What is this?

What is this? I don't really know, other then a continuation of my updates and writings that I was sharing previously on Caringbridge of this journey through cancer and now widowhood and single parenting.

Maybe it won't end up being anything at all, or maybe it will be a glimpse into my heart, my life, my current situation, my testimony.

Whatever it becomes, I am touched that you are interested.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

First Father's Day

This past Sunday was Father's Day.  The first one.

The "firsts" of everything come with anxiety and uncertainty.  For me this one also came with purpose.  And my purpose was not simply to "survive" it, but to be intentional about it.  This was the first time I felt able to put some thought into one of these days.

In the weeks prior I spent some time in thought about what Aria and I could do, starting this year, to honor and remember her daddy.  I thought of what I would have done for Brandon's first Father's Day, and how could that translate in some ways?

I probably would have made him sleep in and brought him breakfast in bed.  We would have had a lazy morning then the three of us would have gone to the driving range together so daddy could hit a bucket of balls.  In a couple of years we all would have had our own bucket to hit, with daddy critiquing our swings and giving us tips.  He probably would have only hit a few balls himself, taking more joy in watching and helping his girls.  We would then have a picnic lunch at a park and probably spent the rest of the evening with family for dinner.

But that's not our reality. And tears fell freely imagining what could have been.

Instead, I got to sleep in til 9 am (thank you Aria!)  We had a lazy morning together, and during her morning nap I sat outside and painted 2 bird houses.

Brandon loved birds and would feed them with numerous feeders around the yard.  He even had a heated bird bath for the winter so they could drink easily.  He saw it a challenge to identify all the birds that came and find the particular kind of feed they preferred.  So every year on Father's Day Aria and I will paint birdhouses and hang them in the back yard.  Then, someday when she moves out she can take all of her painted birdhouses to her home to bring a little bit of daddy with her.

My thumbprint heart birdhouse and Aria's hand smudge birdhouse.
After she woke from her nap we went and got one of daddy's favorite foods, a double bacon breakfast burrito, and headed up to Mount Lindo to have a picnic lunch together.  It was a beautiful day, sunny and in the low 90's.  Even at almost 8,000 feet elevation it was hot, so I shaded us with an umbrella and we hung out there for an hour and a half.

Sharing Daddy's favorite burrito.

Just hanging out.

I was hoping to take a walk on the paths of Fox Hollow Golf Course with Aria, however she wasn't really up for it by the time we left the cemetery, but maybe next year.  So we headed home and played together.

All in all, it was.  It's hard to say it was "nice".  I mean, it was purposeful and meaningful.  But it was missing something.  It always will.  And that sucks.  There is no getting around it.

But I leave my hope in God.  And I know that no matter what pain and loss we feel here, nothing will be lost in Heaven.  Somehow, beyond my understanding, Brandon is not loosing his opportunity to be a father to Aria.  And I will do everything possible for Aria to feel like she knows her daddy.

Not long ago, a friend of mine gave me a priceless gift.  She has walked very closely with me through this experience and our friendship has blossomed in the past year since she moved back to Colorado.  Due to frequent moves in the past few years she never got to know Brandon personally.  However, she encouraged me with some beautiful insight that I have held close to my heart.  She told me that if I talk about Brandon to Aria in any way like I talk about him to her, Aria will undoubtedly know exactly who her daddy was.  From his silly nuances and annoying habits to his wise council and unwavering love.  She will know him.  All of him that I can give to her.

And I am grateful for that.  I already talk constantly about him with her.

I joke; "Daddy would have told me to stop trying to pick the booger out of your nose and just leave you alone!"

I inform; "Daddy probably wouldn't like me allowing you to do that."

I say tearfully and longingly; "Daddy would have loved to see you do that, sweet girl."

It's important to me that all her associations with daddy are not sad.  That's not how he would want his baby girl to know him.  Linked with loss and pain.  No.  He was full of life, love and laughter.  The loss is ours, not his.  But someday, that loss will be no more.  And that's what I live for.


  1. Christina I though of you and precious sweet Aria the days leading up to Father's Day and very much on that day. I keep you both in my prayers daily. Thank you for sharing this update on how you both are doing. I look at facebook often to see if there are new pictures of you two beautiful girls and updates.The days leading up to father's day you both were on my heart and I thought about you both several times on father's day. You are an AMAZING Mommy!!! I love the bird house Idea! That is awesome! I have since where they take a shirt that was a favorite on of dad's that he enjoyed wearing and make it into a huggy pillow. On the pocket stitch or fabric pain dad's favorite scripture or something like "Hugs from daddy" or something to for her to cherish. Love and Blessings! Thank you for sharing your heart, My sons and I continue to lift you and your beautiful baby girl in our prayers. Melanie Admire Arlington, Texas

  2. Christina, I loved your post. I'm sure it's hard to write when you know people are going to be reading it whom you have never met. Bonnie and I went to college for only a year, yet because of FB we were able to reconnect thus getting to know you through her. You have wisdom beyond your years. I love the way you're keeping Aria's daddy alive to her. You are beautiful and I continue to pray for you. Nancy Burhans, Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex

  3. Hi Christina Your posting is just so beautiful and your little girl Aria is so adorable. What a blessing. Just reading about your day sounds so beautiful I don't think you could have had a better planned day. To have a picnic with your little one and pain the bird houses is so touching. You share straight from your heart. I know that God is your strength. Your writings are so beautiful when Aria gets big she will be so happy to have your journals as a treasure for her heart. Maybe you should consider writing a book. I ican just picture things as you state them, almost like a Hallmark movie. You are such an awesome person a wonderful mom and a blessing. My husband was a fan of sports and I had a throw blanket made out of the logos on his shirts when he passed away. I love my blanket and sometimes just cuddle with it on occassion. It does keep the chill off of me and I have a scripture on it . Maybe you would like to consider making something out of one of Brandon's shirts a little blanket or a top blanket like I have or even a pillow. It s just a suggestion I have a cousin who made a big collage on a quilt of his little daughters clothes just because he thought she is so precious and she is. The Amish makes those quilts I still have the number if your interested the lady who made mine lives in Ohio I mailed her out the stuff and she did the job sent it back to me really nice. I hope that was a helpful thought for you. blessings to you my friend and hugs. If you want any info you can contact me via email humbleinlight@aol.com have a blessed night i will keep you in my prayers love Liz


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!