Thoughts of Ray are all around us. This spring the girls have missed him so much, especially Lucy. I think they are all so used to life without him but sometimes his absence is a such a hole. There is a program at school called Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students). The girls have declined offers to have someone "sub" for Ray but they miss having him there. Lucy told me she dreamed that her dad came back and was a Watch DOG. The Father Daughter dance this year was similar, we had many tears of grief that Ray is just not able to do this with them, we know he would have loved to do this so much.
For the past five months I've been trying to decide whether to take the girls to Europe this summer. I've studied and googled, I have almost the whole trip planned, tickets on hold, it's just hard to make the decision, that is always hard for me.
We were in church tonight for the Father's Day mass, the decision was all I could think about.
This whole trip is such a connection with Ray. The only person I've ever traveled with is Ray, we went to Paris and got engaged and managed to fit in two more Europe trips before kids. It is magical and it is him. Like pennies burning in my pocket I feel a burn to get the kids to Europe. It's the thing I most wish we could have done with Ray that we didn't do.
I was thinking in church of all the things that remind me of him with travel, even just coming into Dulles Airport when we had just gotten engaged.
The travel prices I have been watching for months dropped last night and the flight that I found went through Dulles. It felt so comforting to see that, so similar. The exact same experience Ray and I had.
And why wouldn't I go -- do anything to connect with Ray. He would be so thrilled for us to go, so glad for the connection to him, never mind the wonder of the actual experience.
It's hard to go alone. Not that I am not used to that! There are just so many things to worry over, the long flight, the expense, the worry of the kids ages. I could simply make so many excuses.
These thoughts were swirling and as we went up for communion the song Taste and See started playing. Gosh, that song reminds me of Ray! He used to sing "sit and scoot" as the girls would scoot down the stairs just to that same tune. It was so sweet and I just think of him.
After the mass the girls and I were talking about it and I was trying to tell them the connections to Ray and we drove by a green Saturn! The Shimkus-mobile we used to call Ray's green Saturn. The girls turned around to look and the the license plate said "Fitz."
Oh Ray. We are thinking of you. We got your messages! We wish you a Happy Father's Day. We sure do miss you a lot. We'll keep thinking of you and seeking out the things that make us feel closer.
This day can never be the same without you.
not alone and not afraid -
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God"
I John 3:3