Father’s Day is a hard day for me. Which is weird because I’m not a father. It’s hard because of all the drama and sadness that fathers endure and have caused in my life.
Don’t get me wrong my dad isn’t one of them! The fathers I’m talking about are the fathers of my children. Yep, I said fathers as in plural.
My oldest three children have another father other than Shane. It’s not something I talk about often, or really at all, because it involves a bad time in my life. I moved several times to different towns and different states for him, for his school, and his job. We were together for eight years total and married less than two when he died. Layla was 3, Lincoln was a day shy of his 1st birthday, and I was a few months pregnant with Logan. Yes, death is hard. Losing a husband is hard. Finding your husband dead because he killed himself is harder. But, telling your children their dad is dead and never coming back is by far the hardest. The story of his death and opening up about his suicide will be a story for another day. What is hard for me isn’t that my children don’t have a father, because they 100% do! Shane stepped in and stepped up to a role that was left behind by choice. When he chose to be with me he also chose my children, without a second thought. He loves them fiercely and absolutely like they are biologically his own. My problem is that my kids know they have another dad that died, but have zero memories of him. Although on Father’s Day were celebrating Shane I think to myself what if in the back of their minds Father’s Day sparks thoughts of their other dad? I dread the day that the brief discussions of him will become more involved, and more questions are asked. I never want them to feel like they weren’t enough, or not worth staying on this earth for! I pray for wisdom, and patience, and guidance to say the right things when that time comes.
Shane is the father of Lucy and Luna. He is also the father to Slaid, my stepson. I don’t usually call him my stepson. One, because I don’t believe in “step” and two because I’m not allowed to call him that or consider him to be that according to Shane’s family. Shane and Slaids mom, Courtney, weren’t together when she got pregnant. Since they weren’t together she chose to not tell him she was pregnant until she was 7 months along. Shane had already volunteered to deploy with the Army again when he found out. Slaid was born and shortly after Shane deployed. A few months later Courtney decided she didn’t want to be a mom anymore and left Slaid with Shane’s parents. It was getting very dangerous on deployment and there were a lot of deaths. Shane’s mom said it would be best for Slaid if they adopted him just until Shane made it home safely. Shane agreed to that, knowing it was only temporary. The only problem was that when he DID come home they wouldn’t let him adopt Slaid back. He was made to live with his parents and prove he was “able” to be a dad while coparenting with them. After years of this he was finally told they were NEVER going to let him adopt Slaid back and that Slaid was now their son and Shane needed to “accept” that. Slaid now refers to Shane as uncle and tells people his grandparents are his mom and dad. He is also hardly allowed in our life. Now I won’t go into details because we could be here all day with horrible things that were said, and done, and lies that were told. Nobody on either side is or was perfect in this sad story. But I DO know that Shane is an AMAZING father. Period. He has never done anything so terrible to make stripping his role as dad away from his own child valid. He has been a wonderful dad to Lucy. Watching him be able to father a baby from birth and not miss a single minute has been amazing to watch. It makes me sad for Slaid, he will never be allowed to know how loving and fun his dad is! Although he is only allowed to consider Lucy his sibling, all of my children consider him to be their brother. It makes me sad that he won’t grow up making memories with them! I hope and pray when he gets older he asks questions, and is given the truth. I hope he knows he was ALWAYS part of our plan, and was loved despite the distance. It makes me sad for Shane who can never have all of his children together to celebrate things like Fathers Day. I’m just praying he at least gets a phone call this year, but know that won’t be the case yet again.
Now you might be thinking: Sara how is Father’s Day hard for YOU, neither of those involve you. You’re right, they don’t involve me. But they do involve my kids and my husband. But watching someone you love hurt or even think about them hurting is hard for me. So this Father’s Day I’m loving on those around me who are dealing with and will deal with things most won’t ever have to.
I’m also so thankful today for Shane, who is the REAL father to all of my babies and sees no difference in them biological or not. I’m thankful for my dad, who is the only involved grandparent my children have. Lastly and most importantly I’m thankful for my Heavenly Father, who loves me despite my shortcomings and is always there for me even when I can’t see it.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!
PS: If you ever feel like life isn’t worth living please talk to someone or call 1-800-273-8255 .