Father’s Day when you never knew him.

TOTT and The Boss {1/2 hour old}
It’s Father’s Day. Until I married my husband I never really even noticed when this day was. We never celebrated it growing up, because my father passed away when I was very young. 18 months old to be exact. And no one ever talks about him. My mother will, when pressed and in the right mood. And as my grandparents get older, every once in a while they will let a story about him slip out.
I hold on to those stories like precious rubies. How my mother and he were on dates with other people when they met. How when he was at the Louvre someone walked up to him and just started chatting at him and he had no idea who it was. How every payday he would bring my mom Mums, because those are her favorite flowers. How silly he was and how much he wanted me.

Those few things are held close to my heart. He wanted me. He loved me. I don’t have a single memory of him, having been so young when he died and I try so hard to replay those few moments when his LIFE was shared with me, those stories of him alive.

I know almost every detail of his death, I’ve gone over and over it. I read all the articles, I’ve read as much as I could take crying til I vomited. Such a young man, such a good man and such a horrible end.

The effects of a violent crime wave through more than just one person who is killed, and echo through a generation I feel those ripple effect every day and to say I was messed up over it as a child and teenager would not do it justice. But as I grow up I feel his loss in a new way. The loss as a mother. What my grandmother must have gone through. The loss of her baby boy…who brought her joy as The Boss brings it to me.

Along with that comes a healing and a happiness brought to me by my son.

The Boss is 23 months old now, but by 18 months I knew his favorite song (something in the way she moves) his favorite toy (elmo, natch), how he liked to be rocked to sleep, his favorite book (sweet dreams mimi), his favorite food (avacado), his favorite everything. I knew what every noise he made  meant, the real ones and the ‘I’m faking it to get your attention’ ones, how he loved to help me vacuum the house and how he was afraid of ketchup bottles. I knew how to make him laugh and soothe his tears. I knew him.

And so it stands to reason that my father knew me. My son has brought me a greater joy than I even knew could have been possible. He has opened my heart up a million-fold. I cannot remember life before him having as a great a meaning as it does now, with him in this world. My heart nearly bursts every time he races to me and throws his chubby little arms around my neck crying “Mommy!” It explodes when I see him do the same with TOTT. He waits for TOTT to come home and cheers when he walks in the door. I hope I did that for my Dad.

I can only hope that in those 18 months I brought half as much happiness to my Daddy as The Boss has brought to me.

So if you’ll indulge me:

Happy Father’s Day Daddy, I love you. I always will. Memories or not, I love you. I can only think that you brought me to TOTT, and to his father who is a good man. I’m well looked after now by the both of them. Thank you. I hope you know that I will tell The Boss all about you, everything I know about your life when he wonders where his other grandfather is. I’ll tell him how much you would have loved him, how much we all do. I feel your loss every minute of every day. I will never forget you.

I love you Daddy, I’m proud to be your daughter.

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