Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Reality that THIS is Father's Day. This is My Life

Well, we have gotten through our third Father’s Day since Thomas died. For my daughter they seem to be getting easier. For me this one was very much a “wake me when it’s over” occasion. Still, my gratitude for having children goes to Thomas and God, so I would never fail to acknowledge this day. My daughter as of now takes comfort in going to the cemetery and taking pictures. My son seems more interested in what is happening there each time. He’s learned the word daddy, and will say “hi daddy” when we arrive and “bye bye daddy” when we leave although I am sure his understanding is little to none here.
Still so early in my journey through parenthood, something in me doesn’t want to accept that this is Father’s Day. This is really my life. In the past few weeks leading up to Father's Day, I’ve been bombarded with the stats on fatherless children. I know the odds are stacked against us. That isn’t new. They were when Thomas was here. I’ve accepted we’ll have to be world beaters in my house. I keep us in church.  We do family devotions.  Sacrifices have been made for private Christian education, even with less income to work with now.  We chose Godparents from the beginning and I know that their Godfather will be there for them and Elijah will become the man Thomas would have taught him to be under his guidance.  Still this ...

It may never sit quite right. The pictures are beautiful. They show sensitivity in the children, even my son. They show the love and devotion in my daughter and how curiosity is growing in my son. In one you can see Ariana talking to Elijah. She’s telling him about their dad. This is Father’s Day for us. We are slowly but surely playing the hand we’ve been dealt and making a life for ourselves. We’re a crazy, but loving trio who love nothing more than being together.

I’ve changed. I’ve lost my poker face. Bluffing doesn’t work anymore. More and more days, I'm fine.  There is no day without laughter.  There is no day without joy.  There are days I'm either just okay or I'm managing or I'm mad.  The pain on some days is overwhelming when I combine the reality of what we went through and how he was gone from them, from us so soon. But when I think of how he was suffering and how I was suffering, I know there was no alternative besides a miracle healing.  He had to go to Jesus for that.  We miss him.  The brutality of the physical and emotional pain he went through and the emotional pain and stress of managing a household underneath it all I went through had to have a time limit.  The fear and anxiety and angst my daughter dealt with is just now surfacing.  Here at over 2 years out, I’m still assessing and addressing the emotional damage.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day. Heck, neither was the world. God could have blinked and had everything here in an instant.  The fact that He took six days to create everything teaches me that big things take time.  We are a work in progress.  We are learning to live with the pain. We are navigating with all the bumps in the road. We laugh at how Thomas and Elijah would likely be driving each other nuts. We lament he isn’t here to see how the children are growing. I try not to think of the long list of milestones ahead, all of the things I’ll experience with them that he never will. Their lives were really just starting and then we had to start over. Ariana wondered if he’d be proud. She’s sure he’s keeping an eye on us. I told her I know he would be. I told him he better be.

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