Sunday, June 21, 2009

I miss you, Dad!

I got off work at 1 PM, and rushed home to change clothes and drive over the mountain to have a joint Father's Day celebration and 4th birthday party for my youngest son at my mom's house. I hadn't seen my kids since Thursday, so I was pretty anxious to see them. As I was getting dressed, I pulled out one of my father's old t-shirts to wear. My father died in a car accident on May 28, 2005, three weeks before my youngest son was born. I wasn't ready for him to go - he was only 63 years old, and we were in the midst of reconnecting and getting to know one another again after some challenging years when my parents divorced. At least I had the foresight, through my grief, to ask for his clothing. There wasn't much, but I was able to find two t-shirts, one long sleeved and one short sleeved, that weren't too terribly big on me and that were in decent shape that I kept to wear on days like today. The rest of the t-shirts, I cut apart to make a memory quilt for me and my family.

I completed it a year and a half ago, and presented it to my mother for Christmas - even though they had divorced and both remarried, they remained best of friends. The plan was to allow the quilt to rotate among members of the family - we are so widespread - so that we all have a chance to use it and honor him. It hasn't made it back to me yet, but my turn will come soon. For today, I was happy just to wear his shirt. I couldn't help but laugh when I arrived at my mother's and realized she was unwittingly wearing a pair of his old athletic shorts. His spirit is with us still today, I believe.

Once at my mother's, we had a great time with tacos and cake and ice cream

and presents

and badminton (perhaps the long skirt and floppy hat were a bad idea - I was terrible!).

Seeing my brother on Father's Day, though, is a surreal experience for me. He doesn't really look like my father,

but his mannerisms, his walk, his gestures, his laugh, they are identical. It is like seeing a 30 year old version of my father, and I spent a lot of time today choking back tears. I miss you, Dad. Happy Father's Day!


CapLady-Molly said...

What a great tribute to your father. I feel like they are still around when we do things like that. I have several things from my Dad. I took all of his white handkerchiefs and made angels out of them then gave them to Momma and all the rest of the family. Sometimes when I look at mine I get sad, but then I think of something silly we did and it makes it all better. You have done a good thing and my thoughts are with you on this important day.

Riet said...

What a wonderful story and a lovely day for your little boy too

Becky said...

What a good story, Erin! I was thinking of my daddy yesterday as well. He's been gone 14 years and I still feel the big hole his absence makes in our family. Thanks for sharing.

PS Did your dad play for the Cards????!!!!!

Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth said...

I miss my Daddy too. (That's right! Ain't nothing wrong with a grown woman referring to her father as 'Daddy' if he earned it) I lost him last year. It ain't easy.

kwiltmakr said...

My Dad has been gone about 24 years and I still miss him. I am glad you had a good day with your family.

Angela said...

I really wish I had more of my Dads things. You are very lucky! Thanks for sharing your story! It does help to know there are others out there that struggle with the loss, just like I am.

Nancy said...

Looks like Donald had a good birthday. The t-shirt quilt is such a good idea for you to have made, and something you can share with all his grandkids too from time to time. Thanks for sharing your story.

ms. mindless said...

this post reminds me of why i am so lucky to have you as a friend. you have such a good spirit. i know that sounds creepy, but as i was reading this, i heard your voice speaking the words and it reminded me what a special person you are and how amazing your family is. i love you!