Karyn Bryant: My husband and I took our daughter to my hometown a couple of weeks ago to catch up with family. I was looking forward to visiting my dad one lovely day; he hadn't seen Aurora in a year and we planned to sit outside, talk for a while, and fill him in on all that our little peanut has been up to. The thing is, my dad passed away in 2005 and I miss him desperately. So how was I not going to lose my grip when we got to the cemetery? And how were we going to explain everything to Aurora?
My daughter never got to meet her grandfather, although she sees pictures of my dad around the house and knows who he is. She's even told me on more than one occasion (without me asking) that she sometimes sees him when she's playing in her room or when she's out in the yard. Of course this absolutely wrecks me every time, so I thought for sure the visit to the cemetery would find me in a puddle. But I was pleasantly surprised when I made it through the visit having shed only a couple of tears that she didn't even see.
It's not that I didn't want Aurora to see me cry. She's quite a sensitive kid and understands emotions pretty darn well for a kid who's not even three yet. I just didn't want to sadden her because she was having fun putting flowers on his grave and playing with the dragonflies that suddenly came to greet us excitedly. (Without a doubt, these were a sign from my dad to my mom.) She talked to him, she danced for him, and asked lots of questions. We told her that grandpa was there, but that he's also everywhere we want him to be whenever we want. Aurora thought that was pretty cool. My mom and I had to swallow some ginormous lumps and blink A LOT, but we made it through.
So whenever Father's Day rolls around, I ready myself for the inevitable melancholy the day brings with it. As we cater to my husband and when we call Wade's dad, I know Aurora will ask about her other grandfather. I'll try not to cry, and I'll be sure to keep some extra beer in the fridge in case he tells her he's thirsty.
|Karyn Bryant is a television personality who's hosted shows on networks such as CNN, TNT, VH1, and MTV. She's currently a reporter for Showtime Championship Boxing and CBS' Saturday Night Fights, and the EVP/Director of MMAheat.com, an online destination for fans of MMA and pop culture. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.|