We had another fun year of fireworks on Hilton Head Island, SC. It is a great scene. People gather to stake out a spot on the fairway of the 18th hole of the Harbour Town Course. The setting is really beautiful with the sun setting over the water of the sound and a lot of people hanging out and happy. It really is a great time and a great setting.

And there are a lot of fathers tossing footballs around with their sons.

Even the good times with lots of smiles and laughter are still tempered by grief. You probably wouldn't have recognized it if you had been there. I don't know if it is something that I am learning to live with it, or just know how to hide. Or if that isn't just two ways to say the same thing.



Should be celebrating a decade of fatherhood today.



I am so happy for and so jealous of the cancer parents that are winning their battles and spending time with their precious children.

I wouldn't have it any other way and there is a part of me that rejoices for them. Their joy doesn't make me sad. But the awareness of their joy seems to sharpen my pain at times.

Julia (8) recently expressed to Susan that she would be happy if childhood cancer was cured, but that it would make her a little sad too...sad that the cure wasn't found in time for Nathan. I wasn't there, but it seemed that she felt that there might be something wrong about feeling sad about something so wonderful. There isn't. It is just how it is.


The way it is

A Facebook friend and fellow cancer dad updated his status with, "Off to school, chemo, and then Will's first T-ball practice". I pray for his family's continued strength and for the day that Will is cured and "chemo" no longer becomes a matter-of-fact part of a normal day for any child.



I'm feeling pretty good now, but was feeling very low this morning. I was longing for the simpler times of my childhood and the love and protection of my parents. And I was wishing for my girls the same sheltered experience that I had. That they will never have. I never knew grief as a child. And I didn't have parents that were raw and grieving and scarred and broken.

For the most part I honestly prefer being grown up to being a kid. But sometimes it would be nice to be so naive and to live back in a time before the pain. And I feel so sad for my girls. Memories of childhood will never be the pain free sanctuary for them that they are for me.


Does it get easier?

I was recently talking to an acquaintance that knows Nathan's story. He was talking about his children and, as I always do when discussing my children, he mentioned a son that he had lost 20 years or so ago to a traffic accident. He said, "I know you know what that is like. It doesn't get any easier. You just learn to live with it and keep on going."

The next day we were talking to close friends and something about how hard this time of year is for us came up in conversation and someone expressed that they hoped that it would get easier with time.

The two different perspectives struck me having heard them on back to back days.

I've never heard anyone really express this well in words. I know that I can't. It hurts as much today as it did 2 years ago, and yet here we are doing our best to keep living on. And if it never gets easier, how does anyone manage? And yet I was sitting outside in the beautiful Colorado sun listening to a father tell me quite casually that after 20+ years that it never got easier and there he was still carrying on.

I fear a day when this might get easier. If it gets easier, what would that say about my love for Nathan and the strength of my memories of his time here with us? I don't hope that it gets easier. I hope that I can find the strength to enjoy the many blessings (included in those blessings are my memories of Nathan) and experiences of my life while still feeling the pains of the profound losses.