Father’s Day

15 Jun

When my mother telephoned us this morning, she called my cell phone rather than the house phone.  I was puzzled until she asked if we were camping.  Father’s Day is a day to do what Dad wants and it was a very reasonable assumption that Greg would want to be camping on Father’s Day.  In fact, that would have been a great idea.

The Millers take a walk

We weren’t, of course, camping this Father’s Day.  With the end of school, I think all I could have managed was what we did do.  Greg got a cool t-shirt, a pair of crocs, and a tire cover for the motorhome.

All wonderful things that he’ll use regularly.  More importantly though, we spent a day letting him set the agenda, letting him be selfish, letting him sleep in the car while I drove, letting him say where we’d eat breakfast.  We took his mother with us too.  This is the first Father’s Day without Greg’s father.  Being there for his mother was important as well.

Holidays take on new meaning and new layers of feeling with each death in one’s life.  Not a major event goes by that I don’t wonder what my father would have thought of this, would he have been proud, would he have been there.  Father’s Day is bittersweet this year without my father-in-law.  The empty chair at the breakfast table stood out to me but remained unspoken.  We celebrated Greg’s fatherhood without dwelling on the loss of his own father.  I think it’s a comfort thing — we might have cried, we might have gotten swept up in sadness.

My children, however, are so clear and direct about their feelings.  As we wrapped Greg’s gifts this morning (hey, he likes to sleep late . . . we had time!), Ruthie said to me, “If Grampa were alive, we’d be wrapping more presents, wouldn’t we?”

Yes, honey, we would be.  And, thank you for thinking of him.

Memoir Mondays is hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

10 Responses to “Father’s Day”

  1. Trixie 15 June, 2008 at 11:14 pm #

    My own father has been dead for five years now and still Father’s Day is missing something. I hung a legislative citation my husband got in memory of my father today.

  2. Kevin 16 June, 2008 at 1:34 am #

    Heartfelt post, Liza.
    I am lucky that my dad is still around and active and close by (he is the only grandparent still alive for our kids). He was up this weekend for a visit and it was special.

    PS — I like the t-shirt.

  3. Stacey 16 June, 2008 at 1:38 am #

    I’m weeping… literally. I cannot image how heard this Father’s Day was for your husband, you and your children. What your daughter said was priceless. It’s so hard, isn’t it, when kids come out with stuff like that…

  4. jayne 16 June, 2008 at 2:26 am #

    I am sure Greg appreciated your including his mom so much. Those first holidays are hard, I am sure. Glad he got to have a “Greg Day” and that you all honored his dad’s memory.

  5. Bonnie 16 June, 2008 at 3:29 am #

    A hard piece to read. I wonder, how did it feel to write it? Powerful and universal.
    Thanks Liza,

  6. Mary 16 June, 2008 at 4:06 am #

    Ditto what Bonnie said. Powerful and universal. We all understand.

  7. Liza Lee Miller 16 June, 2008 at 6:33 am #

    Thank you all for your comments and kindness. Sometimes in writing these memoirs I am pushed well beyond my comfort zone of sharing my own feelings but then I read your responses and am so glad I went to that place too far. Thank you.

  8. robin andrea 16 June, 2008 at 7:34 am #

    I remember the first Father’s Day after my dad died in 1992. It was a heartbreak of a day. That empty chair at the table is the poignant reminder.

  9. Pam 16 June, 2008 at 3:29 pm #

    Oh yeah, the father’s day with the missing father, I know, it was tough the first year, not as tough yesterday, but still. . .
    A “Life is Good” wheel cover – I love it!!

  10. debrennersmith 18 June, 2008 at 2:14 pm #

    Kids are wonderful at saying the thoughts of the adults.

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