Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Life List Day 51 - Barney Fife & Butterfingers
Today marks five years since my son's dad, John, died from cancer. Danny doesn't ever remember these anniversaries, but I do. John died days before Danny's 10th birthday. He's about to turn 15 now. I'm no math genuis, but it occurs to me that Danny's been without a dad for a third of his life. Which totally sucks.
Danny and I usually honor this day by going to Denny's for breakfast. We eat flapjacks and tell funny stories. Even though John and I were divorced, we stayed close - there's nothing my son enjoys more than reminiscing about such Hallmark moments as the time he pooped on his dad while having his diaper changed. But with high school starting so early in the morning, we couldn't rally. Instead, we decided we will watch The Andy Griffith Show at dinner time on TVLand and eat Butterfingers, two of John's favorite things.
Danny's showering right now. Right before he left to head upstairs, I said, "You know what else your dad would like today? If you gave me a big, fat hug." To my utter surprise, he leaned down and did just that. A real hug, too - not one of those "I have to hug my mom" hugs where you could run a train inbetween us.
So we'll eat the candy and watch TV, but I feel I've already had my moment honoring John. After all, I get pretty pissed off that he's gone. I'm a single mom 24/7, which I never signed up for. I'm scared I'm not up to doing the job alone. And I still miss him most every day, even five years later. That hug from an often surly and stubborn teen was a reminder that - no matter how hard things get - we're going to be okay. And I know that there's no better tribute to his dad's memory than that.