Here I am on the eve of Father’s Day; a day that is supposed to honor fathers. Instead of looking forward to the little homemade gifts and cards, I dread the thought as I grieve my son’s death. My Timothy gave it a purpose. I have fifteen years of Father’s Day memories that came from my son – from a Hallmark card written by his mother a month before his birth, construction paper cards made in the kitchen with paste and crayons, a travel mug filled with Reese Peanut Butter Cups Minis, or a trip to the movies or a DVD of a movie I had wanted. Sometimes it was a cake and a card, sometimes it was an order out pizza and a night watching a rented movie.
As Tim grew older, I felt him pulling away from being the little boy I loved to become a young man that I respected and loved. His was a gentle soul. I had him learn to defend himself, but he chose instead of making a fist his hand was extended in friendship. Tim loved to draw and write little stories. I wish I could take all of the credit, but it was also his innate talent. He felt awkward sometimes because he was left handed and was sometimes criticized for his penmanship.
I can’t help but feel alone this Father’s Day, even though I have two little girls whom I love no more or less than my Tim. My thoughts are still in that Emergency Room where he died. My thoughts are slipping to when I received the phone call to come to the hospital. I have dealt with my false-guilt and continue to attempt to vanquish it from my spirit. I felt if I had done something different I would not have had to face the tragedy that has changed my life and ended my son’s life. I sometimes, a lot more times than I should, feel that way.
I can’t stop this day from coming. I can’t ignore it. I am a father. I am a daddy. My friends tell me I am among the best fathers they have ever known. Before my son, the holiday meant very little to me. My own father was hardly acting as a father or a dad; I was distrustful to bond with my step-father. But the moment I looked into my son’s eyes, as I nursed him for the first time in his life, I promised I would always love him. I made that promise before God and angels.
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