I'm Convinced Everyone Has Their Own 'Third Week in June'

Every year, the third week in June finds me in mourning. No matter how many years pass, death's sting reminds me that this week was once filled with a succession of celebrations. It would really start in May with lots of shopping for the perfect gift for the perfect mom, being mine. It was met with lots of family revelry and good eats.

A few weeks later, it was the third week in June, and Mom's birthday and Father's Day always ran back-to- back. Well, since her passing nearly two decades ago, this week always finds me 'making my way' through. Being her only daughter, other family members have moved on and think I should do the same. In a large degree I have; but, anyone who has had a world-class mother knows you never completely move on. There are days that you really have to weather. And, when the week starts off with rain, as this one did, it simply adds to the drear.

Remembering Mom is swiftly followed on Sunday with the remembering of some very special fathers who have crossed over. Most recently my oldest brother, who left behind six very beautiful children, departed this existence a bit over a year ago. I'm reminded also of the man who gave me two beautiful children as husband and father and died much sooner than anyone who loved him would have wished.

In the midst of all the mourning, there's another mourning of sorts. My dear sweet Dad is still very much alive and well. That's a real blessing. However, as many know, when one parent dies, the other eventually remarries, especially men. Well, such is the case. About a decade after Mom died he married a wonderful woman, a baker's-dozen years' younger than he, which I'm sure helps keep him youthful. With that said, new wife comes with six new half-siblings who have adopted him as the wonderful dad that he is, considering their father died, ironically, nearly two decades ago. As my birth-family once was, they are a very family-oriented clan and have his Father's Day mapped to the hilt with barbecues and gifts that reminds one of Christmas. Added to that, I'm a three-hour drive away. Oh yes, I'm more than welcome to attend; but, can you imagine trying to be stoic with a step-mom trying to live up to my birth mother. Dizzying to think about, and much too 'pseudo' for lack of a better word. As I said, she really is the perfect wife for my dad.  So, I'll call and genuinely wish him a happy day. It is tiring to sound upbeat when we speak in this third week in June. As usual, I eventually bring up mom's recent birthday, which is a bit awkward, trying not to rain on the mood. After 'catching up' we end the call, and if I'm blessed, as usual, the fourth week in June rolls around, and by God's grace life resumes as normal.

So, if you're mourning a loss with the upcoming Father's Day, know that you are not alone. Don't be shy to talk about your sorrow even if everyone around you thinks you should have moved on by now. It's not for them to decide; after all, most have not experienced the loss as you have.