one fit widow

Doughnuts with Daddy

I remember getting the invitation in my kids backpacks. The innocent event happening at pre-school just a few short months after my husband passed away. 1 hour of focused attention on the kiddos, and a chance to bond with their Daddy. Reading the invite tore me in two, and pulled at the barely covered over scares protecting my delicate heart. It was in that very moment I realized I would face this the rest of my life. I would never escape doughnuts with daddy, father daughter dances, first sporting events, first cheer competitions, and seeing him walk Addy down the isle.

Doughnuts with daddy was so innocent but so painful all at the same time.

One of my husbands very best friends Bryan, insisted on taking the kids to the event. He wanted to step up and be there for them, and spare me the pain of going. It sounded wonderful, after all he had been in the kids lives since the day they were born. Nobody knew my babies better than Bryan – with the exception of my late husband. It seemed like an easy and simple solution, but in my heart I knew for me it was the wrong answer. As much as our friend Bryan loves my babies and me, he is not their father, and can not for the remainder of time protect me, or them, from the obvious pain that loss brings. I had to face the reality that our family had changed, our truth was not going to allow for doughnuts with Daddy. The once perfect square had turned to a triangle and it was time for me to step up for my kiddos.

I gathered the deepest strength I could muster and I took my kids to this event by myself. While their Daddy was clearly absent in the fresh, I offered my babies the closest thing to him being there in spirit. We took a framed photo of Mitch with us, and my Addy took it around to all her friends to show off her handsome Daddy. I noticed several fathers at the event disengaged, on their cell phones, or watching the clock. If only I could tell them how precious this moment was. If only I could tell them to not take this time for granted. Many knew I was a new widow, and they seemed uncomfortable with me around. The harsh reminder that life is short, and we can be here one moment and gone the next.

Kids are resilient to say the very least. I think the day was harder on me by a long shot than it was on them. One thing I’ve learned is that when I’m okay, my kids are okay. They take so many cues about life from us. Since the day Mitch died I’ve chosen to stand up and fight for this life. I’ve chosen to see the good where I can, the beauty where it is, and the joy of what remains. Mitch would expect nothing less from me and nothing less for them.