This Father's Day will be Different...

8 days ago

For the first time in 17 years, my heart did not ache as I thought of Father's Day. Instead, it rejoiced at the thought of celebrating the most important man in my life- my husband and father to our baby girl.

I lost my father at a very young age. He was my hero and my rock. I remember being immensely attached to him and looking up to him in every which way. My last memory of him is vivid and tugs at my heartstrings to this day: "Take care. You will be ok." I often go back to that precious moment- a moment I will cherish forever. I didn't know what was to follow, but he did. He knew he was not going to be around much longer, and that I would, and that I would need to pull through. To this day, I treasure the special bond I had with him. I see him in my dreams and wake up hoping they will turn into reality- but they don't. And life goes on.

Every year, Father's Day brings about an array of mixed emotions in me. I silently pray for my father as I see others celebrating theirs. It's a difficult feeling to describe. It just is- and I deal with it as needed. This time, however, as the retail world excessively prepped for dad day, much like most holidays, I realized the indescribable feeling in me was being replaced by something warm and light. Something small that made my heart glow from the inside. Something as precious as that last moment spent with my father. This year was going to be different! I had a father in my life to celebrate! My husband's first Father's Day was going to special. For him, for me, and for our sweet baby girl.

The thing about babies is, despite the sleepless nights and hourly diaper changes, despite the seemingly endless fussing and crying, they bring so much joy into our lives. Joy not only in the little things they do, but also how they make you see others. My baby girl has done just that.

I've always loved my husband. I know he is a keeper. I know he is apart from the rest. But seeing him as a father has made me love and respect him so much more. It's not that he is doing things I didn't expect him to. Heck, she's both our baby! It's that he is kinder, gentler, more patient, caring and cautious. He seeks no accolades. The first time he held our little one I recall the nurse saying "Oh, you've held babies before haven't you!" He had not. But the change in him was instantaneous and it melted my heart. He was so in love with his little girl- and I was so in love with him.

This Father's Day, my daughter and I will  say a little prayer for her grandfather and ask him to always watch over us as we celebrate the man who completes our world. Dad, I love you and miss you everyday. But you were right. I am ok. WE are ok. Happy Father's Day!

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