Husbandless Father’s Day
I’ve been celebrating Father’s Day my entire life because I’m blessed to have an incredible Dad. Eighteen years ago, the celebration of Father’s Day shifted to include honoring my husband, the father of my three beautiful children. For fifteen years my husband and I celebrated our Dads together while also celebrating him, my ex. Then three years ago, the celebration of Father’s Day shifted once again as my ex and I went through the painful process of divorce.
From my journal, June 16 2020.“I’m still sad and still confused and shocked. But I must accept what I have been handed and make the most of my life. It’s not what I intended. It’s not what I wish for my kids, but here we are. And I must begin to write a new chapter.” -Andrea Blythe, two weeks after my ex moved out.
Father’s Day 2021 was a bit better. I was healing from a foot surgery and was bed bound for 6 weeks. During that time I thought A LOT. I mean, a lot. That’s all I could really do. My Father’s Day journal entry from last year is a drawing of my backyard with the words “My Happy Place”. I was working so hard to make peace with my new situation. I started to re-read the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and began to dream again; I began to envision a new life for myself and for my kids. One that had no limitations, no expectations, no constrictions.
On June 27, 2021 I wrote the following from The Four Agreements in my journal:“I want you to see yourself living a new life, a new dream, a new life where you don’t need to justify your existence and you are free to be who you really are. Imagine that you have permission to be happy and to really enjoy your life…Imagine living your life without fear of expressing your dreams. You know what you want, what you don’t want, and when you want it. You are free to change your life the way you really want to!” –Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements
Progress. And now here we are again, Father’s Day 2022. My Dad lives in another state and my kids and I will take out my second Dad (my loving step-dad) for an excursion tomorrow. Today, my kids will spend the day with their Father and I will once again be alone with the gift of another day to re-write for myself. This morning, it starts with gratitude. I’m thankful to my ex for bringing forth three beautiful lives with me. Whenever I feel like my marriage was a failure, all I have to do is look at my three magnificent children and be reminded that it was all worth it. If I had known 22 years ago that my marriage would end, I don’t know that I’d have put on that fancy dress and said yes. The heartache of the past three years has been excruciating and why would I submit myself to such pain? Three reasons: Austin, Nora and Landen.
So today they’ll go off on their adventure with their Dad and I’ll have a regular Sunday to myself. I’m not sad today, nor am I bed bound. Instead, this year my overall emotion is excitement. I’m excited that I get to spend the day however I want with the peace of mind that my children are off having a great time with the other person who loves them most in this world. I’m excited because my heart is in a good place this year, and I’m excited that the re-write of my story has already begun.
Everyday on the post-divorce journey offers a chance to live your life in the most expansive way that you can imagine. And yet some days bear heavier significance than others; it’s on those days where it’s wise to take extra caution and care of your heart. Those are the days where you must be very intentional to do something that fills your soul. I have a list of 20 things that I love to do, and when I’m in need of inspiration, I go to that list:
- hula hoop
- sit by the river
- walk the greenbelt
- visit antique and consignment stores
- listen to music
- do yoga
- organize anything (yes, for real, I love to organize my shit!)
- watch a movie
- call a friend
- eat at a new restaurant
- snuggle with Jasper
- watch the sunset/ look at the stars
- go for a scenic drive with windows down and music blaring
- paint my toenails
Today I think I’ll do yoga, call my Dad, meet up with a friend, listen to my favorite songs and watch the sunset. It’s all free, just like me. Do you have a list of 20 things that fill your soul? If not, maybe today is a good day to write one up, especially if you’re also having a Husbandless Father’s Day. If you do still have a husband to celebrate with today, wrap your arms around that man, plant a kiss on his cheek and give him thanks for being your coparent and partner in life.
This song by Dido is what my heart started singing as I wrote this morning. I used to think that the best day of my life was the day that I exchanged my marriage vows and had that incredible celebration with all our friends and family. But time changes perspectives. I could also say that the best day of my life was the day that I became a mother, or perhaps quite simply the day that I was born into this world. As I write this morning with Jasper on my lap, I’m pretty sure that each and every day that we’re blessed to experience this beautiful luscious green earth, we have the chance to have our best day and to give thanks for it. How will you spend your day today? Whether it’s with your Dad or not, with the father of your children or not, may you hold your heart carefully in your hands today and be sure to take some time to honor YOU too.
Beautiful. Rich. Heartwarming. Hopeful. Positive. Full of love for yourself. Amen.