I miss my dad every day. I mean every day, without fail, and it is awful and yet so beautiful that I think about him so often. Today especially my heart is breaking because I know that my two boys will have no memories - not one - of my amazing father blowing out birthday candles on a pineapple upside down cake (his favorite), or opening gifts (ordinarily See's candy or white socks or undershirts...he was both predictable and practical :)), or doing anything that a grandpa should do on his birthday. Jack was 11 weeks old when he died, and Liam wasn't even a thought in our mind yet. So tragically, for many years to come, both of my boys will have memories of us going to the cemetery to visit his grave, of attending mass with Nana to pray for the Grandpa they've only ever seen in photographs, of family dinners where we remember what we have lost while eating his favorite foods and drinking his favorite bottle of wine. I'm sure if you've made it through the second paragraph of this blog, you now understand how hard it is for me to have lost my father.
On January 7, 2011, it was my dad's 50 birthday. We didn't throw him a big party or even host an intimate family dinner...because instead it was the night that John and I had our rehearsal dinner as we were getting married the next day. We chose to get married as early as we could in January because I originally really wanted a Christmas wedding, but it couldn't happen because of my work schedule. The first Saturday, aside from New Years Day, was the 8th, and fortunately the church we got married in even left up the Christmas decorations for us! Anyway, my dad didn't even blink an eye regarding the wedding date, because of course, like always, he put others first. I remember asking him if we could at least have a birthday cake to honor him at the rehearsal dinner, and he said something along the lines of, "Please honey, this is your wedding! My birthday is nothing compared to the sacrament of matrimony. I would be embarrassed if it became about me even a little bit."
Although this time of year is difficult for me, one of the things that I am most grateful for is that I met John when I did, and that we knew so quickly that we were meant to be married, because without those two things I would just be celebrating my dad's birthday but not a wedding anniversary. In this day and age, the odds that a college educated woman with a promising career would be married by the age of 25 are slim (back in the day, I myself said I wouldn't get married until I was 28!), so I am so grateful that God blessed me with the gift of marrying the right man at a young age. John was able to ask my dad for my hand in marriage; my dad was able to support and counsel us during our engagement on issues big and small; my dad was able to walk me down the aisle and give me away to my husband. Of all of the things that I am missing out on in losing my dad already I am deeply comforted that my wedding was not one of them. I love looking at my wedding pictures and seeing his smiling face.
|I wish I could remember exactly what we talked about during our father-daughter dance. It was such a special moment and so much of me was so sad to be married because I knew I was starting a family of my own and that I would miss my parents so much.|
|I really adored my dad and I'm so grateful for everything that he did to make me the woman I am today. I pray that he is in heaven, and that he is watching over our family and especially my two little boys always.|