I have been dreading tomorrow. I didn’t realize how much until the day started creeping closer and closer. It will be the first Father’s Day without my father with us and I knew it was going to be rough. Even now, as I type this, the tears came from nowhere. By now, I would have shared my favorite photo of us, in the basement of the church on my wedding day, playing chopsticks on an old piano. I would have shared words about how awesome of a father he is on Facebook. And in pure Dad fashion, he wouldn’t have commented or interacted with the post because that was just him. But I always knew he saw it. 😊 That was enough. This year though, I haven’t been able to bring myself to post anything. He’s not there to read it.
You see, Father’s Day was the final major first year hurdle for me. We were thrusted into the first holidays from day one. He passed on Thanksgiving morning. Christmas came shortly after. Then came New Year’s Eve, a holiday we always spent with our parents. It was one first right after another and together we got through it.
Everyone grieves differently. I found, first of all, I had never really dealt with grief on that level. I thought I had prepared myself. I was wrong. So, very, very wrong. But as the months slipped by, I adjusted to the new normal of my Dad not being in this world. Where I had once looked at his pictures and felt a breathtaking, soul crushing pain, I looked at them and remembered the good times. When I thought of him, it wasn’t thoughts of that Thanksgiving morning anymore but thoughts of other moments throughout the years. But still, the first Father’s Day without him hung over me like a dark cloud.
And now, with only an hour left until the clock clicks over to Father’s Day, I realize I’m okay. It will hurt. It will be hard. But though he may not be here in body, his voice is still in my head and I still feel his presence when I need it. (As a matter of fact, I heard him this morning, when I shut down the business I had quit my job to take back over. He clearly said, “You are kidding me!” 😊)
After all, I am my father’s daughter. And for that, I am thankful.
Michelle Leigh Miller is an independently published author, freelance writer, and blogger in Southeastern Ohio. Basically, she is just writing words.