Driving up to the cottage this past weekend we passed several cemeteries. As we drove by one of the last ones, curious lad that he is, Woo started to ask about the people who were buried there. Who they were, why I didn’t know them, when they died, why they died. I answered to the best that I could and we continued along in silence. I thought the subject was put to rest. It never is with four-year olds though.
Several kilometres had passed when he started asking about my dad, who passed away long before he was born. We talked about where he is buried, and Woo’s desire (and my shared want) to go visit his grave. We moved on to his middle name, which he gets from my grandfather, Willy’s father and my dad. We were fortunate that they shared the same name, so were able to honour them all in his naming. We talked about their greatness, and how special it is that he shares their name. He paused for a minute and said, “so you and daddy have no more daddies, then.”
No more daddies.
It really hit me. We don’t. We are fortunate to have my grandfather still, but we are now both without our fathers. This weekend marked the first father’s day since Willy’s dad passed away, and I didn’t really connect the fact that neither of our dads are still with us until now. I should have, really.
I am struck almost every day, in small ways and big ways, by how much I miss Willy’s dad. My father has been gone for over twenty years, but Willy’s dad passed away in September and it is still fresh. Raw. I see now what an influence he was, a force in both our lives. We were never what I would call close, and I never thought of him as my dad, but for a long time he was my only father figure. He pushed me and supported me, infuriated me and loved me. Now he too is gone.
I miss them both, and wish they were still here.