It is Father’s Day. A day to celebrate all of the wonderful dads and thank them for all they do for their families. This morning, like every Sunday morning, Dave left early to play soccer. His team plays weekly and I know it is one of his favorite parts of the week.
My dad loves brunch and nearly every year we have gone to brunch to celebrate Father’s Day. Last year was no different, although it was difficult not having mom or Francine there, we all got through it and as the year has gone by, the holidays are getting easier for us to get through. Of course we still miss them immensely, but the pain has subdued some and the memories we have are priceless.
This year, we couldn’t do our “traditional” brunch, since dad is still at Kessler Institute for a few more days, so we decided to bring brunch to him instead. We got him his favorite bagels and coffee and met my brothers and grandma there. It was a beautiful day so we went outside and ate in the courtyard. Dad used the walker instead of his wheelchair. He is slow moving but is getting better at it everyday. Two more days and he should be home. His life can start getting back to normal for him.
I am sending Father’s Day love to Joe Doubek today. His son Zach is still in the PICU battling this terrible illness. Today is Zach’s 12th birthday and I know he was looking forward to sharing the day with his dad celebrating! Instead, Zach was undergoing another surgery this morning. I know that Joe and Zach will be surrounded by family today at the hospital. Both Joe and Marnie have written about the beauty they have witnessed through the generosity of friends, family and neighbors. Their entire world has been turned upside down and although I am sure they don’t feel like celebrating right now, I know that their love and the loved being poured out to them will help get them through this.
Tonight, my dad and I are going to see South Pacific at The Papermill Playhouse, a local theater. He and my mom have been benefactors there for many years. They were always given tickets to the dress rehearsals of the shows as a thank you for supporting the theater. My mom loved going, although it was more and more difficult for her to get there as her health deteriorated. Tonight marks the one year anniversary of the first show I went with my dad. My mom had just passed away three weeks prior, and he asked me to join him in her place. We got there and the women remembered him and greeted him warmly and asked about my mom, not realizing that she had died. Of course, they were sympathetic and offered their condolences to us.
I thought that night would bring us happy memories but as we drove there, my dad told me that my sister-in-law Francine had been rushed to the emergency room that morning, with acute morning sickness symptoms. We spoke to Tim before the show and asked if he needed us and he told us to go on to the show and that there had been no change. We promised to call when it was over, which we did. In that short time span, her health had taken a drastic turn for the worst. She had an adverse reaction to the fertility treatments she had been receiving which caused her brain to swell and caused bleeding in every part of her brain. This caused irreversible damage. She was placed on life support and given no chance of survival . She was only 31.
Once again, our lives were turned upside down. Thursday marks her one year anniversary. In some ways, the year seems to have flown by and other times it seems like ages ago. My brother has had good and bad times throughout the year. I am sure the next few days are going to be very hard for him and for his mother-in-law but I hope as time passes, the pain lessens some for them. The world he and Francine had planned completely changed and he is slowly adjusting to his new normal. I wrote about it 6 months ago, another night of a show at The Papermill. I have a feeling that no matter how wonderful the shows, I am always going to associate that place with some sadness. Remembering my mom, as I sit there in her place, and remembering the terrible phone call from Tim as we left the theater.
Regardless, life does go on and we have to remember all of the wonderful memories and let them out number those sad ones. That is what gets us through our grief. Never forgetting, just remembering.