an old blog post I wrote about a year after Andrew died for my unravelling-edges blog - “When There are no Words”))
My dad and I, without even a word will quietly acknowledge these kinds of days, neither of us wanting to upset the boys unduly.
However the truth is this year I really thought Fathers’ Day was next Sunday.
So when I texted my brother on Saturday to give him an idea of what to buy as a gift for dad for the following Sunday he send a message back…
“Fathers’ day is tomorrow!”
“Oh shit!” I texted back!
(sorry for the language but that was my honest reply and I can't lie!)
You see the thing is I had spoken to dad just that morning, only briefly because I really needed to wish mum a belated happy birthday for the day before – I am failing as a daughter on all counts here!!!
I had just about managed to get a card to her on the right date and I am so grateful to Amazon who delivered a parcel to her door on the actual day too!
The order for my dad I had sent to me with the intention of wrapping and posting it next week along with the card that sat in the drawer.
So the thought was always there and to be honest dad didn’t mind in the slightest. He told me with a chuckle when we did speak yesterday, “I thought it was next week too!”
I sometimes think they make far too many allowances for me, their little girl who lost her husband.
Life is cruel and in an ideal world these things should never happen this way round.
I will always remember that hug my dad gave me after we had seen Andrew laid out in the coffin. All I needed was my dad to kiss it better and make the overwhelming pain go away.
From having my own boys I know just how helpless you feel as a parent when there is absolutely nothing you can do and circumstances are way beyond your control.
All he could do that day was hold me tight.
Ever since Andrew died my dad and I have grown a lot closer, not that we were ever distant but there has been a subtle shift in our relationship which moved again earlier this year when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Thankfully it was operable and after major surgery he has been given the all clear.
Both of us took the pragmatic viewpoint that everything was always going to be OK from the start – we leave the worrying in the family to be done by my mum and brother!
But our phone conversations are noticeably longer these days, we talk more and say “I love you” far more frequently than ever before.
My dad is my hero but we will never be soppy about it, this is the Fathers’ Day card I sent him today.
As I said he had bowel cancer and “farting” after having half your bowel removed is a big deal! I was actually there visiting him in the hospital when he let the first one out and even the nurses cheered!
There will always be hurdles to face on this journey but hopefully my dad will be around for a long time yet to hold my hand as I negotiate them. And maybe on occasion I can hold his too.
In the grand scheme of things forgetting to send him a card on the correct day is immaterial because he truly understands better than anyone that he is special to me today, any day, every day and always. xx