Father’s Day was a bit of a mixed bag this year. We had a (mostly) lovely day at our house. The girls were at their dad’s this weekend, so I missed them terribly (but took over the desk in Gracie’s room, so clearly I got over all of the missing). Jeff took the Xman to the museum for a few hours in the morning for some daddy-son time. And then I made a big, juicy, grilled steak dinner with roasted garlic-butter corn and garlic mashed potatoes.When Jeff opened his presents, he got to see how well the Xman’s mom and I know that little boy – we each got him the same superhero tshirt! Annoying (because the shirt wasn’t cheap), but kind of funny.
Yes, the Xman got tired mid-afternoon and his daily temper tantrums started up. But that wasn’t what made it a bit difficult.
My Uncle David died on Saturday. It wasn’t entirely unexpected – he’s been rather sick – but that doesn’t ease anything. I mean, how awful is that? On top of the already crushing grief, my aunt and cousin’s had to face Father’s Day the next day. I just can’t, when I think of how they must be feeling.
I wasn’t terribly close with Uncle David growing up; we didn’t see that branch of the family very often, and some of the men (Uncle David and my dad, particularly) didn’t always come to birthday parties and family functions. When he did come, I remember being afraid of him. It was nothing he did – I think I was just scared because I didn’t see him often, and because he was a rather imposing size. Silly things that little kids find daunting. And as I grew up and got over my fear, we started talking more at get togethers. We sat with Uncle David and Auntie Carol and my cousins at my Uncle Teddy’s funeral a few years ago. (Oh, the things you remember.) Uncle David always called me over to talk to me when I visited home each August. He asked about the girls and talked about his grandkids. He asked how I was doing and encouraged me with whatever I had going on in my life. He always made sure to give me a hug and a kiss, and even though I might not have been as close with him as I was with some of my other uncles, I always knew he loved me.
It’s tough, losing someone you know has always been in your corner.
So, no, not the easiest Father’s Day. Though it did make me very thankful for a rambunctious, superhero-obsessed little five-year-old, and the return of the swarm of pre-teens. (Oh, shoosh – two of them does feel like a swarm.) Joy is in all the little things, and that is what gets us through these great big things.