A couple days ago, my youngest child lost her first tooth. My first thought was that I had lost something: my little baby is no longer a baby.
But she was so proud and pleased that it was easy to rejoice with her. We called my mother to celebrate this ‘milestone’ over the phone with us. It was a happy time, and then my little girl smiled a small gapped grin and asked, “Can we call Pappa now?” Then my scarred heart broke wide open again.
My father, her Pappa, passed away almost two months ago after a long struggle with lung cancer. And it is still hard to realize that he is not here, that life has gone on without him. That he will never be here again.
I thought I was getting a handle on all this grief and sorrow. I thought I was getting stronger, that the pain was getting smaller. But I was only fooling myself. It actually gets worse every single day, because every single day more things happen that I want to share with him. Little things like lost teeth or swimming lessons were so important to my father. He loved to hear about promotions and vacation plans. My dad would have been the number one fan of all my tomatoes.
However, he is not here to share in any of it and there is a giant hole in my sad heart that grows bigger every day, every minute, every breath. I try to push through it. I struggle to be a good friend, a supportive wife, a loving mother.
But it all feels like a big fraud, because really? I’m just a little girl who desperately misses her Daddy.