Father’s Day is hard. The End.

This could literally be this whole post and that would probably ring true to so many of you. My dad didn’t live with us after I turned 9. He had, and still has, another life. One where the 4 of us original kiddos of his are in a different state and while that’s a whole other story, there is love there and a lot of healing has managed to take place over the years. As a widow with children, my concern on Father’s day is for them. I wrote an entry on my personal blog last year on almost this same exact date. It’s just a tricky Sunday that requires some processing.

This year, as the day approaches, I am trying something new. I will be presenting each of my boys with a letter about how they remind me of their dad. Part of  doing this has been to seek out someone they might be able to relate to who has lost someone special. There are many people in our lives who have, and some I don’t believe my boys are aware of. I think this will be a nice way for them to remember they are not alone. My husband was a musician and who doesn’t love Keith Urban? In doing a little research for my father’s day idea, I realized that he wrote a song and released it in 2002 called ‘Song for Dad‘. He then lost his dad to cancer in 2015. The same year we lost Shane. There is the most beautiful line in this song that I want my boys to own this next year, “…when someone says I hope I get to meet your dad, I just smile and say, you already have.”

 

Tate, Your careful thoughts about the world. Your honest skepticism about certain ideas. Your gentle way with your little brothers. Your drive. Your bravery.

Lane, Your tenderness and compassion. Your manly charm and quiet way of helping others without expecting a thing in return. Your strength. Your heart.

Wyatt, Your smart mouth and sass. Your build and your perfect hairline. Your determination. Your ability to go against the flow with grace. Your spirit.

These are just a few ways that I was able to express to them that they are his boys through and through. They all have his eyes. That’s easy, but to really dig in and pinpoint what I see in them that is purely Shane was emotional and therapeutic all at the same time. I wish he were just here. I would love for him to be at Wyatt’s game Sunday cheering him on, coaching him up, and enjoying a victory dinner with us after the whistle. It’s ok to wish.

I never want my boys to forget that celebrating a Father who loved them unconditionally makes it a good day, even without him here. I truly believe that someday they will be the ones being celebrated. They had a great example to follow, even if just for a little while. Their dad would be so proud of them.

May you all find a way to honor the dads around you. May your children be blessed and know that their mothers are doing their very best to show enough love for both. And while I know everyone’s story is different, may we take comfort in this safe community to share our struggles and to be lifted up.

 

About 

Jennifer Farley is a 44 year old mother of 3 boys. A veteran educator, she enjoys teaching 7th graders the wonders of STEM. She is just 4 years into her journey as a widow. Her husband Shane passed suddenly at the age of 41 on April 27, 2015. Her boys are each competitive athletes and Shane was their devoted coach and biggest fan. Both children of divorce, Shane and Jennifer never wanted solo parenting for their children. She gains strength through her faith and her fierce community of family and friends. Jennifer finds solace in writing and sharing her story. She has a blog of her own and has written for TulsaMoms. Jennifer was asked to speak recently at a Women’s event and will soon be featured on the podcast ‘A Frayed Knot‘. When she is not chasing the next big tournament with her boys, Jennifer enjoys her monthly book club, vintage finds, and gardening.
You can also find her on Instagram : @jjo_farley