For the past month it has been difficult to ignore the father's day cards that existed on stands in shopping centres almost everywhere I looked. Mentally trying to prepare for the day “it’s just another day, no different from any other”.
When the day arrived I woke with that mindset, it’s just another day. I called my dad to wish him a great day and with that the memories from last father’s day flooded in.
Leaving the house to visit family, tears flowed and my mood became dark. Families were out and about riding their bikes together down the street, having breakfast in the park and living out their lives.
It hurt! Seeing smiling faces everywhere, I felt angry that I no longer have what they have.
My complete family.
I wondered do they even know how lucky they are.
It made me angry, because we did know how lucky we were.
We lived our lives in the moment every day.
We never took each other for granted.
We were the family that was always doing something together.
Never wasting time.
I arrived at my dad’s house and we walked across to the beach together with the kids.
We did everything that we would have done with John. I chose to live the day the same way we would have if he were here with us. That was my promise to him.
To live life the way he lived life so that our children experience a little bit of him through me.
So we played, we swam, we climbed, we adventured, we ate fish and chips, we laughed, we lived in the moment with each other.
There were a few times that I found myself noticing the stares from other families. I wondered if they were wondering where my partner was. And at times I felt as though I was being judged for being, what looks like a young single mum of two lively children. I tried to remember though that those are my own insecurities and I know how great a job I’m doing, so stuff what anyone thinks.
I reminded the children of our last father’s day, and the things we all did together.
Reminded them of how proud John was to be a dad and told them how proud he is of them every day.
I wrote a public message to him on face book, because the day was just as much for him as it was for all the dads still here. And I also wrote it in hope that the friends who saw it, took the time to appreciate all that they have. Because one of the things I will always be thankful for is that when he was here we didn’t need a special day to celebrate each other. We did that every day, we lived each day as though it was our first and last and that is how life should be lived.
“Today I remember your last father’s day and how proud you were of the picture Jiahn made for you. I remember the way you grabbed him and held him and kissed him. I remember like yesterday because I fell more in love with you in that moment, when I really didn't think I could love you anymore than I already did.
It amazed me and melted my heart watching you be a big kid playing with the kids. And I miss so much walking down the street behind you, watching you on the skate board carrying Jiahn and Layla. The way you would kiss them while they were sleeping and always be so active with them when they were awake. ❤
I miss laughing while watching you read bed time stories in a monotone voice looking at me in desperation to help you. I miss your laugh. And there is so much I hate every day that you miss out on or we miss out on sharing it with you, because I know you’re watching and would be so proud!
Today isn’t just for the dads still here. For us today like every other day, is a day to remember the amazing, fun and loving dad you were. I wish we could collect shells on the beach again and have picnics in the park or go for a swim, all of us together the way it’s supposed to be.
Today is another day filled with memories of you and the love we were so lucky to share with you.
Like every other day, we wish you were here.
We love you and miss you always xoxox”
As the day came to an end, I felt grateful for the way we lived our lives together. Although it was still a difficult day, it turned out to be a good day, creating lasting memories with the people I love most. That’s how John would have wanted it. That was our father’s day gift to him.
*Editor's note: Father's Day is celebrated in September in Australia.