With Father’s Day fast approaching I’ve once again started wrestling with something I thought I had moved past about 6 months ago. I. Can’t. Be. A. Daddy. I am single mother and my children are fatherless. This reality still hurts me deeply and brings tears to my eyes even now as I’m typing.
For months after my husband died I rumbled and wrestled with the unique feelings that come when you suddenly have fatherless children. I had done everything the way I was supposed to…right? I married a wonderful man and loved him dearly. We had 2 great kids together and raised them in a happy, loving, Christian household. My husband was an amazing father who always put the needs of our family above everything else (even college football and basketball). He was a sports nut but he was even crazier about his kids. How come MY kids had to lose their father?? Huh? No fair…not what I signed up for thank you very much. (This was semi-frequent routine at my weekly counseling sessions for months. It was a long, slow path towards acceptance for me.)
Over time I came to understand that on this side of heaven, I will never understand why my loving God took my kids’ wonderful father. For months I questioned…how can I be both Mommy and Daddy? Then I realized…I CAN’T. I can’t wrestle with my kids the way their Daddy did. I can’t be the low, quiet voice of reason that my husband was with my daughter. I can’t put my little boy on my shoulders and be too tall to fit through the doorway. I can’t make the perfect cheesy eggs. I’m not their Daddy. I can’t be him and I can’t bring him back. I also can’t spend my life angry with my God that he took this wonderful man from us. None of that is productive or creates a joy filled family.
However, I CAN put family pictures all over the house, make photo books and tell countless stories. I can cheer my kids on in an obnoxiously loud voice like I’m two people. (Thank you Lord for my big mouth.) I can plan awesome trips, cook special dinners and decide on a whim to go get ice cream even when it’s almost bedtime. I can pitch baseballs, drive toy tractors and run around playing superheroes. I can let my kids pummel each other in the living room and NOT tell them to “be careful.” I can turn on Selection Sunday each March and fill out our family brackets. I can take the kids to our college to tell them stories of their Daddy the football player. I can surround my children with awesome male role models who provide a positive masculine influence.
I can never be their Daddy but I CAN be a rock star Mommy who prays hard, plays hard, tries hard, laughs hard and loves hard. I can do all of this because I know that MY God is a father to the Fatherless (Psalm 68:5).
Happy Father’s Day to all!