I really dislike the idea that I may not be there for all those important milestones in the kids and Tracey’s lives.
It’s truly my only regret if I pass from cancer at an early age. I feel really good about what I have accomplished in my life. I’ve had adventure, I’ve made great friends, I’ve helped others. I’ve done it all.
But missing out on watching the kids grow up and missing out on ‘retirement travel’ with Tracey are the two things that bum me out.
So a couple of months ago I went out and bought $130 worth of birthday cards with the idea of writing the kids birthday cards for the next ten years. I told Tracey my plan and have asked her to deliver them every year. It’s my way of letting them know that while I am not physically here for them I am still there for them spiritually.
Each day I try and write a card or two. And each attempt is incredibly difficult simply because I end up bawling my eyes out. At first I thought it would be easy to do. Grab a card, write in it as though it was for next week and voila a card for the future. No big deal right?
But it ain’t anywhere as easy as that. First of all there is the bawling, it makes it hard to see the paper, secondly there is the smudging, and thirdly there is the pressure to get it just right.
And that was the part that really snuck up on me. Sure I knew this would be emotional, but what I didn’t account for was my desire to make sure that the card that they receive for the year was poignant and relevant enough to cover off all the gaps in time that I was missing.
So I stopped writing for a month. It was too much pressure for me at the time. Well, yesterday I opened up the bag of cards and promised myself that I wouldn’t take each card so seriously, that I would just start with their name and see what came out by the time the card was full.
And I’ll be damned if some great stuff didn’t bleed out of the pen onto the paper.
And after I finished crying I was happy. The kind of happy you get when you are proud of yourself for persevering and the kind of joy you get when you know you did something good.
I truly hope these cards accomplish what I set out to do, and I really hope they are happy when they get a card from their Poppa Luigi/Pops. I hope that their annual card will be something they look forward to and I really, really hope it gives them a sense of connectedness to their Dad that sadly had to leave early.
I can see the smile and the tears on their faces, what I can’t see is what they look like now that they are older.
And as for the travel with Tracey...let’s just say we’re going to do what we can while we have the time, but if I have to leave early I certainly hope she travels enough for the both of us.
PS I’m not sure the kids read my blogs. They are aware of it but I haven’t pushed them to read the stories as I want them to participate at their own pace.
So if you read this please don’t tell them they have cards coming, I hope to make it a surprise from the future.