Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Never Forgottern

June the month of graduations, weddings, more memories and of course Father's Day... so although this is a blog for Mom's, the next few posts will be dedicated to our partners - our other half in the creation of our child and children... The pain for dads is as devastating and unbearable as it is for each of us moms, but in so many cultures, and sadly that's most, dads seem to feel and be made to feel that their emotions associated with grief are signs of weakness. That simply isn't true - no matter who and what we are, male - female - young - old, the emotions of grieving, in my opinion, are simply the signs of having truly loved someone special to us, but especially when it is our child - someone we created....

So as Father's Day approaches on Sunday, June 19th, this is the first of several things I'm going to share with you leading up to "Father's Day"... And I hope you will share them with a dad or granddad or any male who sadly has joined this club of having lost their beloved child or children.... Cherie Houston

~ Written by Vicki Tushingham, TCF~

I recently had an experience that touched my heart and I want to share it with you. I have a new job as General Manager of a private tennis club. My first week at the club, I met a member known to all as “Old Bill.”

Bill is 92 years old and perfectly independent and active. He comes to the club most every Friday, enjoys lunch and, weather permitting, a game of tennis. “Old Bill” likes to talk, and we became fast friends. He told me how he had lost his wife a few years back and how he misses her, particularly so, he said, because it was just the two of them. Bill then went on to tell me that he and his wife had lost their only child when she was 8 ½ years old.

He asked if the story was boring me; I assured him it was not, because I too, had lost my only child. Bill then sat down and told me the story of his little Shirley’s life and death, just as we all tell our stories at support group meetings. He had the same need to tell it again as we all do. But he told it with pride and joy blended with the sorrow of his loss. “She was a beauty,” he said, “and bright as a button.” If she had lived, she would be 70 years old today; she’s been gone 62 years. In turn, I told him of my Sandy.

Though I cried for Bill’s loss of Shirley as I do for all of us, I was comforted by the confirmation that, while decades pass, our children are never forgotten.

I’ll now know of a little girl named Shirley, who will always be loved and never forgotten by her dad, and as I pass this story along, you too will know “Old Bill’s Little Shirley.”

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