As a kid, I used to think my mom was a modern day Mary… like in the Bible. Silly, right? I knew I had a dad, when your four you definitely have memories, and you try your hardest to make sense of them.
I was told daddy went on vacation because God needed him for a special mission in heaven. My response, “Can I write him?! When will he be back?!” Young, naive and innocent. I’m sure my mom had similar questions. I’d write my dad letters addressed to Heaven or I’d pray to God to tell my dad hi, or about the new word I learned how to spell at school.
Looking back, I’m sure this tore my mom apart inside. Listening to those innocent, but filled with pain, wishes and prayers. But how do you explain death to babies?
Eventually this story stopped working and at about six years old (my little brother almost five) my mom took us to the airport. This was before crazy airport security. We went to watch the planes come and go. I learned life was short that day. Too short for some, like my dad.
"Sometimes," she said, "people get sick, and they don’t always get better, so God takes them to heaven with him so they won’t be sick anymore on Earth." She explained this as a jet ascended into rosy skies.
As a jet was landing, she reassured us that we would see our dad again. She touched my chest and told me, “His spirit will always be in your heart,” she kissed my cheek, “and you’ll always have memories in your head.”
And that’s the truth. Father’s Day I celebrate my dad by understanding he’s always in my heart and his memories are always in my head. The few memories I have, I’ll cherish forever. I was blessed to have him, even for the short time that I did. I know sometimes I get angry, & frustrated that he’s not here, but every day is another day to be strong like him, smile like him, and keep making him & my mother proud. I love you pops, and I’ll miss you always.
PS: Thanks for choosing mom, she is one strong lady, and still only has eyes and a heart for you.