I knew that all of the "firsts" after losing my Dad were going to be difficult. Yesterday was the first year anniversary of his death, meaning that I have now muddled through them all. Some "firsts" were easier than anticipated while some dates came unexpectedly out of the blue and threw me back into the spirals of grief. Despite the tears and emotional breakdowns, I survived my first year without my Dad.
Yesterday morning was difficult. I woke up crying and felt weepy until the boys awoke. After lighting a candle and shedding a few tears, I resolved to trudge through the remaining hours so that I could could the final "first" in the past. I just wanted to stay as busy as possible so that my mind wouldn't remember.
The weather cooperated with my plan, allowing us to stay outside. Scott worked on the yard all day, transforming it into a child friendly oasis. The leaves, sticks and various junk (he did manage to find an old pitchfork while working in part of the woods) have been cleared, leaving flowerbeds full of ripe soil just screaming to be filled.
While he worked, I played with Robby and Timmy. Robby was feeling better from his surgery but I still wanted to make sure that he didn't overdo it. I made sure to keep him in sights as he played with his friends. (They are such a good group of kids. I explained the issues and limitations to them and each friend went out of their way to make sure that Robby was both safe and that did not become auditory overwhelmed.)
By the end of the day the yard was beautiful, the boys were happy and I realized that I was smiling. Not a forced smile, but a genuine smile. Not wanting the day to end, Scott and I made an impromptu decision to throw a party.
We lit the fire pit, invited over the neighbors and hosted our first fire pit party of the season. The kids were able to play into the night while the adults sat around the fire laughing and sharing stories. As I went to bed last night, I almost felt guilty for having had such a great day on such a solemn anniversary. Then I realized that I was happy, which is probably how my Dad would have wanted it.