An important part of Father’s Day is having great kids – two of whom I raised and two who were brought to our family as spouses. Plus I have the kids who are loaned to us from our friends and siblings. All are great in their own way and have been an important part of our grieving process.
I still have Meredith, my daughter and Amanda, Chris’ wife, and, soon, Nate as a son-in-law.
but I do not have Chris.
With six weeks separating me from the shock and the complete devastation of getting the news, I have to say that I fear this Sunday. Meredith, Amanda, and Nate – please know you mean the world to me and I know Gayle will hold me up through this time but there is something about a father and his son.
You know the saying “Hope for the best and plan for the worst.” Well, I will not say I never thought this was possible but I certainly did not plan for it. In fact, I was planning for the best – the day when he would get back, a trip to do some diving together, Meredith’s Wedding, etc. I did not plan to have a Flag from a “Grateful Nation.” I did not expect to have a Drexel Dragon in Chris’ honor. I did not plan to think about what to do with donations and, honestly, I was the last person who I thought would have a letter from the President. Thanks, but you can have all of them back
So, what will I do this Father’s Day? Not sure. I might turn off my cell phone after I talk to Meredith, Amanda and Nate. Maybe I will go for a bike ride or a run or go sit quietly on a beach. Probably, I will be thankful for what I have but then grieve more for what I have lost. Yes, I do have great memories and I see the marvelous potential in each of the kids. However, I saw such great potential in Chris too and every person who has spoken or written to me about Chris reminds me that even I underestimated what he would and could be.
So, for Father’s Day, give me the gift of your thoughts and prayers once more:
- For Amanda who misses Chris more than any of us can fathom
- For Meredith who lost her brother and friend
- For Nate as he deals with all of us
- For Gayle and me as we try to grasp the how of going forward.
For every person in our military, father, son, mother, daughter, friend, who is spending this day and so many more like it in a foreign land away from those they love. They have voluntarily stepped into harm’s way to protect the weak from the strong, to bring justice and fairness to a land where that is not the norm and to offer freedom to people who are not.