Father’s Day, another first. Another day that reminded us of what was, and will never be again. 3 to honor their father instead of 4. Living around the gap, the new normal. There was no phone call from LA. No card with a California postmark. The first to call him daddy, now gone. They had moved into the friend category, man to man, which just enhanced their father-son relationship. My husband lost a son, a friend, a treasured companion. How can I possibly bring comfort to this weary, heart broken man on a day that reminds him that his role as a father has been robbed, forever changed? How can I console a man who is bone weary, fighting for joy, struggling to trust, on a day that will now always be a painful reminder of what was taken? Sleepless nights, teary commutes, now markers of his days, and now this day, making his loss so acute I can see the pain on his face, in his eyes. Lord, how do I bring comfort?
Pray. I can pray for him, with him, pray.
Touch. I can hold him, stroke him, lay in his arms and weep with him. Touch.
Recall. The stories, the beautiful stories and memories. (Will there be a day when we can recall them without pain? I don’t know.) But I can listen today, even with the pain. And we can smile, and we can laugh through tear stained faces. Recall.
Listen. I can listen without trying to answer, without trying to fix it. The only fix for this is Heaven. There will never be a satisfactory answer. So I just, listen.
Anticipate. Remember together that there is no earthly pain that Heaven doesn’t fix, look forward to that day with him. Anticipate.
Words cannot express the depth of my love for the father of my children, but this I know. Apart from Heaven, there is nowhere I would rather be than in the crook of his loving arms. So this “first” of many firsts, this Father’s Day, with now 3 instead of 4, I lay in his arms, our breaking hearts beat as one, our tears falling in unison.