you lose a part of your heart
Shortly after this picture, I got a divorce and for the most part raised the kids on my own. They were my everything. My life. I loved my kids and wanted to see them grow up and become adults and have kids of their own some day. If you have never had kids you can’t understand how something so small grows inside you and becomes this human being so full of life and love. And so begins the heartache it can also bring.
I have had many people in my life who I’ve loved and many I have lost. My Dad passed away when I was in my 40’s. My Mom died 2 years ago and my sister Rhonda 6 months after her. All of these losses were devastating at the time and I am still dealing with the pain from them. After my sister passed I was lost. I had no immediate core family. I was an orphan. But I did have family. I had my 3 kids and my 5 grandkids. And I had my sister’s two girls who I think of as my own. It was a little surreal going from having a parent or parents to being the head of your family. But it was enough.
A little over 2 weeks ago that changed. My son died. He was 46 and had 2 beautiful children. He was a wonderful, loving man and even more a wonderful father. He loved his kids more than life itself. They were his everything. He never had a good role model in his own father, who chose not to play a part in his life, so he vowed to be the father he never had. And he was. He was a very loving person who would do anything for anyone, sometimes to his own demise.
This loss is still not registering in my heart. My brain knows it is true but my heart is having a hard time coming to terms with it. I expect him to burst in the room at any minute with his latest stories. But he doesn’t. I just can’t process that he is gone and I will miss him every second of every day until I take my last breath.
Dave was forever telling me he loved me and showed me in so many ways. He was never afraid of showing his feelings. I remember back when he was a kid and was going off to Y Camp, he hugged me and kissed me in front of all his friends. I thanked him and said I was proud of him for doing that and he couldn’t understand why. He was always doing things like that.
He had a wonderful sense of humor and loved kids and animals. He always had a love of little kids and they were somehow drawn to him. But he loved it and never tired of playing with them. He was in many ways a big kid himself. He loved becoming an uncle and loved his nephews so much. He was always tumbling around on the floor with them or chasing them around the yard. But the day he became a father was the best time of his life. His daughter and son meant the world to him. He was so very proud of them and how they loved and treated each other. But also evident was their love of him. Their eyes sparkled and their entire little personalities changed when he would walk in the room. They idolized him.
Our family’s lives changed forever that day 2 weeks ago. It altered the very core of us. Who are we now without Dave? How do we go on as a family without him? I love my family and I am so blessed to have my 2 awesome daughters and my 5 equally awesome grandkids. I know I am lucky to have them all. But there will forever be a hole in my heart. And I don’t think I can fix that. I do plan to honor him by keeping his memory alive in his kids and will spend the rest of my life doing that. It is the one thing I “can” do. His kids are young and I don’t want them to forget what a wonderful father he was or how much he loved them. I promise to keep your memory alive Dave, it is the last thing I can do for you, my son.
I know I will go through many emotions in the next weeks and months ahead. Right now it is one of disbelief. I hope I can just get to a place where I remember the good times we shared and feel at peace.
I leave you with a question and a quote.
Have you ever lost a child? How did you manage to go on?
“You son will hold your hand only for a little while. But he will hold your heart for a lifetime.” ~ Unknown