This week, I am republishing my Father’s Day post from last year, Why We Do Not Celebrate Father’s Day In Our House on my new site, Living the Second Act. I think it is one of the most honest and meaningful things I have ever written. When it was posted on Today.com, I was happy to receive many positive comments from strangers – some were wonderful messages of support for my family, and some were from those who said that my honesty helped them. They were feeling the same way that my girls and I were about the dreaded day, and now knew they weren’t alone.
What I did not expect at all was the negativity. While I know that not everyone will agree with all that I write, I was shocked at the venom that came from some people. I had comments saying that I was the worst mother in the world, that I was doing irreparable damage to my girls, that their father would be horrified to see this, etc., all because my daughters and I, after trying different things over the years, decided that we prefer to spend Father’s Day not celebrating, but just staying home together.
Also unexpected, were the women who jumped to my defense. Perfect strangers, who were also widows, as well as those who were just compassionate, came back at the negativity just as strongly as it was given. I even became Facebook friends with a couple of my defenders.
This was all very interesting, to say the least.
It is now a year later and my girls and I still feel exactly the same way about Father’s Day. It is actually more them than me. They lost their father, I didn’t. They are 17 and 19 years old and mature enough to make this decision for themselves. I respect this decision, it would never occur to me not to.
Each year since Howie passed away, the three of us get a little stronger. This past year has been a tough one, but also an exciting one.
We all went through a very tough few months when Amanda realized that she picked the wrong college. It was a stressful and upsetting time. Now that she is settled in school in Manhattan, she is happier than I have ever seen her.
Lily is finishing her junior year of high school, which is a tough year for all kids. Lily takes her schoolwork very seriously, and has had many late nights studying. She is glad it is almost over and is getting ready for her college applications.
Me? I am proud of what I have accomplished with The Widow Wears Pink, especially when widows and widowers reach out to me saying that they love to read my blog. And while my Great American Novel isn’t going as I had hoped, I did find an opportunity to start a new website, Living the Second Act, with my incredible partner, Mimi Golub. It seems to be going well in only the first month, and we are looking forward to great things (a little plug – please read, subscribe, share and like).
With another Father’s Day rearing its ugly head, I feel sad that Howie is not here to celebrate our good times and help us through the bad ones. He will always be missed.
The other day, I received an email from my contact at Today.com asking to rerun the Father’s Day post on their site. I happily agreed, knowing my words will be out there twice again this year. They say there is no such thing as bad press.
So, let the negative people (my boyfriend told me they are called trolls) say what they want. My girls and I will once again stay home together, of course joined by our adorable little dog. It’s just a day to get through, and we will.