The other week my mum gave me one of the most precious gifts she could have ever given to me.
As I opened the small box I saw a lovely heart shaped gold locket with butterflies etched on the front. Now while the locket is beautiful, it wasn’t until I opened the locket itself that I discovered the enormity of what I had been given.
Placed inside was a piece of my dad’s wedding ring.
My dad passed away in January this year after battling cancer. My mum recently had his wedding ring re-sized so she could wear it alongside her own. She asked to keep the remaining gold which now holds a special place inside this locket.
Every day I reach up to touch my locket and while I feel sad, I smile. It brings me a great sense of comfort and connection; I feel my Dad with me, his support, his love. I know he wouldn’t want me to be sad, just like my mum said she knew he would have wanted me to receive the locket and precious piece of gold inside.
Gosh, I really miss my dad and it’s in the littlest things that the grief can hit the hardest.
Cutting my rose bushes in my front garden the other week I found myself talking to my dad as I did it. I’m sure my neighbour wondered who on earth I was babbling away to as he got into his car parked in the driveway that day.
You see, every year my Dad would come over to prune back my standard roses. Every year he would explain to me the best way to prune those roses and every year I would nod along and watch him. Every year I also thought he would be back again the next to help me out.
But not this year.
This year, I still chatted with my Dad but he wasn’t there. Not in body, but I hope in spirit. There were a few tears, some from spiking my fingers on the thorns, some from my feelings of loss. I was alone, but yet I felt I wasn’t.
I’m also feeling sadness that my youngest daughter will never have the opportunity to get to know her Opa. She won’t know of his love in person, won’t remember his loving bear hugs, won’t hear his cheeky grandfatherly jokes, won’t see his tears of happiness as he witnesses his grandchildren’s achievements … even their smallest successes were such a big deal to him.
My youngest daughter was only 9 months when my dad passed away. But not a day goes by that he isn’t mentioned in conversation so I hope that while she may have been only a baby when they spent time together that she will still feel as though she knows him.
I have only one photo of my three girls together with my dad. If I could go back in time I’d take snap after snap after snap, but I can’t change the past so I will cherish what I have.
That one photo is hanging on the wall of our family room near our kitchen. A couple of months ago I caught Miss 1 staring at the photo and babbling away quite animatedly. As I watched, I felt a sense of warmth and love around me and I truly hope it means something; that she could see something that I couldn’t see, that she could sense my dad’s spirit and he is watching over us.
Because there has to more … doesn’t there? I truly want there to be more and it’s moments like these that give me hope and faith.