I’m dreading next Sunday. For anyone who knows me, it is no secret that I have never enjoyed Father’s Day. I’ve written about the broken – non-existent relationship between my father and me multiple times. The shorthand version is this: My mom met my dad in Texas. They got married. My dad then proceeded to leave my mom – five months pregnant with me – alone in Pennsylvania. I never heard from him. I never met him until I was 17 and we tracked him down thanks to some internet searches. We found him in Colorado. I think I saw him maybe twice before he died my senior year of college. He never offered an apology. He never offered an explanation. Only lots of excuses.
I can still remember being 4 years old and sitting in Sunday School on Father’s Day. We were supposed to be making cards for our dads. There was lots of construction paper, glitter, stickers, markers, and glue sticks. I worked hard on my card and carefully wrote, “I love mommy” on the front. I remember the teacher looking at my card and trying to explain to me that we were supposed to make cards for our dads today not our moms. I told her very matter-of-factually, “I don’t have a dad.” She smile at me and said, “everyone has a dad.” I just looked at her, confused, and said, “no, I don’t.” My mom came to pick me up after Sunday School and I proudly gave her my card – no doubt covered in glitter. That was the first time I realized that I wasn’t like all the other kids who were running up to their dad’s with big smiles as their dad picked them up and hugged them tight. I knew something was missing.
That feeling carried over through the years, as father-daughter dances were left unattended. It’s one of those things that just kind of colors all you do even if you don’t realize it.
As a teenager I had trust issues. This carried on into my adult years. A couple really bad boyfriends over the years didn’t help much.
Then, I met Patrick. Suddenly I had this amazing man that I actually could trust. I
knew know he will never leave me or hurt me. He healed places of my heart that I didn’t even know were broken. He tore down the walls that I had built up over the years and replaced them with so much love. Blessed. I am very blessed to call this man my husband.
When we found out we were pregnant, he was amazing. He went to every doctor’s appointment. He was actively involved in every step of the pregnancy. I still remember the look on his face the first time he felt his son kick – awe-struck wonder. He talked on end about how excited he was to teach him everything. I just knew that this year was going to finally heal Father’s Day in my mind. This was the year I was going to get to watch my amazing husband be a dad for the first time. I had the best surprises planned for him. It was going to be perfect.
Well, you already know that life didn’t exactly follow our plans…
At the end of the day, I’m heartbroken for my husband. I’m so disappointed that the rest of the world doesn’t get to see what an amazing dad my husband would be/is. I’m sad that the focus is always on how I’m doing, and rarely does anyone stop to ask how he’s getting by. I’m frustrated that this holiday has to be broken for him too. I’m angry that my husband has to go through this pain. I’m grateful for the moments I got to see the amazing dad that Patrick is. I’m thankful that I have a husband who isn’t afraid to talk about his son and how much he misses him. I’m blessed to have this amazing man love me back.
I think most of all I’m just sad that Joshua won’t get to experience all of the amazing things that his daddy had planned for him. I hope he knows just how much his daddy loves him and thinks about him, because I know it is so very very much.