It’s late on December 16th. I need to go to bed. My brain likes to wake up around 2 and kids like to find their way to me around 7.
But I’m awake. Gorging myself on cake. Chocolate cake with Chocolate frosting.
The kids had some, hubby had some. I did a lot of the damage. And honestly, I want to clean the rest of it off too.
I can’t let go of today.
July 7, 2004 my dad died in a single vehicle crash.
He wasn’t at my wedding. He wasn’t there to meet any of my kids. He isn’t here to see me fight depression with all I’ve got. He’s not here to admit he fought depression, round after round. With no help. On his own.
But that’s not really why I can’t go to bed and I want to make myself sick with cake.
When my daddy died, my brother-in-law said, “don’t grieve forever.” And I knew/know what he meant. And I don’t. I think of my daddy often, but I am not overtaken on a daily basis. But there are a couple days I let myself grieve. I give myself permission to think about him, to ruminate about all he has missed and to wish he were here to be the man I am continuously learning he was.
His birthday, today for 45 more minutes, is one of those days.
He was 52, almost 53 when he died. He hated having a winter birthday, hated celebrating inside, but he liked chocolate cake, so that is what I give my girls of the grandpa they never knew. We eat cake, too much cake, overloaded with chocolate.
It’s odd, but it’s my way of saying “I love you daddy.”
And for today, for the few minutes it is still today, I will let myself grieve, the best way I know how.
“I love you daddy. Thank you for teaching me my alphabet, thank you for teaching me to tie my shoes, and ride a horse and a bike, and respect authority, and drive a car, and change the oil and brakes on said car. Thank you for forgiving my debt on the new engine the car needed on that Christmas long ago. You thought it was bad that you hadn’t gotten me a gift I could unwrap. I thought it was the best feeling ever to have that weight of debt off my shoulders. Thank you for listening to me cry when I wasn’t chosen for leadership at college, thank you for giving me a new lamp to replace one you had given me years before. Thank you for being a strong, steady voice of reason. I love you daddy.”