I did it. It took me a solid week, but I finally feel like I’m on the other side of Father’s Day. And you know what? I’m thankful that it was something that I had to work through instead of just let pass by. Every time I feel the fog of grief wash over me it’s another opportunity to feel Jonah, and another chance to look back and realize what kind of strength we carry every single day. I’m not just talking about the get out of bed strength here. I’m talking about strength in keeping my head on straight. I’m talking about strength in silence – those moments each of us have where we could rip someone’s head off for saying something in just the wrong way, regardless of whatever the message was. I’m talking about strength in patience and knowing that the things we deal with on this day won’t last forever.
The same strength we’ve found in ourselves after losing Luke a year ago and Jonah this year, and the strength that thousands of families experience every year in dealing with loss of their own. You never really understand the power you carry until you’re forced to use it just to make it another day. Being emotional in grief doesn’t only manifest itself in crying or sadness. Personally, I exhibit it in a short fuse when I’m trying to do something and can’t or in a prideful reaction when I don’t feel like I’m being heard. It can rear it’s ugly head in dealing with family and coworkers, or in how you handle children. It can often be seen when I’m driving – in good days I “politely” wish someone would turn a little faster or use their signal while my bad days have a much more… passionate response. The trick I’m learning, though, is recognizing it when it happens. I’m not angry at that driver for taking their time making a turn – the chances are pretty high they care more about the other people in their car than those extra two seconds it took to make that turn; I’m frustrated by not needing a car seat in my car. It’s a simple projection of my own feelings onto another person when it isn’t warranted.
I’m making today more than just Monday. More than the first work day after a weekend. Today for me is a day of recognition and reconciliation. If I’ve snapped at you or said something out of character, I apologize profusely. If I’ve rambled about something during a conversation, please know that it’s because my mind is always half on Jonah and I hadn’t intended on losing my place in our conversation. And if you’re my wife, please know that you’re the most important thing in my life and I couldn’t be more proud to be your husband. I know I make it difficult some days to be as gracious as you are, and times like these show just how incredible you are. I love the crap out of you. We’re not just talking about an “I love you” while I’m heading out the door. I’m talking in a forever, I’ll always sit with you while you watch Seinfeld and click your nails kind of love. In my world, that’s pretty darn solid… but it isn’t enough. Know that I strive every single day to make sure that I’m giving you 100%, because you deserve so much more than just half of me. Our marriage is based on giving everything we have that day – in both peaks and valleys – to each other because 50/50 is the stuff divorces are made of, and I plan on keeping you forever.
You have the chance to do something different today than every Monday before this one. Today can be just another one if we let it, but why would we let another day pass on autopilot? What things are we missing my floating through one more day? Let today be the one that makes the difference. You are strong and you are powerful. Make today MORE than Monday.