My Dad died a little over a month ago. This is the first Father’s Day without him. It is the first Father’s Day without a Dad to celebrate.
Someone recently said to me that she felt orphaned when her Dad died despite the fact that she was an adult when she died. Today I understand that feeling. It was strange not to discuss with my siblings what we’d buy for my Dad or to sit at the card section at Target looking for the right kind of funny card. A mushy one wouldn’t be right. My Dad would probably gag. I don’t have to pick up something silly from the dog–because the dog always recognized her Grandpa on Father’s Day. It is a very strange feeling to say the least.
My family will still be getting together today. My brother’s will be celebrating Father’s Day and we have three birthdays to celebrate which somehow slipped by because no one was really in the mood to party in May. We will have the usual decorations. We’ll pass out presents which will be opened with glee. Then we will we bring out the cake and sing Happy Birthday to the celebrants.
But something will be missing. That off key voice won’t be singing behind everyone else during the song. That booming chatter won’t be coming from the table. The kids won’t be giving their Grandpa a bad time. No one will be yelling “Dad, turn your hearing aids on. You’re yelling!” And, he won’t yell back at us that he turned them off because we were too loud. There is going to be an empty spot that my Dad once filled.
That first year after a loved one dies is difficult. These days, like Father’s Day, where that person is celebrated are a little more difficult to get through. Each one gets easier, but that empty chair is more noticeable today.
So…Happy Father’s Day, Dad! No matter how loud or how many times you’d be retelling the same story at your party today, we’ll still miss you!
My Dad on the left with the whole brood ca 1964.