Remembering the Father of My Children
On this Father’s Day, I am thinking of my children’s father, and my children. At his funeral last December I was the “mourner in the corner.” Widows can weep openly, but ex-wives ache–ache over lost opportunities, ache from the loss of a love once publicly declared and now privately mourned, ache over inadequate ways to comfort children who have lost their father.
Father’s Day involuntarily evokes memories of fathering, and today it is my ex-husband’s fathering, and loving, that brings on my tears. I sense his spirit saying to me, “Remember, Patti, when we were painting the nursery for Amy-to-be and we spilled nearly the whole gallon of paint on the carpet? Remember when Justin put a sequin in his eye so he could wear contacts like you?” I remember times like the family vacations we had to Florida and Myrtle Beach and the shared giggles when the kids’ father would bounce them in the ocean waves (and my maternal cry “You’re too deep, you’re too deep!”) Remember when, remember when…?”
When two people love each other but are horribly matched, they wisely take separate paths. But when one of them dies, the horribly matched part seems to expire with them, and the blessings remain. At least that’s what I’m experiencing. In our marriage ceremony the priest said, “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” That phrase frequently haunted me, but now it has a new and comforting meaning for me. It’s Amy and Justin that are God’s creation and they will always be the children of Tom Baker and Patti.
To my children, I am crying with you today.