I have to admit right off the bat that the solemn under tones from last week’s post will be continuing this week. This week has been hard on me for multiple reasons. Stress at work, illness, a death in the family, and one of the holidays that I dread the most is looming over me.
Losing Glen’s Aunt, and my childhood neighbor has taken a far greater toll than I can imagine. Her death wasn’t unexpected, but the suddenness of it has taken the entire family by shock. She wasn’t a saint, but she was who she wanted to be. No holds barred. She was a cornerstone of my husband’s family that will greatly be missed.
But it’s not just her death weighing on me.
I find myself being sucked back into the swirling emotional rollercoaster that was my father’s funeral. For the first time in nearly three years, I have to walk back into the same funeral home where I last looked upon my father’s face. Sure, I could stay home, but I need to support my husband and extended family. I have to pull up my big girl panties and grit my teeth when I cross that threshold. Will it be hard? Fuck yes, it will be, but for him and his family, I am going to do my best. That’s all I can do.
But I think in that thought lies the heart of my sadness this week. Sunday marks the 4th Father’s Day I have spent without my dad. There’s an old saying about time healing all wounds, but that’s bullshit. At least for me. Every day is struggle missing him. My dad, much like Glen’s Aunt, wasn’t a saint. He was hard on me growing up, and I hated him for so much of childhood for his tough love approach. It wouldn’t be until he was gone that I truly appreciated the gift that he gave me.
He made me strong enough to handle anything.
He made me a woman that other people turn to when they are in trouble.
He gave me life skills and a good work ethic to make sure my family would never go hungry.
My dad is the reason for all of that. Something that I wish I could go back and tell him. Along with so many other things.
I miss his laugh.
I miss seeing his name pop up on my phone every night after I left for work to chat on our commutes home.
I miss those stupid goddamn e-mails he used to send to annoy me.
The list could go on and on, but the tears streaming down my face right now as I write this are reminders that despite all the bad times with him, I still loved him. He wasn’t perfect, but neither am I.
I have my flaws just like he did, many of which I think I inherited from him, or so my mom says. And I tend to agree with her.
But, that’s what makes me, well, me. I wouldn’t change it for the world because it reminds me that I am human. I make mistakes. I say stupid shit that gets me into trouble, but it’s the real me. A me I want to be proud of.
So before this goes off the rails even more, I want to close this out by wishing those who are celebrating with their dads this week, a Happy Father’s Day. For those like me, it won’t be easy, but cling to those memories in your grief and remember to try to smile.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
I love you.
Avelyn Paige is an Wall Street Journal and USA TODAY bestselling Motorcycle Romance author.