An hour before we needed to leave for graduation, Grant came downstairs cap in hand and said, “I need to decorate my cap.” You can imagine the look on my face. Then he said, “I want to put an H on it.” So, I sent him off to Michael’s for orange and white duct tape. It moved me that he wanted to honor his dad in this special way. During the graduation ceremony, my brother and his boys sat up high in the stadium and waved an orange t-shirt when the graduates marched in knowing that would grab Grant’s attention. It worked. I should also share that when I looked over both of my girls they had tears in their eyes when they caught sight of their uncle honoring their dad and cheering on their brother. After Grant’s celebratory dinner, Samantha asked if we were going to Hayfield. We left the restaurant and headed there to sit on the benches for a few minutes. I think that it was important to all of us to acknowledge him on this milestone day.
During the graduation dinner, I looked around the table and considered the four men sitting there. All dads. All parent in different ways. But all love their children and want only the best for them. I am grateful that these men also bear the titles of “grandfather” or “uncle” and impact the lives of my kids.
My children have lost their dad. I am so very sorry that they will not have him there as they continue to complete significant milestones in their lives. But they all know how very proud of them he was. He gave them the gift of unconditional love. He let them know without a doubt that what he wanted for them was happiness. I will never forget his last Father’s Day which happened to be the final day they spent with him. He spent his last bits of energy reassuring them and loving them. I can’t imagine a more powerful gift from a father to his children.
Happy Father’s Day, babe.
PS As a side note, I watched a video of the student graduation speaker from Hayfield and in his speech he talked about “Rockin’ the orange one last time for Mr. T.” I was touched that he also wanted to honor Dave on his special day.