Father’s Day was a tough one. For the last 19 years I have loved Father’s Day. Since my first one with Kayla before she could speak and Tywana gave me cuff links from Kayla and I held her on the deck in Lexington as Tywana recorded me on video. Then for the last 15 having both Kayla and Shayna even though last Father’s Day, Kayla was on vacation and it was just Tywana, Shayna and I.
We go to church and they’re celebrating fathers. I feel like I’m only half the father I was since I only have half my children. For me, being a father is, by far the most important and best thing I’ve ever done. It became my identity. I would do anything for my family. It’s not a sacrifice. People would sometimes tell me that it was great that I sacrificed so much for my girls. It’s not a sacrifice when you gain more than you give. The other day I was eating the last of the gelato from the carton and Kayla looked at me and asked if she could have a bite. I gave her the whole carton. Not a sacrifice, not a noble gesture. I’d rather she have it.
We do some shopping on the way home. I’m going to grill steaks and sous vide some shrimp, for Kayla. I went to Costco and got some U-8 jumbo shrimp that I know she’s going to love. Tywana has bought some Moscow mule mugs for me for Father’s Day. I had no idea, but I decide to make some Moscow mules before she even hands the box to me. I haven’t made Moscow mules in at least a year.
I grill the steaks, make the shrimp and we have dinner. My mind goes back to last year when Shayna was sitting in the seat Tywana is sitting in now and Kayla was on vacation. I loved making steak for Shayna. I loved buying things for her, cooking for her, doing things for her. I miss all of that so much. I wish I could make a steak for her. Shayna didn’t like shrimp, one of her greatest character flaws according to Kayla.
After dinner I finish watching Dustin Johnson win the US Open. I’m so happy for Dustin. Been a fan for a while. I watch as he hugs his wife and his baby daughter. I flash back to the mid-late 30s when Kayla and Shayna came and completed our family and my whole life stretched out in front of me.
We watch the Cavs win one of the most improbable NBA Championships ever. Coming back from down 3-1, winning at Golden State. I’m ecstatic for the city I lived in briefly, for the state of Ohio and for my family in Cleveland. But, the day is still a long, tough day as Shayna is constantly on my mind.
As part of my Father’s Day gifts, Tywana has bought tickets to the Lion King for later in the week. Shayna saw it a couple of years ago with her Girl Scout troop. She took a limousine downtown to see it. Shayna wasn’t thrilled about going because Shayna thought plays were “boring”. Shayna much preferred the loud explosions, chase scenes and realistic makeup of the movies. Seeing people prance around on stage dancing and singing didn’t appeal to her at all. But, Shayna loved it. And she loved being with the family. I know she’s going to be with us.
The play is fabulous. I’m glad I finally saw it, but of course, Shayna is on my mind the entire time. Everything reminds me of her. The scene when Mufasa speaks to Simba from the beyond has always been one of my favorites. More so now. I feel for Simba as after all these years, he finally hears from his father. So great, but then the communication is over and Simba is back to “reality”. We live for those transcendent moments, but they are fleeting and we’re back to the grind.
Father’s Day has really been evoking a lot of emotions because it’s so close to the anniversary of Shayna’s passing. Just yesterday I saw a post on Facebook of a friend who is leaving to take his daughter to volleyball nationals. That was Ty just 12 months ago.
The first year is almost over. The toughest year of my life. But, the end of the first year is just the beginning of the second and I’m tired. This is like running in a race where you don’t know if it’s a sprint or a marathon. I wish I knew how long it was going to be so I could pace myself. I’m ready for the sprint to the finish line, but since I can only sprint so long, I can’t do that. I’ve got to try to pace myself.