This is part of my series 100 Days: Waiting for a Rainbow.
Father’s Day. Another one of those days on the calendar I’m not quite sure how to handle. I’ve never done much, which makes me feel sad and guilty, but it seems like one of those days where none of the usual suspects apply. In my house, no coffee mugs with footprints, no daddy-son adventures, no grilling out with steaks and beer. Not yet.
Last night, in the midst of my own bad mood, my poor husband broke down in tears. As I sat there with him, not quite sure what to say (and figuring saying nothing was my best bet), I realized that as miserable as Mother’s Day has been for me, Father’s Day for him is true torture.
When we picked out Mother’s Day cards together, he laughed and teased me about how I had to read every single card – twice – before I could settle on something. When I picked out a Father’s Day card, however, he wandered off to look at milk, or yogurt, or frozen meat. When we made plans to treat my dad to coffee and donuts (which failed, but, well… we tried), there was no discussion of plans to treat hubby’s dad.
You see, on this day, my husband faces grief on both sides. Not only is he a father with no son, he is a son who has no father. My husband’s Father’s Days are trips to the cemetery, whether being recognized as a father himself or remembering his own dad.
And last night I sat nursing my own bad mood.
It’s hard to take our eyes off our own pain, isn’t it? It’s hard to see the suffering of others, especially those closest to us. You think going through tragedy will instruct you on the right words to say, and the right way to be. You think you will learn how to soothe someone else’s soul. I think all it really does it make you painfully aware that there are no right words. It definitely teaches that the only True Comfort for a hurting soul cannot come from me.
So while my friends are picking out Father’s Day cards (and my own poor, self-sacrificing dad’s card is laying unaddressed and unstamped on my kitchen table), I did come up with one small plan for today. Pinwheels have long been a special reminder of William in our house. So I picked up three: green for daddy, purple for mommy and orange for baby. We’ll visit William today, so Daddy can be with both of his kiddos. And we’ll cry, and leave happy to pinwheels behind. Then we’ll find some time to walk in the sunshine.
And if I’m lucky, this next baby, the little rainbow mercilessly pounding away at any internal organ he can reach, will cooperate when Daddy puts his hand on my belly. I think that would be a marvelous Father’s Day present, don’t you?
77 days to go…