father's day was sunday. tom's first. i could have done a much better job celebrating him. i should have. but we were driving home from vermont (for five hours) after a long weekend away and the prep for that trip (and an overseas trip the week before) left me spent.
i left him with olivia at 5:55pm to rush to the grocery store down the street so i could pick up emergency paper towels and formula before they closed at 6.
rushing, rushing, rushing through the day.
as i was driving home, butterfly kisses came on the radio. of course it did. it was father's day for cryin out loud and i should have been expecting it.
i wasn't. i had to pull over, i cried so hard. listening to the words in a whole new way tangled up with all the still-raw emotion of losing my own father. i hadn't even thought of him ONCE that day until then.
i cried with shame that i had forgotten him and that i hadn't done more to celebrate tom. i cried with grief over the reminders of what i no longer have in my life. no more daddy's little girl. no one who remembers putting flowers in MY hair when i was small. no one waiting for me as i got ready to walk down the aisle thinking, "i just feel like i'm losing my baby girl."
and i cried with joy that my daughter, MY baby girl has that. she has someone who loves her more than anything else in his life. probably more than he loves me and that, honestly, is fine with me. someone who wants to keep her safe, to protect her, to teach her about everything in this world. someone who will make her a better person than she'd be without him.
and i forgive myself for forgetting for a minute. because i remember my father every day when i see his freckles looking back at me in the mirror, when i act like i can do everything on my own with no help which makes me INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING, when i get an excited text from my husband who has melted over the fact that our daughter waved goodbye to him at daycare drop off. i see how much he loves her and i remember.
15 years today. i still love and miss you, dad. i always will.