My son just returned from his third year at summer camp in California.
He wasn’t supposed to be there.
Going to camp meant he was gone for Father’s Day. After two years of missing that special day with his dad, he told me upon his return last year, that he wouldn’t go back because he didn’t want to miss another Father’s Day with his dad.
This year the camp dates changed and the kids returned in time for Father’s Day. But Dave isn’t here.
The tears well when I think about my children marking Dad’s day without theirs. I’ve tossed and turned at night wondering what wise words I should say and how to help them best honor him in heaven on the day we all wish more than anything, they were honoring him on earth.
I keep wondering what sign he might give them on Sunday, letting them know he’s there. I get signs from him all the time. When Def Leppard comes on the radio, I know it’s him. He visits me in my dreams at least a few times a week. Not in a romantic way, but as a friend. I can’t always remember the details about why he’s there but I’ve been fascinated by the fact that every time he appears, he looks like he did around the time our daughter was born, not the way he did before he died. The night before I left to Italy, I had a dream that he came from heaven and momentarily adopted a physical presence so I could hug him. Again, not in a romantic way, but in a reassuring, comforting way as if to tell me he’s okay.
One of my dear friends is a medium, whose first book my mother happened to take with her to read on our trip to Italy. I decided to read it on the flight home. My friend writes in detail about the death of her father and how it affected her and how he continued to communicate with her from the other side. So I reached out to her for some clarity. She told me Dave communicates with me so often because I’m a direct link to the children and he knows I will share the messages they might not always know to look for. She explained that he looks like he did 18 years ago, because that’s how he looks in heaven; how he looked when he was happiest in life.
The morning my son left to camp, as I was combing my hair, I said to Dave, “I wonder what song you’re going to play when we’re driving to the airport to remind Christian to have fun and be safe? Will it be a Def Leppard song or will it be Whitesnake? “
As we’re driving to the airport a short time later, my son was in the middle of a conversation, when the Whitesnake song that played during the slide show at our wedding came on the radio. I slammed my hand on the steering wheel and shouted, “I knew it! I knew you would play us a song!” My son looked at me like I was the craziest woman on earth until I explained what had just happened. He smiled and I laughed. What a moment.
Come Sunday, I’m going to help my children honor their dad exactly how he would want them to. We’re going to leave him flowers and then head over to his favorite sports bar and order his favorite wings.
It’s exactly what he would do. So we’ll sit at a table for four. We know he’ll be there too.
Happy Father’s Day Dave!