Father’s Day has proven to be a pretty difficult day for me the past seven (seven? shit, man) years. It’s more manageable than, say, my dad’s birthday, or even the anniversary of the day he passed away. And sometimes I feel guilty for not being more sad, but that’s stupid; I know he wouldn’t have wanted me to feel sad or guilty. Yesterday was actually a pretty good day: I spent the day on a high from the New Kids on the Block concert I went to on Saturday night (more on that tomorrow) and laughing about all the times my dad and I drove around listening and belting along to the New Kids Greatest Hits, eight years after they had broken up. My dad did great back-up vocals for “The Right Stuff” in case you were curious. He was good at a lot of things, not least of which was putting up with and even sharing my totally un-ironic obsession with NKOTB (though he stopped short of letting me stalk them out during our annual summer trips to Boston, rude.). I miss him every single day, to the point where some days it smothers me and I feel like I’ll never be able to dig myself out of the absolute bleakness of the fact that at some point I will have lived more years without him than with him. And that’s a reality I’m not okay with yet. But there was also a time when I thought I would literally die from grief, and the only upside to the distance that’s inserted itself between me and his death is that it gets microscopically easier every year.

So yesterday wasn’t terrible. I wrote another 1,500 words of my book. Fitz had a play-date and didn’t make a total idiot out of himself or end up in time-out too much. I cleaned my bathtub. And yeah, I listened to a lot of New Kids. I lived. That’s the best way I know to honor my daddy. Miss you, daddy-o.

30 thoughts on “Yesterday

  1. I did think about you and others who have to go through a super-commercialised Father’s Day without having theirs around and my heart was heavy for you yesterday.

    You spent it in the best possible way – doing something that reminded you of the happy times you shared together. xo

    1. Thank you, Chi. I certainly don’t want to diminish the importance of Father’s Day for anyone else by bringing my own sadness into it — I know some incredible dad’s out there, my own brother included! I should have made more of a point to celebrate them instead of my own grief, I think. xo

      1. “I certainly don’t want to diminish the importance of Father’s Day ……..”
        You did nothing of the sort!!!

        “I know some incredible dad’s out there, my own brother included! I should have made more of a point to celebrate them instead of my own grief, I think. xo”
        There’s no should about it. You have every right to feel and express your grief at the loss of your Dad, duckie – whether it happens to be on Father’s Day or not. xo

  2. so choked up. i am so sorry you have to miss your dad. i did not know my father but my grandfather was every bit of the kind of father i’d ever hoped to have. he passed away 13 years ago (way too soon). i have his old motorcycle jacket wrapped up and sometimes i get it out and smell it and the flood gates just start rushing me. it used to be difficult for me to enjoy a sunny morning because my grandfather loooved sunshine. if the sun was out he wore shorts even if it was freezing. he was a huge cyclist and so people on bikes used make sad which was terrible living in portland. but it’s gotten so much easier which i at first i felt guilty about too. but now i don’t not enjoy days now from missing him. i agree, who would want that for those they loved so much? enjoy your days and give fitz a treat for me. xoxo

    1. Thanks, doll. Your grandfather sounds like the most wonderful kind of guy, and it’s evident in who you are today. My dad was an avid cyclist, too! I’m so sorry for your loss, twin. It always happens too soon. xoxo

  3. My favorite posts are the ones you write about your dad. He’s sounds like an amazing man and father. He created you which is evidence enough. I don’t have a doubt in my mind that he would be very proud of the woman you are today. xo

    1. Thank you so much, beautiful. That is incredible of you to say, you don’t know how much that lifted my spirits. xoxo

  4. I was thinking about you yesterday, but didn’t know what if anything to say.

    You’re so strong and realistic about your feelings at the same time. Your dad would be proud of you. <3

    1. Thanks, Ais. It means a lot even without saying anything, so thank you. I hope you had a good weekend with your dad and brother! xo

  5. Oh dearling, this hurt to read. I had a sense that yesterday might be bittersweet and difficult for you. This is a loss I can’t contemplate, and my heart breaks hearing you describe your own loss.

    I agree. Good move to do the things you love. I wish our dads could have met. XO

    1. Our dads would have gotten along so, so well, I just know it. Thank you, sweet thing. I’m so grateful for you. xo

  6. Oh Erin! Hope you are feeling a little better today. I’m sure your pa is so proud of you and your writing and this blog. Sharing your thoughts and feelings publicly with us about your loss is really brave, I do admire you. Wishing you love and support x

      1. Thank you, Sam! I don’t really know if I would cal it ‘brave’ but I appreciate your kindness, as always. You’re so sweet. xo

  7. celebrating life is most definitely the best way to honour the memory of someone so special!
    you did your papa proud kid ;)
    {ps, i narrowly resisted the urge to publicly shame pinterest after they emailed me suggesting i get my dad to create his own pinterest board for father’s day… wtf!!!}

    1. Thank you, Sue! And ew, Pinterest! What a weird thing to email people! Thankfully, I got no such email, but I don’t know, fathers on Pinterest? Maybe not. xo

      1. Oh I got that too and thought it was v odd. The last thing my dad would ever want to do is create a Pinterest board. Duh IT’S FOR GIRLS!

  8. Oh Erin, this made me a little teary eyed. Both Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are very hard days for me, for very different reasons and I usually find myself turning off the tv and not even acknowledging its existence. You are so much braver than me and you are right, celebrating life is the best way to honour those we have lost. x

    1. I’m so sorry, Meghan! It’s a tough day for a lot of people; we should start a support group! You’re so strong. xo

  9. Erin, this is so sweet. If I lost my father, I think you said it perfectly with “there was also a time when I thought I would literally die from grief” because I can’t imagine learning to cope with the loss of a parent. I’m so sorry he wasn’t with you to celebrate fathers day. But I think that playing new kids was the best way for you to celebrate with him. Big hugs E <3

    1. Thanks, darling. It’s tough, and I definitely don’t begrudge people who had a happy Father’s Day, not at all. I know I came across as a bitter-bumpkin…thank you for being so sweet. xo

  10. some of my best memories of high school were spent belting out new kids on the block (or o-town) in the backseat of your dad’s car. it was like a magical place where we were allowed to sing along to terrible pop songs, complain about boys, whine about school and giggle about life as loud as we wanted on the way to the mall, the big barnes and noble or dinner. and we were always met with amazing backup vocals, sarcastic remarks about boys, wise advice about school and equally as loud giggles from the most amazing dad i had ever known at that point in my life. and no matter where we were going, he was always willing to make pit stops for lip gloss refills. he’s missed for sure. and i know he would be beyond proud of you, mes smips. <3

  11. I think of him every time I see a pic of the Philly skyline. I don’t know why. Also anytime I see a man with socks and sandals

  12. Erin, you are an incredible daughter, and only you knows how much he idolized you. He was an incredible father. Smile, remembering all your beautiful memories

  13. Erin it sounds like your dad was super cool and like there isn’t much he wouldn’t do for you (I mean, singing back up to NKOTB for you??)
    I am sure he would be so proud of what you have/are becoming and I think doing the things you do (“living”) are the best way to honor him.

  14. Ah what a heartfelt post, I feel sad that he won’t be able to walk you down the aisle, I think he would be so proud. thinking of you (four days late!) xxx

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