Father’s Day at Scotty’s Little Soldiers

IMGL0005With Father’s Day just around the corner I always start to feel for my children, Kai and Brooke, and all the kids Scotty’s supports.

The day brings mixed emotions.  As a parent I want my children to remember their daddy for what a great father he was to them, but with that always comes the upset and pain of knowing that he is not here anymore and misses out on so many special times.

It’s hard to know what to do for the best.  Do you carry on as if it’s a normal day so the kids don’t get upset, or do you do something to honour the memory of their daddy but risk the fact that they may get emotional and start asking questions all over again?

I guess it depends on the children’s ages and what they want to do.  With Father’s Day such a public event, advertised in shops everywhere and spoken about at schools and nurseries, there is no getting away from it really and the kids are bound to feel sad as the day approaches.

This year, we decided we would choose a balloon and take it to Lee’s grave.  We don’t actually visit Lee’s grave much anymore as Kai’s behaviour tends to change afterwards and Brooke can get very upset. This Father’s Day though we all felt we would go and the kids seem excited.

I always put on a brave face when I take Kai and Brooke to Lee’s grave because I want them to know that they can chat, laugh and tell dad all about their day.  I don’t want them to think a graveyard is a place where you have to be sad.

Having said that I am always filled with sadness and pain when leaving.  It’s not fair my babies are visiting a headstone and talking to it like it’s their daddy.  I guess Father’s Day can be a tough day for the mummies too.

After the visit, we will go and spend some time with my dad and I will try to make the day as fun as possible. My children are still young so it will only probably affect them as they go to bed and begin to think about the day they have had.

For the older Scotty’s members I know it will be a lot tougher, as they really understand the meaning of Father’s Day. It must hurt. I know some of the older children that Scotty’s supports are planning on doing some fun things to remember their dads this year, like spending time at his favourite fishing spot as a tribute to him, or meeting up with some of his friends and family for dinner.

I always say that when you have lost an important person in your life, it doesn’t have to be Father’s Day or Remembrance Day or the anniversary to be a tough day, every day can be hard. I guess a day like Father’s Day will be that bit tougher though because there is so much activity around them. I can imagine that the brave young children who have lost a dad will feel the pain and upset, maybe even anger and jealousy, no matter what they do this Father’s Day.

I get upset just at the thought of knowing my children will feel the huge gap in their lives again on Sunday. They will notice other children with their daddies and hear about the stories from Father’s Day when they return to school the next day.

Knowing Brooke she will stand up and tell her classmates about her visit to daddy’s grave and the balloon, bless her. For Kai I know he will be head down, keep it all inside and deal with it his way. Like many children, he can struggle with his emotions but I will make sure I am there for him when he is ready and treat with him extra care for the following few days.

We at Scotty’s Little Soldiers know very well that the hurt of losing a dad never goes away, but hopefully whatever our Scotty members decide to do this Sunday, we hope that they will find some happy way to remember their dads. I shall certainly be thinking of them all and their families on Sunday.

Nikki xx

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