Today marks the 17th anniversary of my father’s death. Each year is different, as I’ve noted over the years. As I noted in 2011, being a father without having my own father has been hard, perhaps harder than losing him initially. As a teenager without a dad, for me, I didn’t know what I was missing and, quite frankly, I probably would have ignored most of the advice and guidance he would have offered.
In the search for my definition of fatherhood, I think of him often. Nothing in particular; simply the acknowledge of that emptiness and void.
With having three girls with twins on the way, there is tension between wanting the girls, in some small way, to know their grandfather while having to emotionally check yourself and, on the other side, not saying more about him. I want them to know about him, but it hurts when MC walks up randomly to say “Grandpa James already died”. It brings it home that they’ll never know him.
I wonder when or if this feeling goes away. It had, or so I thought, in my early adulthood, before the girls were born. I obviously missed him too back then, but the void was hidden, lying in wait.
I imagine in the years to come, with each new milestone in my journey of fatherhood, a new wave may crash against the sides of the boat.