I had a harder time with Father’s Day than I expected. But actually it hit me a day later when I sat down with my counsellor.

“How are you doing?” she asked. The tears started coming.

My younger daughter turned 4 the day before Father’s Day. The collision of the two special days did me in.

On the happiest day of her birthday there is still a shadow caused by the events that happened only a couple of months after her birth.

I still find it hard to look at pictures of her during her first year of life. It transports me back into the pain. The pain of losing my husband, her dad. The pain of my life shattered into a million pieces.

The innocence in her eyes. She didn’t feel the loss like the rest of us did. She had started to bond with him but attachment isn’t solidified by 3 months old.

Leanna met each milestone in her first year of life but if you asked me when she crawled, I don’t know. How horrible is that? I don’t remember. I remember exactly when my first daughter crawled. But my second? I was in a fog. I honestly don’t remember. I was robbed. She was robbed. Steve was robbed.

Father’s Day is another one of those days that reminds me of how he was robbed. How unfair that he only got to enjoy a handful of Father’s Days as a parent? It sucks. But it’s the reality. It is what it is. The grace of acceptance isn’t easy.

As I was searching for photos of Leanna to post on her 4th birthday this past weekend to celebrate her, I stumbled across a photo of the 4 of us. I only thought there was one photo in existence. But here it is. A blurry photo of the 4 of us! Hidden treasure! Here it is! The day that Leanna was born. The moment big sister met little sister. It was a perfect moment.

One of my regrets is that there is only 1 (now 2) photos in the world of the 4 of us as a family. It’s one of those heartbreaking things I realized in the early months after Steve died.

My wish to you is to treasure your moments. Take pictures. Be in pictures. Don’t let your bad outfit, bad hair-day, bad self-image stop you from jumping in pictures with your family. Be part of it. Make those moments matter. Don’t miss out. Enjoy every moment. Treasure every moment. Love is what matters.