Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ashes to Ashes

Our usual Father's Day tradition (we do the same for Mother's Day) to honor my daughters' birth fathers, writing notes and then burning them so the smoke can carry the messages of good wishes to China, included my dad this Father's Day. The girls included messages to Grandpa, with wishes that the smoke carry their words to heaven. Zoe even asked Mimi and me to include messages to Grandpa.

It was a more pleasant Father's Day than I anticipated.  Last evening  we went shopping amongst the last-minute-gifts-for-Dad crowd, and not surprisingly, the cashier's last words to us were, "Have a Happy Father's Day!"

I admit it, I just wanted to BITE. It was all I could do not to say, "My kids don't have a father, and mine died last week." Maya felt a bit more charitable towards the cashier, she just turned to me and said, "I think it will be happy AND sad." Indeed.

We actually had fun talking about Grandpa most of the day.  We're doing something special for the memorial service -- the girls are going to hand out small stones upon which we've written words that describe Grandpa, especially for the people who never knew him before he became sick.  So we brainstormed words, bought river rocks, and wrote our words -- fun, calm, hard-working, handsome, strong, honest, cheerful, caring. . . . We shared stories about Grandpa with each word.  So all in all it was a day more happy than sad.


Meredith Conway said...

This is a wonderful idea. This is my husband's first father's day without his dad and I wish I had thought of something like this- I am sure you can appreciate how difficult it is for him- We are going to do this next year. Thank you

Anonymous said...

You have been on my mind all day! I love your mom's sentiment on the letter. The girls sure do draw a good likeness of your dad as an angel!! Glad your father's day was more happy than sad, and I think the rock idea is brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Glad you were able to share good memories and include your dad in your father's day tradition. I am sorry to admit that though we tried the burning envelope/note thing for mother's day, it never crossed my mind to do it on father's day. But we did go see Karate Kid today.
Sue (aka anonymous)

Anonymous said...

I think this is am awesome thing to do, and something I think we will do with our kids from now on. My daughter is from Vietnam and we have no information about her birthparents (even though we have searched). My youngest son is adopted domestically. We have an open adoption with his birth mom, but have no info on his birth father. Also, my father and grandfather have passed away, so I like that we could include that as well. Thanks for the idea!

Anonymous said...

My husband takes the kids down to a local creek ... they throw rocks in the river while thinking wishes ... the river flows to the ocean where the water evaporates and carries the wishes around the world.