Sadiversaries - Soapbox Jr.
Yes, I know the title isn’t a real word, but it should be.
Sunday, September 20, 2020, would have marked mom and dad’s 56th wedding anniversary.
As we have for the past few weeks, Dean Tubb, mom and dad’s bus driver of over 30 years – and dear family friend - joined mom and me for lunch. It was a solemn occasion, and we tried to downplay the day. Dad’s guitar tech, Roger Campbell and his wife Terry showed up for a while which was good company for her.
Overall, she held up pretty well. She’s a very strong woman, but she has her moments.
It occurred to me that the rest of this year is going to be rough. Not that it hasn’t already been.
Mom’s birthday will be forever marred by memories of dad’s passing two days before and attending a family visitation along with a public memorial service outside the funeral home on what is supposed to be a day of celebration.
But it’s not going to get any easier, dad’s birthday will be in late October, then the first Thanksgiving without dad, and then the dreaded first Christmas.
The Daniels house has always made a big deal during the holidays, with seasonal decorations, and multiple Christmas trees during the month of December, a definite Christmas wonderland.
Thanksgiving and Christmas time always results in a packed house full of food, friends and good times with sometimes 30 - or more - in attendance at these gatherings.
I’m hoping that we will keep it going so that it will be as close to normal as possible without the obvious absence of dad. It will already be emotional and painful, but I think it will be worse if we don’t do anything.
As bad as Thanksgiving will be, Christmas Eve will be worse.
On Christmas Eve, close friends and CDB family always gather after Christmas Eve services at church and then after dinner, we gather in their large den, and dad would always read his story, “A Carolina Christmas Carol,” and the Christmas story from the Book of Luke. I’ll have to step up in his absence, or maybe we’ll play one of the audio recordings of the stories. We’ll figure that out closer to the actual date, but it won’t be the same.
After that, it will get even more emotional, because dad would always go around the room and ask everyone to say something, most people will talk about good – or sometimes bad – things that had happened this year, or things that they are thankful for, and some just say “Merry Christmas,” but I’ve got a feeling this is going to be a rough tradition to get through.
Christmas morning won’t be the same either. With the exception of one Christmas when I had gone to my ex-wife’s family’s house for Christmas in 2000, I’ve spent every Christmas with mom and dad. Actually, I did get to spend that Christmas evening with dad because he picked me up at the airport that night, and we drove to what was then called Adelphia Coliseum to watch the Tennessee Titans play the Dallas Cowboys on a special Christmas night football game with the Monday Night Football crew calling the game. It was pretty special.
But this Christmas definitely won’t be like any other in my life.
This isn’t unique to the Daniels household, in fact, it’s an inevitability for all of us.
We’re going to lose loved ones, it’s just a sad fact, and we’re going to have to move on with life as best as we can in their absence, but as much as we miss them, the special moments like holidays, birthdays and anniversaries will become harder because of their absences.
Dad always wanted me to go out and live my life. Even if he had some surgery and was at home resting and recovering, I’d be there to help, and he would urge me to go on home, or to go out, and to not just be sitting around while he’s sleeping and recovering.
I know he’d be urging me to do the same thing now. We miss him terribly, but he wouldn’t want us to continue to sit around and be sad about him not being here. Instead, he would want us to live life to the fullest.
We’ve been told it gets easier with time, but it’s hard to imagine that right now.
It’s not easy, but we’re doing the best we can.
We’ll have more “Sadiversaries” to deal with next year, but one day at a time.
We love you, and miss you, dad.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police, our country and the Peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
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