One year ago Michael was in ICU, struggling daily to recover from the effects of years of liver disease and a liver transplant. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not, but each day I find myself returning to the Facebook and CaringBridge posts from last year – rereading what we were going through each day. I am sometimes amazed at the hope that we tried to find in each day, not knowing what would come just one month later. We would recount the daily blood counts and tests results while friends and family patiently listened and diligently prayed for us. Even a year later, I am touched and encouraged by comments from friends to pray for us and encourage us as we made our way through the maze.
Tomorrow is the twenty-first of the month again. The eleventh month since Michael died. And tomorrow is Fathers’ Day too. I’m thankful for my own father and for Michael, the most incredible father I know.
But my heart aches today for my children. This will be their first Fathers’ Day without their dad. I know they have felt like they were under attack this week as they’ve been barraged with commercials, videos and testimonials about people’s fathers. Thankfully my children are adults and had their dad with them through their younger years. But I know they will miss being able to call him tomorrow to laugh with him and at him, to tell him they love him, and to hear his silliness. They are blessed to have pictures of him, drawings he made for them and even some recorded voice mails to hang on to.
As for me, I miss him too. But for me I miss all the little ways we connected with each other. I think when a couple has been married for a long time, they develop their own way of communicating with each other – without words. You’ve heard “A picture is worth a thousand words”. But a certain look, a touch or squeezing your hand. All of these say volumes when you’ve been together for several decades.
The other thing I miss is the way Michael would sing to me. We could be at home listening to music or driving down the highway when a certain song would come on. Sometimes he would get the words wrong, or deliberately make up his own lyrics, but it would always make me laugh and touch my heart. These are the things I’m missing most today.
Warning: I’m about to reveal a piece of my heart. Handle with care.