I don't want to make anyone feel sorry for me, I just want to share a little of my heart here. I'm not gonna lie...Father's Day was pretty hard for me. I didn't want to diminish it for my husband, because he deserves to be celebrated, but I was thankful that he understood when my mind drifted elsewhere.
I cried, reminisced, and cried some more.
I remembered the day Dad took off my training wheels and held on to my bike as I rolled down the street...until I looked back over my shoulder and saw that he was nowhere near me.
I remembered how huge my father was to my four-year-old eyes. He seemed like a towering mountain, and when he lifted me into the air, it was like flying.
I remembered the way he rocked me and sang the same song every night. "Honey, come back, I just can't stand it. Seems like a million years ago..."
I cried, and found myself thinking the same thing anyone that's lost a loved one thinks a thousand times over.
I'd give almost anything to have just one more day...
But the truth is, I didn't get that day. I got many of them.
In the months leading up to my father's death, I traveled over 5,000 miles going back and forth between Kansas City and home. I never felt more torn in my life, wanting to be with both parts of my family at the same time. I fretted and worried constantly if I was doing the right thing. Would my children understand and forgive me for leaving them? Would my husband resent how much it was costing us? Would I be a help to my sister, or just be in her way?
Would it really matter, in the long run, whether I was there or not?
Yes. It mattered. Being there to share even a small part of the burden with my sister mattered. Just being there, sitting by his bedside, holding his hand and letting him know he wasn't alone, that mattered. I realize now in a way that I did not, could not before, how precious that time was.
I could've stayed home, pushed through my days as wife, teacher and mom, and kept in touch by phone. I could've insisted that we couldn't afford it, that we need to put our family's future first, and put the money into buying the cow we still don't have. I could've waited until the very end, showed up for his last days, attended the funeral, and no one would've thought the less of me.
But then I would've spent the rest of my life wishing for just one more day.