When I started keeping this blog, my intention was to write at least every other day. Life being what it is has kept me from doing so this past week, and for what it’s worth I apologize for my absence. I wish I was sitting here writing about something spectacular regarding my kids. I wish I could whip up some humorous story about my experiences as a dad. Instead, I need to take a somber note due to some recent events both in my life and in general.
First, I want to begin with a story I read online today. It was about a US soldier who got a chance to meet his 5 month-old daughter before he passed away in an Army hospital. Even though the story gives us a couple ounces of heartwarming emotion, it is tragically painful and sad to think of that little girl having to grow up without her daddy. I think about her having to grow up with a sense of vacancy in her heart for a man she will never remember meeting. I ask myself however will she justify missing out on such an important aspect of her life because of politics and religion?
I think about my relationship with Natalie and the responsibility I carry in helping form her identity, sense of self worth and overall self esteem. I think about the times that I have acted irresponsibly and endangered myself and others, and what Natalie would think if her mommy ever had to tell her that daddy had to go to heaven. The thought of suspended licenses and legal fees do not sober me up as quickly as the idea of devastating my baby girl.
This leads me to segue into the news that my friend’s father succumb to cancer this past weekend. She is only 31, and unfortunately I can relate all too well to what she is feeling. I think about the absence my friend will have in her life going forward, and I can only imagine her delicate face overrun by tears and emotion. I also think about how her baby son will grow up missing his grandfather, a man he too will not remember meeting.
I think that as much as we may complain at times about our parents, we are never ready to lose them in our lives. We are never ready to accept their passing. We are never prepared to face the emptiness that comes with no longer having them around. I know I experienced that when my father passed. It was as if all of the sudden I HAD to grow up because the one who came before me was no longer there. I think about how this applies to my children and what their thoughts, visions and impressions of me are.
As a result, I hugged my kids a little tighter today. I held them a little longer today. Even though I did not get to see them but for an hour and a half this afternoon, I cherished it as much as I possibly could. I think that in the context of this blog entry, it’s ironic that Hall of Fame baseball player Kirby Puckett died today. Yet it is only appropriate that I close with one of his most famous quotes.
“Don’t take anything for granted, because tomorrow is not promised to any of us.”