Fatherly Reflections

I have watched all of the Father's Day posts with avid fascination. I have been equal parts resentful of those who still have their fathers and grateful I had the two of mine as long as I did.

Not very gracious, I know, but I think we have all been there.

I noticed that different posts brought different men to mind. In that vein, I want to expound on Fathers.

Cline Boyd Nimrod was my dad. He helped bring me into this world and with all of his faults, hee was still "Dad." We rarely saw eye to eye but I called him when I needed dad. There was more to him than met the eye and he was the smartest man I knew. I miss him still.

Uncle Dan was our "other dad." He stepped in as much as possible when Dad was out of our lives. He loved us so much and did a great job of being a touchstone when we desperately needed one. He was always real.

Uncle Ed was my dad when I had no one. He never raised his voice but I always knew when I disappointed him and that hurt more than I thought possible. He expected me to do more and be more. He made me think I could fly and he was right.

Steve Bryant has been a constant father figure for me since I was 10. He can be intimidating and even terrifying but he loves me and that is all that matters. He saw my brokenness and was careful to treat me with kid gloves because he knew I was raw. He gives amazing advice and haas always been there for me.

David Daniels was my Daddy. We didn't get along at first but he changed my mind when I had my nervous breakdown. He held me and made me believe I could be okay again.

Along the way I have been loved and cared for by some amazing men. I have been so very lucky to have them.

There is one more man to thank, not because he was my father figure but because he was such a good father to Michél. Thomas Alexander helped me and loved her as his own. Thank you, Thomas. You were a great dad!

Random Thoughts in the Darkness

I would give anything for another conversation with Moma as I sit and watch someone I hold dear having to work towards goodbye with his mother.

It is never easy letting go. As our loved ones move toward heaven, we enter the gates of hell. Grief changes us in ways that those who have not lost can never understand.

Grief is not a dwelling place but rather a path we will all walk at various points in our lives. We will all carry the scars differently but when it comes for you, it will at first feel like you have been swallowed by an ever-crashing wave.

You will gasp... desperately trying to get above water. Slowly you will find that you have time to draw a breath between the waves. Eventually, the waves become rolling breakers that you can manage but the massive waves will still come. Without warning. A smile, a memory, a flower... you will never know when it will hit but you do know how to ride it. And you know you will make it to shore again. (Not my analogy, wish I knew who to credit).

Tonight I am missing our Moma. Imperfect as she was.

I am missing Michél. Her sweet smile, her little giggles, her healing hugs.

I miss the future she would have had, the grandchildren she would have given me.

Her death is as present now as it was the day she died.

I wish I could tell my friend that it will be okay and believe it myself. Sleep is distant because the specter looms. Perhaps darkness is as necessary to life as light but I could really use some light.